I am quite sensitive to politics, because you know, as an Arab, an Iraqi, all your life, you are very conscious of it.
I'm a pushover. I make allowances for people if I like them.
I have always appreciated designers who dare to reinterpret fabrics and proportions, so I follow the Japanese and Belgian designers. The pieces are so animated. When they lie still, they are one thing, but once you stand them up or wear them, they become something else.
I miss aspects of being in the Arab world - the language - and there is a tranquility in these cities with great rivers. Whether it's Cairo or Baghdad, you sit there and you think, 'This river has flown here for thousands of years.' There are magical moments in these places.
I used to not like being called a 'woman architect': I'm an architect, not just a woman architect. Guys used to tap me on the head and say, 'You are okay for a girl.' But I see the incredible amount of need from other women for reassurance that it could be done, so I don't mind that at all.
I think that the training of architects allows you to see what will happen ten years ahead of time, or twenty. It's not guessing, it's not intuitive, it's based on research - and we may be wrong.
When you are overworked and exhausted, there is a sense of kind of delirium and that's why I think architects do all-nighters and they kind of do those deadlines. For four days I remember doing four nights in one row with no sleep. I mean nobody, unless you are crazy, would do that, but you are totally focused on the project.
In Iraq, many of my female friends were architects and professionals with a lot of power during the 1980s while all the men were at war in Iran.
Half of architecture students are women, and you see respected, established female architects all the time.
People say I design architectural icons. If I design a building and it becomes an icon, that's ok.
I am equally proud of all of my architectural projects. It's always rewarding to see an ambitious design become reality.
Of course I believe imaginative architecture can make a difference to people's lives, but I wish it was possible to divert some of the effort we put into ambitious museums and galleries into the basic architectural building blocks of society.
The spirit of adventure to embrace the new and the incredible belief in the power of invention attracted me to the Russian avant-garde.
It's very important for cities all around the world to reinvent themselves, and Glasgow is a good example of that. The Scots are very nice. I don't think they are burdened by their history.
Being Iraqi taught me to be very cautious.
When I first came to Guangzhou in 1981, it seemed such a hard and dour place with everyone in Chairman Mao uniforms.
If I wanted to do clothes or if I wanted to make a building or design a choreography, you are able to do that - they are all under a similar kind of design umbrella.
What's similar between Britain and America is the lack of good-quality civic buildings.
The commission process in America and England is different. In America, they do it through an interview process, and it's really based on whether they like you or not. I mean, it's nothing to do with whether you do the best scheme or the worst scheme.
You don't always have to show art in what's called a white box; you can have a kind of complexity within an exhibit which actually respects the art as well.