I suppose that “architect, activist and strongman” could all work together in the right person. However, today I’ve been reading nonfiction picture books about three very different people: Zaha Hadid, Jane Addams, and Eugen Sandow.
You might not think they’d have a lot in common, but all faced challenges from people who maybe thought they’d fit in better if they’d grow up and do something just a wee bit more “normal.” Eugen Sandow, the strong man, grew up not so strong, with people who encouraged him to become a doctor. He ran off with the circus before eventually becoming a bodybuilder, starting a gym, and working with people on nutritious eating. Jane Addams never seemed particularly interested in following society’s expectations for young women when she was young. She was shocked by the conditions poor people lived in, founded Hull House, and later ruffled feathers by speaking out for peace during a war, also winning a Nobel Peace Prize. Zaha Hadid loved to design things even as a child. She left Iraq to study architecture and mathematics and eventually designed buildings (and shoes and furniture, too) inspired by patterns, shapes, nature, and whatever else sparked her interest.
Take a look. There’s inspiration all around here.
The World is not a Rectangle: a portrait of architect Zaha Hadid, Jeanette Winter
Dangerous Jane, Suzanne Slade and Alice Ratterree
Strong as Sandow, Don Tate