About Dr Rixt Woudstra

Dr Rixt Woudstra is Course Leader & Lecturer in Art History. Rixt teaches Modern Architecture from 1851 to the Present. She joined the New College of the Humanities in 2020 after completing her PhD in the History, Theory and Criticism of Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

PhD History, Theory and Criticism of Architecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
MA Arts and Culture, University of Amsterdam
BA Art and Architectural History, University of Amsterdam

Academic Honours
Mellon Dissertation Completion Fellowship. Awarded by the American Council of Learned Societies (2019-2020)
Short-Term Study Grant. Awarded by the Paul Mellon Center for the Studies of British Art (2019)
Dissertation Research Fellowship. Awarded by the Center for European Studies, Harvard University (2018-2019)
International Dissertation Research Fellowship. Awarded by the Social Science Research Council (2018-2019)
Carter Manny Research Award, Citation of Special Recognition. Awarded by the Graham Foundation (2018)
Annual Conference Graduate Student Fellowship. Awarded by the Society of Architectural Historians (2018)
Summer Study Grant. Awarded by the Center for International Studies, MIT (2018)
Junior Fellowship. Awarded by the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art (2017)
Schlossman Research Fellowship. Awarded by the School of Architecture and Planning, MIT (2016)
Presidential Fellowship. Awarded by MIT (2013-2014)


Dr Rixt Woudstra's Research

Rixt completed her PhD in History, Theory and Criticism of Architecture at the MIT School of Architecture and Planning in 2020. Her thesis, titled ‘Planning the ‘Multiracial City’: Architecture, Decolonization, and the Design of Stability in British Africa (1945-1957)’, explored postwar state-sponsored housing design across British Africa as a response to anti-colonial protest during the last two decades of colonial rule. Her work focuses on modern architecture, with a specific interest in the relations between architecture, colonialism and decolonisation.

Selected Publications
‘Betty Spence’ in The Bloomsbury Global Encyclopedia of Women in Architecture, Lori Brown and Karen Burns, eds. (London: Bloomsbury Publishers) [accepted, forthcoming in 2021]

‘Countering Independence: Architecture, Decolonization and the Design of Stability’ in Architecture and Action, eds. J. Meejin Yoon and Irina Chernyakova (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2019): 130-131.

“Exhibiting Reform: MoMA and the Display of Public Housing (1932-1939),” Architectural Histories (2018): Architectural Histories, 6(1). Honorable Mention for Architectural Histories’ Best Article Award 2018-19.

“Circulating Architecture. Rixt Woudstra in conversation with Lukas Feireiss” Thresholds 46 (2018): 66–67; 102-103; 144-145; 170-171; 208-209; 228-229; 262-263; 270-271; 318-319,

“Le Corbusier’s Venice Hospital Project: An Investigation into its Structural Formulation by Mahnaz Shah.” Urban History 42, no. 1 (2015): 175-177.

Selected Presentations
‘Designing the ‘Multi-Racial City’: Leonard Thornton-White’s 1948 Plan for Nairobi’ Conflicted Narratives, Future Trajectories: Rewriting Critical Architectural and Urban Histories of Nationalism, Colonialism, and Modernity, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, 2019.

‘Countering Decolonization: Inter-African Co-operation and Housing Construction’ Canadian Center for Architecture, Mellon Seminar, Centring Africa: Postcolonial Perspectives on Architecture, University of Addis Ababa, Addis Ababa, 2019.

‘ ‘Culture Comes to Kampala’: Ernst May’s Designs for the African Postwar City’ Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, 2018 (invited talk).

‘Minimum Standards: Housing ‘Nie-Blankes’ in South Africa, 1947-1952’ Society of Architectural Historians, Saint Paul, MI, 2018.

‘Building the Minimum House: The South African Building Research Institute and the Social Survey, 1947-1952’ The Tools of the Architect, European Architectural History Network, Delft University, Delft, 2017.

‘Minimal Needs, Minimum Standards’ Standard Architecture: From Jean-Nicolas Louis Durand to BIM, Deutsches Architektur Museum, Frankfurt, 2017.

‘Public Housing on Display: MoMA, U.S. Housing Authorities and the Debate about ‘Architectural Excellence’’ Lecture Series Wohnen +/- Ausstellen, Marian Steegmann Institute, University of Bremen, Bremen, 2017 (invited talk).

Dr Rixt Woudstra's Teaching

Course Leader & Lecturer, New College of the Humanities