Rixt Woudstra

Rixt Woudstra is a fourth year Ph.D candidate in the History, Theory and Criticism Program at MIT Architecture. Her work focuses on modern architecture, planning and design, especially in mid-century Europe and sub-Saharan Africa. Her dissertation examines relations between architecture, subsistence and scarcity, and traces the emergence of the idea of the Existenzminimum in relation to housing design in interwar Germany to 1940s and '50s sub-Saharan Africa through the figures of Ernst May, Otto Koenigsberger and others. She has written on Le Corbusier's plan for Addis Abeba, MoMA's exhibitions on public housing in the 1930s, Carlo Enrico Rava's housing projects in Italian-occupied Libya, and Ernst May's work in Kenya and Uganda in the 1940s. She holds a B.A. in Art History and a M.A. in Architectural History from the University of Amsterdam (both cum laude), and studied at the Università degli Studi di Firenze.

She has presented her work at conferences such as the Society of Architectural Historians, the European Network for Avant-Garde and Modernism Studies, the Cooper Hewitt-Parsons Graduate Student Design History Symposium, the "Revisiting CASE" symposium organized by MIT in 2015, and participated in the "Wohnungsfrage Academy" in Berlin, co-organized by Columbia University and the Haus der Kulturen der Welt. Her research has been supported by grants of the Reale Istituto Neerlandese a Roma, MIT's Presidential Fellowship, the MIT International Science and Technology Initiative, the Schlossman Research Fellowship, the Hyzen Travel Fellowship, the Harold Horowitz Student Research Fund, and the Paul Mellon Centre for British Art.

Before coming to MIT she worked at the Netherlands Architecture Institute in Rotterdam and Studio Lukas Feireiss in Berlin on several exhibitions, such as "Testify! The Consequences of Architecture," and various publications such as the Social Design Public Action Reader. She contributes frequently to the Belgian contemporary art magazine De Witte Raaf. More recently, she collaborated on "OfficeUS," the exhibition in the US Pavilion of the Venice Biennial 2014, and with Design Earth on an installation for the Oslo Triennial in 2016.