Rixt Woudstra is an architectural historian and a PhD candidate in History, Theory and Criticism of Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, whose research focuses on the intersections of modern architecture, urbanism and politics in colonial and postcolonial sub-Saharan Africa. She has presented her work at various conferences, such as the Society of Architectural Historians, the Parsons/Cooper Hewitt Symposium and the European Architectural History Network. Her writings have appeared in Urban History, Failed Architecture, Architectural Histories (forthcoming), Tresholds (forthcoming) and De Witte Raaf, among others.
She is currently a Junior Fellow at the Paul Mellon Centre for British Art in London, conducting research on the construction of large-scale, public housing design in postwar British sub-Saharan Africa, studying the work of the architect Ernst May in Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika (present-day Tanzania). Her research has been supported by the MIT Presidential Fellowship, the MIT Hyzen Travel Fellowship, and the MIT-Africa Initiative.
She received a BA and MA in art and architectural history from the University of Amsterdam. Before coming to MIT, she worked for Studio Lukas Feireiss in Berlin and the Netherlands Architecture Institute in Rotterdam on publications and exhibitions. During her time at MIT, she contributed to OfficeUS, the American pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennial in 2014, and worked for Design Earth on Pacific Aquarium, an installation for the 2016 Oslo Architecture Triennial.