School of Architecture + GT NOMAS Lecture: Zena Howard

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The School of Architecture and the Georgia Tech National Organization of Minority Architects Students (NOMAS) Chapter. 

Zena Howard sees the built environment as an expression of human understanding and our collective values. As a key leader in Perkins+Will’s cultural practice, she will share how she has used the power of design to engage disenfranchised communities, unite disparate parties, and infuse cultural meaning into projects from national icons to urban landscapes.

About Zena Howard
Zena Howard is a Principal and Managing Director of the North Carolina practice of global architecture and design firm Perkins+Will. An award-winning architect, strategist, mentor and team builder, Zena is known for her success leading visionary, complex, and culturally-significant projects including the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC, several libraries for Durham County in Durham, NC, the Anacostia and Tenley-Friendship Neighborhood Libraries in Washington, DC, the Motown Museum Expansion in Detroit, MI, and the New Brooklyn Village development initiative in Charlotte, NC.

She is also Managing Principal and Lead Facilitator for the City of Vancouver Hogan’s Alley initiative and the City of Greenville Town Common Sycamore Hill project. Zena is helping these and other clients envision and create cultural destinations that will celebrate the history and context of displaced, forgotten communities.

Zena is an advocate for diversity within the architecture profession, a field where minority and women professionals are historically under-represented. She is a founding member of Perkins+Will’s Diversity + Inclusion Council, and associate professor of architecture at North Carolina State University College of Design.

A North Carolina native, Zena earned her undergraduate degree in architecture from the University of Virginia. She has lectured at multiple institutions including MIT, Howard University, Mississippi State University, Louisiana Tech University, Tuskegee University, University of Washington, and Tulane University.  She served on the North Carolina State Capitol Foundation Board and is a member of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc. public service sorority.


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