School of Architecture welcomes Zena Howard, FAIA on Wednesday, March 31 at 5 p.m. for the virtual lecture, “Cultural Expression in the Built Environment.”
Howard is a Principal and Managing Director of the North Carolina practice of global architecture and design firm Perkins&Will. Howard 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, D.C. and the Motown Museum Expansion in Detroit. Her current projects include LA’s Destination Crenshaw, the City of Vancouver Hogan’s Alley initiative and the City of Greenville Town Common Sycamore Hill Gateway project. Howard is helping these and other clients envision and create cultural destinations that will celebrate the history and context of displaced, forgotten communities.
Howard’s avid interest in shared cultural roots has shaped a body of design work that exemplifies her belief that the built environment can be a framework through which to share essential stories—strengthening the wellbeing and advancement of communities. Her career has been defined by visionary, complex and culturally-significant projects, such as the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., that navigate social issues of equity and justice, restoring lost cultural connections by honoring history and memory.
Howard has been integral in developing and realizing Remembrance Design™, an urban and architectural design process that engages historically under-served and negatively impacted communities to redress painful issues, bridge diverse experiences, inspire resilient communities and infuse culture into projects. She embraces cross-disciplinary collaboration as an essential design tool to integrate a broad range of experience and specialized knowledge, such as urban design, public policy, art, history, economics and anthropology, into the architectural process.
A Cultural Practice Leader and Managing Director of the North Carolina practice, Howard is also a founding member of Perkins&Will’s global Diversity and Inclusion Council. By example and through advocacy and mentoring, she advances diversity within the architecture profession, a field where minority and women professionals are historically under-representfed.