Future of the Museum: David Adjaye and Zena Howard in Discussion

MIT students are invited to join a discussion with David Adjaye and Zena Howard on the Future of the Museum. Adjaye is the Lead Designer and Howard the Project Leader of the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), which will open in the Fall on the Mall in Washington, D.C. Discussion will focus on NMAAHC and explore themes related to place-making and notions of history, community and designing for context. Topics to explore, for example, are how architecture can be infused with a societal narrative, and specifically how the design of the NMAAHC captures African and African-American heritage, or makes statements about aspirations for the future. Adjaye and Howard will also discuss their own challenges and successes as designers and will pose questions to the MIT student audience during this interactive exchange.

Registration is required

Students are encouraged to participate by submitting questions to the facilitators Billy Ndengeyingoma and Jessica Myers at FutureoftheMuseum@mit.edu.




David Adjaye

David Adjaye
2016 McDermott Award Recipient

Zena Howard


Zena Howard

Zena has more than 25 years of experience with private and public institutions, museum and cultural facilities, libraries and higher education facilities. Her experience focuses on clients with specialized and or unique design goals such as environmentally sensitive artifact exhibit areas, environmentally and spatially sensitive spaces for autistic children, historically and culturally significant buildings and locations, and sustainable design in pursuit of LEED® certification and other high performance building goals.

Zena earned her Bachelor of Science degree in architecture from the University of Virginia. She is a LEED Accredited Professional, a member of the American Institute of Architects, and the National Organization of Minority Architects.


Jessica Myers

Jessica Myers is a first year graduate student at MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning. Coming from a background in architecture, urban theory and design she has worked in diverse practices ranging from archivist and exhibitions coordinator to poetry translator in New York and Paris. She is currently working to blend mapping, audio and research practices to explore insecurity, fear and identity in the urban context.


Billy Ndengeyingoma

Billy Ndengeyingoma is a Master in City Planning candidate at MIT in the City Design and Development (CDD) group. He joins CDD to investigate sustainable, inclusive, economically viable and culturally appropriate urban forms in Africa. He is particularly excited to become an actor of development in urban design and architecture – specifically in housing related projects- in his home country of Rwanda. His recent photography exhibition, “Window Shopping: Learning from Kigali, Rwanda,” highlights the tensions between globalized ideals of progress and Rwanda’s national identity. Before joining CDD, Billy received a BS in Civil Engineering from MIT in 2015.