In this TED Talk, co-founder of MASS Design Group, Michael Murphy, presents the question “what more can architecture do?” as the springboard philosophy behind the practice. Following a trajectory of MASS’s projects, Murphy reflects upon their practice’s progress in seeing architecture as an opportunity to invest in the future of communities.
Each project seeks to consider what Murphy calls the “human handprint” of buildings, and his discussion includes the LoFab building process in Rwanda, healthier hospitals in Haiti, and a visually communicative campus for the deaf community in the US. Focusing on more than just the final design, Murphy explains how a building process that sources and hires regionally can “improve the local economy and inspire dignity” in the communities in which they work. Although the projects covered vary in scale, context, and client, they all pursue the same ethos that “simple, site specific architectural designs can make a building that heals.”
To conclude the talk, Murphy reveals images of MASS Design Group's latest proposal, the Memorial to Peace and Justice, which will be erected in Montgomery, Alabama, to recognize and memorialize the United States' dark racial history.