Rwanda is writing a new global story for itself. Over two decades after the end of the country’s civil war and the 1994 genocide, a series of progressive visions have been the catalyst for transformation throughout Rwanda. These economic and structural reforms have redefined the built environment, and in turn, are shaping contemporary architecture across the country.
Mass Design Group: The Latest Architecture and News
The six shortlisted concepts for the National Pulse Memorial & Museum will be on display at the Orange County Regional History Center where people can view and comment on the schemes, helping the jury choose the winning proposal, to be announced on October 30.
Design:ED Podcast is an inside look into the field of architecture told from the perspective of individuals that are leading the industry. This motivational series grants unique insight into the making of a successful design career, from humble beginnings to worldwide recognition. Every week, featured guests share their personal highs and lows on their journey to success, that is sure to inspire audiences at all levels of the industry. Listening to their stories will provide a rare blueprint for anyone seeking to advance their career, and elevate their work to the next level.
In this episode, host Aaron Prinz speaks with Michael Murphy, Founding Principal of MASS Design Group. He discusses how MASS operates as a non-profit, the social and political implications of architecture, and how they founded MASS Design Group. This episode was recorded in partnership with the University of Texas at Austin’s School of Architecture.
The shortlist has been announced for the design of the National Pulse Memorial & Museum in Orlando, Florida, honoring the 49 people killed during the Pulse nightclub shooting on June 12th, 2016. Established by Dovetail Design Strategists for the onePULSE Foundation, the open, two-stage international competition seeks to honor those killed while also supporting the families, survivors, and first responders.
The third Chicago Architecture Biennial will occur from September 19, 2019, to January 5, 2020, and yesterday the first group of contributors to the 2019 edition and publication was announced. This year’s theme, “...and other such stories,” will bring together a multi-faceted and international exploration of architecture and the built environment. Newly commissioned projects for the Biennial will highlight issues including public housing, social justice, and the appropriation and preservation of the natural environment.
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) unveiled the seven laureates of the 2019 International Fellowships, a "lifetime honor allows recipients to use the initials Int FRIBA after their name," recognizes the contributions that architects across the world outside of the UK have made in the field of architecture. Previously awarded to architects such as Jeanne Gang and Phillip Cox, the annual Fellowship emphasizes not only the impact of architects' work in their respective homelands but also their global influence.
A juror's committee, consisting of Ben Derbyshire, RIBA President; Lady Patty Hopkins, a 1994 RIBA Gold Medalist; Bob Shiel, a professor at the Bartlett School of Architecture; Wasfi Kani, a 2018 Honorary Fellow; and Pat Woodward RIBA, of Matthew Lloyd Architects, awarded the 2019 Fellows. The fellowships will be presented in London in February 2019.
It’s well understood that a sense of place is an essential value for people, architecture, and cities. Everyone from designers to planners to city governments speak breathlessly of the power of places to transform cities for the better - but it’s not clear what placemaking really means.
Nonprofit MLK Boston has released the final five designs for a monument to civil rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King. The finalists include a range of offices like Adjaye Associates, Maryann Thompson Architects and MASS Design Group, as well as artists like Yinka Shonibare, Barbara Chase-Riboud and Walter Hood. As reported by Curbed Boston, the city is working with MLK Boston to make the monument part of a larger initiative that includes an educational center in Roxbury and $1 million endowment for programming related to the Kings.
The academy's annual architecture awards program began in 1955 with the opening of the Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize. The prize is given to an architect of any nationality who has made a significant contribution to architecture as an art. The program has since been expanded to include four Arts and Literature Awards for American architects that explore ideas in architecture through any medium of expression.
The "National Memorial for Peace and Justice," designed in collaboration with MASS Design Group, has opened in Montogomery Alabama. Commissioned by the Equal Justice Initiative, the scheme is America’s first memorial dedicated to “the legacy of enslaved black people, people terrorized by lynching, African Americans humiliated by racial segregation and Jim Crow, and people of color burdened with contemporary presumptions of guilt and police violence.”
The memorial's April 23rd opening coincided with the opening of the Equal Justice Initiative's Legacy Museum, addressing similar injustices.
Are we going to follow a model of unsustainable building and construction similar to what I witnessed in China—or can we develop a uniquely African model of sustainable, and equitable development? I'm optimistic we can.
In this recent TED Talk, Christian Benimana talks about his journey as an architect—growing up in Rwanda, studying in China, and finally returning to Africa to see the beginnings of a building boom very similar to what he witnessed in Shanghai. Given this background, he then explains why he and MASS Design Group founded the African Design Center, a school and innovation center that intends to be a catalyst for positive urban development on the continent.
Architect Magazine has unveiled the 2017 edition of the “Architect 50,” their list of the 50 best architecture firms in the United States. The 2017 rankings are based on scores from three categories: business, design and sustainability. This year saw more entrants than ever before, with several first-time entrants making notable impressions, including the number 1 ranked design firm, WORKac. Topping the overall list was Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), who also ranked in the top 10 in both design and sustainability.
See the top 10 from each category after the break.
The Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum has announced the winners of their 2017 National Design Awards, recognizing outstanding achievement in design and innovation across a variety of design disciplines. Now in its 18th year, the annual award was established to “promote design as a vital humanistic tool in shaping the world.”
This year, several architects and architectural institutions took home prizes, including MASS Design Group, in the category of Architecture Design; Surfacedesign (Landscape Architecture); Deborah Berke Partners (Interior Design), Craig L. Wilkins (Design Mind), and the Design Trust for Public Space (Corporate & Institutional Achievement).
On Thursday, December 22nd, an email arrived in the inboxes of ArchDaily’s editors that made us sit up, shake off our holiday-induced lethargy, and take notice. MASS Design Group’s Year in Review email might initially have blended in with the many other holiday wishes and 2016 recaps we receive at that time of year—it recapped such highlights as Michael Murphy’s TED Talk in February or the launch of the first African Design Center—but it had one thing that we hadn’t seen from other firm’s years-in-review: detailed statistics about the firm’s achievements that year.
In recent decades, certain aspects of architecture have become increasingly open to scientific analysis, most notably when it comes to a building’s environmental impact. It’s no surprise, therefore, to see MASS Design Group’s claims that their work uses 74% less embodied carbon than typical building projects, or that 78% of their materials are sourced within 100 kilometers, but alongside these were some more unusual metrics: since it was founded, the firm has invested 88% of construction costs regionally, created 15,765 jobs, and in 2016 alone, their work served a total of 64,580 users. These numbers suggest a way of thinking about architecture that few have attempted before—a way that, if widely adopted, could fundamentally change the way architecture is practiced and evaluated. We spoke to MASS co-founder Alan Ricks to find out how these statistics are calculated, and what purpose they serve.
The UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation and Malcolm Reading Consultants have revealed the designs of 10 teams shortlisted to design a new Holocaust Memorial, to be located in London's Victoria Tower Gardens next to the Houses of Parliament. After a call for expressions of interest was launched in September, 10 star-studded teams were selected in November and invited to submit their designs for an "emotionally powerful and sensitively designed memorial."
With the designs now revealed to the public, competition organizer Malcolm Reading Consultants and the government-led Memorial Foundation are now consulting with the public and are inviting people to submit feedback about the designs here. The feedback received in this consultation period "will play a crucial role in informing the jury’s final decision on the memorial," they explained in a press release. Read on to see all 10 shortlisted designs.
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.
MASS Design Group Documentary, "Design that Heals," to Premiere at New York 2016 Architecture and Design Film Festival
Can a building help stem the tide of large epidemics?
In 2010, in the midst of the world’s worst cholera outbreak in over a century, MASS Design Group was challenged to design a cholera treatment center where the construction process, as well as the finished building, could address the underlying structural and social conditions that allow cholera to thrive.
This is the subject of Design that Heals, a new documentary that portrays the challenges, innovations, and triumph of the project, proving that, “Architecture and health are inseparable.” (Dr. Jean-William Pape, GHESKIO founder)
The 31-minute film, an official New York 2016 Architecture and Design Film Festival selection, will premiere September 29th at 6:30 and October 1st and 7:30. Screenings will be held at Cinépolis Chelsea, 260 West 23rd Street, New York, NY 10011.
In this video, ArchDaily interviews MASS Design Group co-founder Alan Ricks, who describes the firm’s working process and how the practice, with offices in Boston and Kigali, Rwanda, is intent on improving people's lives through architecture. The firm has established a fundamental process for creating structures, that according to Ricks "Have an obligation to catalyze and amplify the outcomes that are the core services delivered in our buildings.” Whether serving the fields of health, education, or housing, the firm’s modus operandi is public benefit. "[It’s] how we leverage the building process to expand the impact," says Ricks. "We’ve taken to the calling that lo-fab, or locally fabricated, it doesn’t mean lo-tech and it doesn’t mean not pre-fab. It just means we’ve uncovered the available resources where we work and are leveraging them to deliver value.” With clinics in Haiti, primary schools in Rwanda, and proposals for library and hospital projects in the United States, MASS Design has proven its ability to act in the realm of public good. The firm has previously been lauded by New York Times critic Michael Kimmelman, was named one of the Architectural League of New York’s Emerging Voices in 2013, and was the winner of both the Zumtobel Group Award and Curry Stone Design Prize in 2012. Watch the video for more about this entrepreneurial design practice that is redefining what it means to be local, sustainable, and most importantly, for the community.