More inclusive, equitable futures are grounded in how we design for justice and the human condition. Katie Swenson is a Senior Principal of international non-profit MASS Design Group, and she has spent her career building social equity and advocating environmental sustainability. At the heart of her work is a thread of collective optimism, a knack for bringing people together to create healthier communities that promote human dignity and joy.
Mass Design Group: The Latest Architecture and News
MASS Design Group has published a COVID-19 design guide for Senior Housing. Made by the firm's Design Response team, it includes strategies and best practices for retrofitting and upgrading existing buildings. The guide aims to help senior housing developers and operators as they work to manage infection control while balancing social and cultural needs with emerging research on the coronavirus.
In order to ensure a proper transition into post COVID-19, architects, public health experts, and engineers are generating design guidelines to provide people with new secure, and efficient resources. Finding a balance between optimizing operations and keeping people safe, the strategies tackle the built environment that surrounds us, from restaurants and outdoor dining, to streets, offices, and retail.
Addressed to city officials, owners, and employers, the tools developed help to reopen the world, while reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission, promoting social distancing standards, and enhancing wellbeing. Discover in this article a roundup of design guidelines securing a safe post coronavirus transition.
MASS Design Group has been selected to lead the tribal engagement process of the future Willamette Falls Riverwalk. The partnership was announced by the Willamette Falls Trust, with the team working to ensure that the Riverwalk centers on indigenous experiences and educates the greater Portland community on the Native stories of the region. The project will focus on public space that celebrates the human and natural history of Willamette Falls.
MASS Design Group has released a guideline for restaurants in response to the coronavirus pandemic, to help these business reopen safely, viably, and vibrantly. Based on world health recommendations, the drafted protocols aim to keep both staff and customers safe, as well as facilitate operations.
Addressing contextual severe healthcare problems, like the outbreak of infectious diseases or maternal mortality, MASS has helped in setting design strategies to mitigate and reduce critical medical concerns. With some projects operational, and others in the pipeline, the facilities imagined, tackle a wide range of complications.
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.
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.