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ThinkRevolutionist: MASS

Read any critique of architecture, and you’ll rarely find words like economic empowerment, social justice, or systemic change. That is unless you’re reading about MASS Design Group, a global nonprofit that defines architecture as a way to address the largest health, economic, and social challenges faced by the world today.

Impact through design, building by building

For the team of designers and builders at MASS, good architecture is more than beautiful. It can improve the health and well-being of a community, while spurring greater economic and environmental benefits. MASS’s revolutionary approach has led to the design and construction of schools in Rwanda, hospitals in Haiti, and more transformative facilities across three continents.

Relying on a “Lo-Fab,” or locally fabricated, design and construction process, MASS staffs every project with local labor and uses local materials. This emphasis on developing skills and craft as a meaningful opportunity for the communities with which they work also emerges in MASS’s commitment to train architects to take on the growing challenge of creating high-quality infrastructure. For example, the coming year will witness the creation of the African Design Centre, a two-year fellowship for young architects so they can retain their expertise within their own communities.

Initiatives like these embody MASS’s inclusive approach to architecture, one that values the building process as much as the finished product and that understands beauty and craft as opportunities to create dignity.

The power of collaboration

From local health boards to international philanthropies, MASS counts on a network of partners to make its impact. With offices across continents and projects in some of the most remote communities in the world, MASS architects rely on technology to bring people and ideas together. They share their visions on the ThinkStation P710 and ThinkPad 50, running the Autodesk Suite to model their latest designs. And this fall, the first class at the African Design Centre will begin coursework together on Lenovo workstations.

"Architecture is not just an opportunity to make a beautiful building but an opportunity to impact key areas of human life."

Check out what's in MASS studios: ThinkStation P710 and ThinkPad P50