Our mission is to research, build, and advocate for architecture that promotes justice and human dignity.

MASS Design Group was founded on the understanding that architecture’s influence reaches beyond individual buildings. MASS (Model of Architecture Serving Society) believes that architecture has a critical role to play in supporting communities to confront history, shape new narratives, collectively heal and project new possibilities for the future. 

We are a team of over 200 architects, landscape architects, engineers, builders, furniture designers, makers, writers, filmmakers, and researchers representing 20 countries across the globe. We believe in expanding access to design that is purposeful, healing, and hopeful.

In 2021, The American Institute of Architects honored MASS Design Group with the 2022 AIA Architecture Firm Award. In 2020, MASS was named the Architecture Innovator of the Year by the Wall Street Journal, for our origins in healthcare and commitment to architecture as a medium for healing. In 2019, Architect Magazine ranked MASS fourth in its list of Top 50 Firms in Design and in 2017, MASS was awarded the National Design Award in Architecture, given each year by the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. 

The National Memorial for Peace and Justice
The National Memorial for Peace and Justice

“To my mind, it is the single greatest work of American architecture of the 21st century, and the most successful memorial design since the 1982 debut of Maya Lin’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.”

–Mark Lamster from the Dallas Morning News

How We Work

We believe that every project has a mission and we collaborate with our partners throughout the design process — from early visioning through project completion — to develop and implement a shared vision to achieve that mission. We do this through architecture, landscape design, furniture design, engineering, planning, research, construction, film, and community engagement.

Helping build a climate positive future is imperative. Our projects move beyond just issues of energy use and efficiency, to holistically design the project ecosystem, including an entire supply chain that is sustainable, resilient, and regenerative. We work using a One Health design strategy that produces diverse, healthy, and productive habitats for human, animal, and ecological growth.

MASS Design Group principals
© Tony Luong


MASS Design Group is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, governed by a board of directors who supervise the activities of the organization. The board is composed of a diverse group of leaders from different sectors and perspectives, Karen Conway, Yves Iradukunda, Donald Kimelman, Neil Mahapatra, Megan Minoka Hill, Tej Nuthulaganti, Sridhar Prasad, Sharon Prince, Diana Ramirez-Jasso, Jean Shia, and Jay Wickersham, that meet quarterly to review the organization’s strategy, finances, and operations.

Firm leadership includes design principals and senior directors: Sierra Bainbridge, Christian Benimana, Justin Brown, Regina Chen, Jonathan Evans, Shawn Evans, Rosie Goldrick, Patricia Gruits, Christopher Kroner, Joseph Kunkel, Ashley Marsh, Sarah Mohland, Alan Ricks, David Saladik, Adam Saltzman, Jean Paul Sebuhayi Uwase, Amie Shao, Matt Smith, Katie Swenson, and Peter Torrebiarte, all of whom develop strategic goals and program objectives while overseeing the day to day operation of the organization. The group meets weekly to review all aspects of the programs, projects, initiatives and general operations.

Rwanda Institute for Conservation Agriculture
Rwanda Institute for Conservation Agriculture. © Iwan Baan

Design Labs

Public Memory and Memorials

How can spatializing memory support healing and inspire collective action for generations to come
Read more here.

Abundant Futures

Fostering a just and regenerative future that promotes health and healing for all species.
Read more here.

Fringe Cities

How can design catalyze investment in small American cities on the fringe between urban and rural?
Read more here.

Sustainable Native Communities

Closing the systemic wealth gap through culturally-responsive development, resilient community infrastructure, and Native homeownership.
Read more here.

Deaf Space and Disability Justice

How can design advance Deaf Spaces, uphold disability justice, and uplift cultural memory?
Read more here.

Restorative Justice

Designing decarceration and investing in restorative justice.
Read more here.



Celebrating the many people, projects, and partnerships that have formed the backbone of MASS, JUSTICE IS BEAUTY features essays contributed by our partners and staff, conversations between our team and collaborators, and in-depth visual essays of our built work, curated by architectural photographer Iwan Baan. We thank the innumerable partners, supporters, friends, and team members that made our first 10 years possible, paving the way for decades of project, impact, and collaborations to come.