Photo of Alan Ricks, Co-founder and COO of MASS Design Group

I believe architecture improves our lives and we can design the process to create social value. We can demand that our built environment makes a radically positive impact in society.

Alan Ricks, AIA

Founding Principal & Chief Design Officer
Boston, MA, USA

Alan is a Founding Principal and the Chief Design Officer of MASS Design Group. He leads strategy and design of the 100-person firm, which has projects in over a dozen countries that range from design to research to policy—a portfolio that continues to expand the role of design in advancing a more just world.

In 2017 Alan and MASS were awarded the National Design Award for Architecture from the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. First launched at the White House in 2000 as an official project of the White House Millennium Council, the annual Awards program celebrates design as a vital humanistic tool in shaping the world, and seeks to increase national awareness of the impact of design through education initiatives.

In 2018 he and MASS received the Arts and Letters Award for Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Each year the Academy honors over 70 composers, artists, architects, and writers with awards and prizes. Recipients must be nominated by an Academy member and this year the jury included Annabelle Seldorf, James Polshek, Tod Williams, Billie Tsien, Steven Holl, Kenneth Frampton, and Thom Mayne.

Alan is a member of The Forum of Young Global Leaders with the World Economic Forum, a community of over 800 men and women selected under the age of 40, who operate as a force for good to overcome barriers that elsewhere stand in the way of progress. The community is made up of leaders from all walks of life, from every region of the world, and from every stakeholder group in society.

Currently, he is the William B. and Charlotte Shepherd Davenport Visiting Professor at the Yale School of Architecture and has previously taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. He regularly speaks, writes, and creates films focused on the role of architecture in catalyzing social change. Chris Anderson, chief curator of TED, described his TED talk as “a different language about what architecture can aspire to be.”

He has a Bachelor of Arts from Colorado College and a Master of Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Photo of TED City 2.0, AR

Alan Ricks at TED City 2.0

Can a building heal?