By extending our commitment to local fabrication to the furniture scale, we are making sustainable products that benefit both people and the planet.
MASS.Made, our furniture design studio, emerged through MASS’s work on the Rwanda Institute for Conservation Agriculture (RICA), a project so connected to place, landscape, and sustainability that it seemed unjust to fill it with imported products. In 2018, we began applying the local fabrication approach that we have taken with our buildings for over a decade to make beautiful furniture products in Rwanda that are tailored to Rwanda. At the root of this approach was a bold ambition: to leverage the design and production of furniture to advance sustainable development in East Africa.
Design is led by our in-house team of product and interior designers, and fabricated in collaboration with our network of artisans. To date, we have developed 32 furniture collections and furnished over 21,000 square meters of space, including the campuses of RICA, Norrsken Kigali House, and The Ellen DeGeneres Campus of the Dian Fossey Fund.
To create products that are grounded in place, environmentally responsible, and safely and equitably produced. We look at the design and fabrication process holistically—from material selection to processing and assembly.
Our aim is to highlight and scale local innovation and ideas, hire local labor, and invest in skilled job training; while minimizing the reliance on imported materials and products. Importantly, investing in local makers and entrepreneurs not only builds regional capacity for furniture production, but also provides our partners with higher quality products for a lower price.
MASS.Made was featured in the Crafted in Rwanda exhibition, which highlighted the artisans, projects, and partners that have defined our practice, and inspires dialogue around how the design industry can advance sustainable development in Rwanda.