Weavers for RICA

By taking our commitment to local fabrication to the furniture scale, we are making sustainable products that are better for the planet and support local craft.

Our furniture design studio emerged with 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 furniture. By applying the local fabrication approach that we have taken with our buildings for over a decade — believing that local materials and fabrication leads to both a better built result and a stronger local economy — we assembled a network of 85-plus furniture manufacturers, craft cooperatives, and artisans to make beautiful products in Rwanda that are tailored to Rwanda.

The thousands of pieces created for RICA encompass nearly every interior surface, fixture, and furnishing in offices, education spaces, and residences, including student and faculty housing. Design is led by our team of product and interior designers, and done in collaboration with our network of artisans to prioritize local materials, showcase local craft techniques, and minimize the carbon footprint. Beyond RICA, MASS is also designing and producing furniture for the Ellen Degeneres Campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Foundation, Norrsken Kigali House, and the Kigali campus of the African Leadership University.


This entrepreneurial model encourages and supports local artisans and material suppliers, contributes to the regional economy, and assists in the creation of new supply chains.

Several of the artisans in our network have been able to expand their workshops and hire more craftspeople with a sustained volume and consistency of work, spurring job creation and economic growth in this sector. And by connecting artisans in different regions of the country with one another, it has been possible to explore new applications of traditional techniques, elevate fabrication quality, and forge new collaborations. 

MASS Furniture Design and Fabrication Team

Alan Ricks
Amie Shao
Kelly Doran 
Miguel Roldan Signes
Christelle Muhimpundu
Niels Datema: Studio Niels Datema
Pim van Baarsen: Super Local
Amani Rwibasira
Theophile Ndoreyaho
Jean Claude Kwitonda 
Chris Hardy
Taylor Klinkel
Sylvie Dufitimana