Michael Murphy, Founding Principal and CEO of MASS Design Group, announces Transition to Board of Directors & Launch of New Initiatives

7 October 2022

MASS Design Group (MASS), the recipient of the 2022 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Architecture Firm Award, announces its Founding Principal Michael Murphy is transitioning from President and CEO, while remaining on the MASS Board of Directors, to pursue new initiatives. The organization will continue to be led by our senior leadership team including Senior Principals and Managing Directors Christian Benimana, Patricia Gruits, and Founding Principal and Chief Design Officer Alan Ricks, to chart the future with our broader principal and board leadership teams. 

Over the past 15 years, MASS has grown from a small founding group with an idea to expand access to design that is purposeful, healing, and hopeful to a dedicated team of over 200 professionals representing 20 countries that has designed and built projects serving communities around the world.

“Founding and leading MASS has been the privilege of a lifetime. I look forward to continuing my service on the MASS Board of Directors and supporting its mission, partners, and projects in that role,” said Murphy.

"And I am excited to begin the next chapter of my career, including not only working with the wonderful students at The Georgia Institute of Technology, where I have accepted the Thomas W. Ventulett III Distinguished Chair but also launching a new venture which will focus on sharing the financial ownership of our built environment more equitably," he continued.

“Most importantly I want to thank everyone at MASS, every single member of the team, each of whom fearlessly made an important idea into a reality. Nothing can supplant the hard work of our dedicated employees who are evangelists of how the built world can be shaped to improve the lives of individuals every day.”

On behalf of the MASS Board of Directors, Chair Neil Mahapatra cited Murphy’s contributions to the organization. “MASS would not be a global force in life changing architecture that has helped thousands of people around the world without Michael. We look forward to benefiting from his wisdom in the years to come on the board and wish him the very best as he shares his innovative approach to architecture with even more people and programs.”  

MASS co-founder, Alan Ricks, remarked, “Michael believes that architecture can improve our lives and we can demand that our built environment makes a radically positive impact in society. As idealistic graduate students we made that belief a reality in projects across the country and around the world. I am grateful for the opportunities Michael created, which allowed us to demonstrate the power of architecture in creating a more just and beautiful world.”

MASS currently has more than 60 projects, including over $250M under construction or going into construction, around the world, under the leadership of its studio principals. MASS will continue to treat the design of the practice as their most important project so they can provide services to more people in the years to come.


About MASS Design Group:

A Model of Architecture Serving Society (MASS) was founded in 2008 as a non-profit organization with the mission to research, design, build, and advocate for architecture that promotes justice and human dignity. MASS 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. MASS is a team of over 200 architects, landscape architects, engineers, builders, furniture designers, makers, writers, filmmakers, and researchers representing 20 countries across the globe. MASS believes in expanding access to design that is purposeful, healing, and hopeful. In 2021, The American Institute of Architects honored MASS with the 2022 AIA Architecture Firm Award. In 2020, MASS was named the Architecture Innovator of the Year by the Wall Street Journal for their origins in healthcare and commitment to architecture as a medium for healing.