Photo of Katie Swenson

Katie Swenson

Senior Principal, Advocacy
Boston, MA, USA

A nationally recognized design leader, researcher, writer, and educator, Katie Swenson is a Senior Principal at MASS Design Group, where she leads the Advocacy team with Amie Shao. Katie’s work explores how critical design practice can, and should, promote economic and social equity, environmental sustainability, and healthy communities. She has over 20 years of experience in the theoretical and practical applications of design thinking and is a talented global public speaker and thought leader.

A prolific writer, Katie authored Design with Love: At Home in America and In Bohemia: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Kindness, both published in August 2020. She co-authored Growing Urban Habitats: Seeking a Housing Development Model with William Morrish and Susanne Schindler. She is a contributing author to Activist Architecture: Philosophy and Practice of Community Design and Expanding Architecture: Design as Activism. Katie was awarded the AIA Award for Excellence in Public Architecture in 2021.

Prior to joining MASS, Katie was the vice president of Design & Sustainability at Enterprise Community Partners. An alumni of the Enterprise Rose Fellowship’s second class, she was tapped to lead and grow the program in 2007. Katie founded the Charlottesville Community Design Center in 2004.

Katie teaches at the Parsons School of Design at The New School and lectures extensively on sustainable community development and affordable housing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Berkeley and a Master of Architecture from the University of Virginia. Katie was awarded a Loeb Fellowship at the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 2019.

Cover of Design With Love