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MASS Design Group 

MASS Design Group principals. Courtesy of MASS Design Group

Boston, United States


MASS, or Model of Architecture Serving Society, began with the design and construction of the Butaro District Hospital in Rwanda, a project of Partners in Health and the Rwandan Ministry of Health. The partnership evolved into a nonprofit architecture and design collective that works to advance justice, promote dignity, and improve human and community health through mission-driven design processes. Understanding that architecture is never neutral, MASS leverages design to improve the human and physical systems necessary for health, justice, and equity. Its practice strives to demonstrate that great design can engage civic responsibility, deliver economic and social outcomes, and inspire by bringing beauty and dignity to those most often denied or displaced by architecture. Among MASS’s critically acclaimed projects are the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama; the Kigali Genocide Memorial in Rwanda; and The Embrace, a public sculpture in Boston made in collaboration with the artist Hank Willis Thomas, honoring Coretta Scott King and Martin Luther King Jr.

CAB 3 Contribution

Project Overview

The Gun Violence Memorial Project, 2019

Gun violence is a national epidemic. The sheer scale of this epidemic often reduces victims of gun violence to statistics. This project aims to communicate both the enormity of this national issue and the depth of individual stories, while providing a space to collectively heal and honor all victims of gun violence. MASS Design Group is a non-profit architecture and design collective working to advance justice, promote dignity, and improve human and community health through mission-driven design processes. In partnership with the artist Hank Willis Thomas and gun violence prevention organizations Purpose Over Pain and Everytown for Gun Safety, MASS has developed a memorial honoring the lives and stories of victims of gun violence. Through a series of advocacy and remembrance object collection workshops, MASS invites the public to share their stories and memories to the ongoing memorial. These shared objects will reside in a collection of glass houses representing the magnitude of gun-related deaths that occur over a single month in the United States.

If you have a family member who has been taken due to gun violence, we invite you to bring a remembrance object to the Chicago Cultural Center from September 19 – January 5, 2020 (Monday through Friday 10am-6pm and Saturday & Sunday 10am-4pm).

For more information about how to donate an object, please visit

The City is the Site