The TH Interview: Michael Murphy, Cofounder of MASS Design Group


Photo Credit: Neil Chambers

Michael Murphy has been doing more than the average graduate student. For a year and half, he slept in a tent in the country of Rwanda to design and build a hospital as his classmates were stuck in design studio only talking about architecture. He was part of an event hosted by Metropolis Magazine and Education Legacy Fund (ELF) about game changers. I had a chance to sit down with him for an exclusive interview about the hospital he completed in Africa and how it is growing into something much bigger now.Michael Murphy is CEO and President of MASS Design Group that he co-founded in 2007. Through partnerships with Partners in Health, the Clinton Foundation and the Government of Rwanda, Murphy helped lead the design on Butaro Hospital in Rwanda, assisting with breakthrough architectural solutions to mitigate and reduce the transmission of airborne diseases like Tuberculosis.


Video Credit: Neil Chambers

The Butaro Hospital opened in summer of 2010. MASS now has offices in Kigali, Rwanda; Monrovia, Liberia; and Boston, MA; working on a number of projects that focus on social value production through the creation of well built environments. Murphy has been the recipient of a number of awards, including the first Hart Howerton design fellowship (2008) and a research Grant from the Harvard Initiative on Global Health (2009).

MASS' work has recently been profiled In Dwell and GOOD Magazine, and is slated to be included in the second edition of Architecture for Humanity's Design Like You Give a Damn. Michael was recently a panelist at the Social Venture Entrepreneurship / Sustainable Haiti conference in Miami, and the Structures for Inclusion 10 conference, in Washington DC.

More Treehugger Interviews:
The TH Interview: Tim Brown, CEO & President of IDEO
Interview with Karim Rashid, Superstar Product Designer
Does Wall Street understand Green, an interview with Peter Fusaro
Sex, Love and Evolution - A Conversation with Dr. Helen Fisher

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