Tag Archives: MASS Design Group

Michael Murphy Discusses His Favorite Reads at NeoCon 2013

Michael Murphy, Co-Founder and Executive Director of MASS Design Group, engaged in a conversation with NeoCon attendees during a luncheon hosted by Shaw Contract Group. He spoke about improving social equity and health outcomes through design innovations. Michael has a B.A. in English and a Masters in Architecture, so we thought it would be fitting to ask what reading material he suggests for all designers working in the healthcare industry. Watch the video to find out about his recommendations.

To add his recommendations to you summer reading list, click on the links below:

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MASS Design Discusses ‘The Commodification of Architecture’ in Stanford Social Innovation Review

The Stanford Social Innovation Review is an an award-winning publication covering best strategies for nonprofits, foundations, and socially responsible businesses. In a recent op-ed, Michael Murphy and Alan Ricks of MASS Design Lab (MDLab) discuss the true cost of not investing in a better-designed built environment. Shaw Contract Group is partnering with MDLab to support an global innovation research lab that will unite design an public health for the improved well being of the world. Read the article HERE.

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MASS Design named Center for Health Design’s 2013 Changemaker Award Winner

Congratulations to MASS Design Group who been named by the Center of Health Design as the winner of the 2013 Changemaker Award! Michael Murphy, co-founder of MASS Design Group, will officially accept the Changemaker Award at the 2013 Healthcare Design Conference, in Orlando, FL.

Shaw Contract Group is proud to be affiliated with MASS Design Group through the MASS Design Lab – a global innovation laboratory that will cultivate innovation, research, and development by addressing the crisis of the build environment.

Read more about the announcement HERE.

Image: HermanMiller.com

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Design that Advances Civilization: Observations from a Path Less Travelled

I continually seek collaboration with colleagues who are making a difference in design. It is why I joined ASID as a young interior designer, meeting thought leaders in the industry, giving up my weekends to be with the smartest colleagues who considered design’s impact. It is that curiosity that led me to The Center for Health Design and allowed me to find a playground of the best multi-disciplinary thinkers in that sector. An insatiable thirst to make a difference through design now has me committed to an evidence-based approach to launch innovation in the design of the built environment that is available to the masses. It is that alignment that has led my firm CAMA to MASS Design Group. Collectively we are intrigued with the opportunities that are at hand, reordering design priorities through the acceptance of new theories that are fueled by this evidence-based design methodology.

Rarely is the design of the built environment given a priority in change-management thinking. Timing is everything the biggest issues demanding our attention today are generally related to human survival. This uncomfortable feeling of change is a designer’s catalyst to ask the questions needed to inform innovative solutions. Thanks to the work of our academic colleagues their meta-analyses of existing data have established good baseline design principles. That baseline of knowledge will keep many shortsighted design teams from regressing but more importantly liberate the innovative teams with insightful freedom to explore design’s true impact on the human condition. Although we have a long way to go, what has been learned is enough to create a road map so that all who design our habitats can also advance a handful of these critical issues.

If design innovation can launch a civilization to a new plateau, i.e. accessible design of hand-held mobile devises, then what is our role as the architects of place/habitat? A more opportune time has not existed since the Renaissance, to quote an astute academic colleague Professor Renato Troncon, “between a methodology, EBD, and a philosophy, beauty, the perfection in nature that has contributed most to human survival, E. O. Wilson”. This is the thinking behind the design work that CAMA hopes to accomplish in our collaborative efforts with MASS Design Group and their Learning Lab. The premise behind our evidence-based approach to design, MASS’ South to North strategy, is to know which interventions will most improve the human experience. In order to improve these experiences we must first improve the most appropriate outcomes and then and only then will we create the places of well-being required for a balanced productive existence for all who come indoors.

Rosalyn Cama is President and Principal Interior Designer of CAMA, Inc. in New Haven, Connecticut. An interior planning and design firm steeped in evidence-base design, the firm’s mission is to create interior environments that improve outcomes. Roz has been a practicing healthcare designer for 30 years, and has worked on projects throughout the United States, including Yale-New Haven Hospital, Baystate Health System, Dublin Methodist Hospital of OhioHealth, The American Cancer Society and Hope Lodge and the University Medical Center at Princeton. A fellow of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), Roz has served as the chair of its Healthcare Specialty Network and is a past National President. She is also a recipient of many design and service awards. Roz is a frequent speaker about evidence-based healthcare design at meetings and conventions internationally. She has also written and published numerous articles on the subject. Her latest book publication is titled, “Evidence-Based Healthcare Design” (John Wiley & Sons in association with the American Society of Interior Designers, 2009).

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GUEST POST: MASS Design builds Cholera Treatment Center to Bring Clean Water to Haiti

MASS Design Group works to demonstrate the ability to improve people’s lives through design, and to be an example for how designers can rethink their role in the world. Shaw Contract Group is partnered with MASS Design Group to create MASS Design Lab (MDLab), a global innovation laboratory uniting design and public health to stymie some of the greatest global health crises of our time.

Everyone should have the right to clean water. In Haiti, however, nonexistent sanitation systems and a lack of safe drinking water have exacerbated a cholera epidemic. According to Dr. Paul Farmer, Haiti’s epidemic is the largest the world has seen in recent history; since 2010, more than 200,000 people have been sickened and more than 7,500 have died. While the numbers are staggering, the tragedy is that cholera is a wholly preventable, treatable disease, solved at a basic level by access to clean water and decent sanitation.

When MASS Design Group was asked to build a new Cholera Treatment Center (CTC) for the Haitian healthcare provider Les Centres GHESKIO in downtown Port-au-Prince, they began researching existing cholera treatment facilities and saw a crisis emerging: the infectious sewage collected from these temporary facilities was often being reintroduced into the water table. They realized that the problem was wastewater recontamination—and that the solution was better buildings.

The Cholera Treatment Center's construction process was designed to maximize local jobs and training opportunities

The MASS team envisioned a new model: a permanent CTC that would support cholera treatment but also serve as a replicable model for cholera prevention. Currently under construction, the GHESKIO Cholera Treatment Center will not only provide a state-of-the-art space for diagnosing, triaging, and treating cholera patients, but will embed infrastructural systems for eliminating cholera transmission at an urban level. An on-site wastewater decontamination system will purify more than 250,000 gallons of sewage a year, ensuring that only clean water will be being released from the facility; and a rainwater catchment system will collect, store, and sanitize water to be used in the building.

In addition to establishing a new precedent for healthcare delivery, MASS’ CTC is setting new standards for quality construction in Haiti. The design incorporates a series of infection control strategies in conjunction with sustainable technologies. The building will be 100% naturally daylit and ventilated for patient comfort, and uses locally-fabricated compressed earth blocks. As in all of MASS’ work, craft development opportunities were strategically integrated the building process as a way to reduce costs and create local jobs. Custom-welded steel trusses were fabricated by Haitian metalworkers in Port-au-Prince, and assembled on-site with local labor. MASS also partnered with the Haitian construction firm YCF to train and employ 20 local construction apprentices, using hands-on building experience as a stepping stone to long term employment.

MASS Design Group is building a replicable model for cholera prevention in Haiti

To date, major structural work on the CTC has been completed, but much remains to be done. MASS sees the project not only as a replicable model for cholera eradication, but as a frame for changing the practice, the purpose, and the expectation of buildings to improve lives. Learn more about the project here, and support MASS’ efforts to build back better.

Tanya Paz joined MASS in 2011 as a Project Manager, leading the New York Community Hospital Renovation and playing an instrumental role in US healthcare work. She now runs MASS’s development and marketing efforts, putting her skills towards helping ensure design reaches the communities who need it most.

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