Architecture that’s built to heal

Michael Murphy shares his vision of architecture as an engine for social change and healing

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In this TED Talk, Michael Murphy, Founder and CEO of MASS Design Group, shares his holistic view of architecture. As a designer, writer and teacher his work focuses on investigating the social and political consequences of architecture. His design process is based on the concept of Lo-Fab (from Local Fabrication, as opposed to Pre-Fab, or prefabrication). This process has four pillars, as Murphy puts it: “Hire locally, source regionally, train where we can, and most importantly, take in account every design decision as an opportunity to invest in the dignity of the places we serve”. Those are the key issues of healing architecture.

Murphy shows how he and his team design far beyond the blueprint—from observing airflow and light, to building communities and influencing social change, all the while producing beautiful buildings.

In his talk, Murphy shows architecture’s power to heal taking a tour through projects from hospitals in Rwanda and Haiti, to a maternity ward in Malawi or a biodiversity educational centre at Congo. He ends his speech offering insight on his concept for the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Alabama (USA), dedicated to the victims of lynching. All in all, Murphy unveils a vision of architecture as a transformative engine for change, healing and hope.

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