The Butaro District Hospital in Rwanda. © Iwan Baan
A boldly modern structure houses a cholera treatment center in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. © Iwan Baan
The airy interior of the cholera treatment center. © Iwan Baan
MASS Design Group conceived a Maternity Waiting Village in Malawi, where expectant mothers congregate. © Iwan Baan
The Gun Violence Memorial Project debuted in 2019 with an installation at the Chicago Architecture Biennial. © Mass Design Group
The Butaro District Hospital in Rwanda. © Iwan Baan
A boldly modern structure houses a cholera treatment center in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. © Iwan Baan
The airy interior of the cholera treatment center. © Iwan Baan
MASS Design Group conceived a Maternity Waiting Village in Malawi, where expectant mothers congregate. © Iwan Baan
The Gun Violence Memorial Project debuted in 2019 with an installation at the Chicago Architecture Biennial. © Mass Design Group

Justice is Beauty

Two DC exhibits explore design for change

As the turbulent events of 2020 unfolded, ideals of activism and social justice moved to the forefront of our public discourse. In early 2021, The National Building Museum plans to continue the conversation with two exhibits conceived by Boston-based MASS Design Group (short for a Model of Architecture Serving Society), a nonprofit architecture firm committed to the belief that architecture can—and should—improve lives.

Located on the museum’s second level, “Justice is Beauty: The Work of MASS Design Group” highlights the firm’s remarkable portfolio. Photographs, videos, renderings and models of completed and proposed projects and research initiatives illustrate how good design can serve as a catalyst to promote healing and humanity.

On the museum’s main level, the Gun Violence Memorial Project honors victims of gun violence in America. Four interactive houses, each comprising 700 glass bricks (the number of lives lost to gun violence each week in the U.S.), display objects, from photographs to baby shoes and graduation-cap tassels, contributed by victims’ loved ones. Digitally produced stories by survivors of gun violence will be shown on site and online. nbm.org