Alan Ricks

Co-Founder, MASS Design Group
Boston, MA, United States

About Alan

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52 Union Park, Boston Massachusetts USA

MASS Design Group Co-Founder, 2008 - present
Lead organization that addresses challenges facing communities through innovative design that improves health, social capital, and economic outcomes in partnership with governments, NGOs, and private sector.

Organizational Leadership
Develop and execute global strategic plan centered on design that improves health and strengthens communities
Manage global offices in Rwanda and Boston and programs in Haiti, Liberia, and Sierra Leone with 25 full-time employees
2009-2012 revenue compounded annual growth rate of 147%

Project Management
Selected to direct health infrastructure national policy and 10-year plan for the Liberian Ministry of Health. Lead development of national health infrastructure standards; 2010-2013
Oversee prototypical hospital design for Rwanda, which can adapt to contextual needs and environments; 2013-present
Supervise design of GHESKIO Tuberculosis Hospital, as well as Cholera Treatment Center in Haiti, designed to set a new standard for care in resource-limited settings; 2010-present
Created, a web based resource on global health facility design funded by USAID and developed in partnership with Harvard faculty to improve health infrastructure globally; 2009-present
Designed Butaro Hospital in partnership with Partners In Health and Rwandan Ministry of Health on first hospital in northern Rwanda that serves 400,000 people. Phase 1: 2011, Phase 2: 2012, Phase 3: opening 2013

Notable Awards
2013 Emerging Voices, Architectural League of New York
Most Generous Designers, Fast Company Magazine, 2013
Aga Khan Prize for Architecture, shortlisted 2013, final award pending
30 Under 30, Forbes Magazine, listing of most influential people in Art and Design, 2012

Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Cambridge, MA
Master of Architecture, May 2010
Harvard University School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Certificate, Building Design for Airborne Infrection Control Course, August 2010
The Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO
Bachelor of Arts, May 2005; major in Studio Art and minor in Journalism

Harvard School of Public Health, Summer 2011, 2013
Visiting Faculty, Building Design and Engineering Approaches to Airborne Infection Control
Boston Architectural College, Spring 2012
Sasaki Distinguished Visiting Critic, Design Studio
Clark University, Spring 2011
Adjunct Faculty, Design Thinking for Entrepreneurs

Harvard African Development Conference (13)
Harvard Leadership Conference (13)
Emerging Voices Lecture, New York Architectural League (13)
Global Infrastructure Initiative - Istanbul: Innovation speech for McKinsey and Albright
Stonebridge convening of infrastructure leaders, (12)
Harvard Graduate School of Design, Curry Stone Prize Symposium (12)
Harvard Graduate School of Design, Nakazawa New Frameworks Course (12)
Center for Connected Health Symposium: Four Entrepreneurs Under the Age of 40, (11)
Northeastern University, Buildings that Heal, Boston, MA (11)
Harvard School of Public Health, Design Framework for Infection Control (10,11)
AIA Academy of Architecture, Health Summer Leadership Conference, Chicago, IL (11)
Keynote: AIA Colorado Design Conference, Empowering Architecture, Keystone, CO (11)
Keynote: US Army Corps of Engineers Convention, New Orleans, LA (11)
Herman Miller, Empowering Architecture, Holland, MI (11)
Harvard Graduate School of Design, Practice for Impact (11)
National Organization of Minority Architects, Design and Construction in Africa (10)

Perspecta, When Buildings Kill, Essay author (13)
Oz Journal, Issue 35, Essay author (13)
Collaborative Innovation Networks (COINs), Design Framework, Publication author (10)

Lotus International 152, Making a Village with a School, Nicolin, Pierluigi (13)
Chronicle of Philanthropy, Organization Design Healthier Hospitals, Wallace, Nicole (13)
Architectural Record, Sheltering the World, Raskin, Laura (13)
Metropolis Magazine, South-to-North Thinking, de Monchaux, Thomas (13)
New York Times, Dignifying Design, Cary, John and Courtney Martin (12)
Architectural Record, Does Doing Good Pay the Bills?, McKnight, Jenna (12)
in Detail: Building Simply Two, Book, Schittich, Christian (12)
Architectural Record, Building for Social Change, Pearson, Clifford (12)
Design Museum, London, Designs of the Year, Exhibition (12)
Moderators of Change, Architecture That Helps, Book, Lepik, Andres (11)
Contract Magazine, Butaro Hospital Case Study, Czarnecki, John (11)
The Boston Globe, Building Health in Rwanda, Wickersham, Joan (11)
Domus Magazine, Butaro Hospital, Rwanda, Lepik, Andres (11)
Metropolis Magazine, Social Design: Straight Out of School, Shulman, Ken (11)

TED Conference

TEDGlobal 2013

An idea worth spreading

Disasters like the recent Bangladeshi Rana Plaza building collapse remind us industry has increasingly relied on cheaper infrastructure and cheaper labor abroad. This injustice assures that buildings continue to be built on a narrow timeline of cost recovery rather than acceptance of the long terms costs and hazards of the poorly built environment.

This is compounded by limited consideration of environmental conditions like light, air, and temperature, which epitomize the moral hazard of global trade. When buildings are considered under only these metrics: how cheap and how fast, the public is left more vulnerable.

Disasters like the Haitian earthquake and hurricane Sandy similarly reveal the vulnerability of our built environment. Better design is a solution, with healthier more productive spaces, but also ones that can endure testing by time, weather, and use to assure the businesses that operate them and the people that occupy them are best served.

I'm passionate about

Architecture improves our lives. Designing the building process can produce social value. We can demand that our built environment contributes to social justice.

Talk to me about

Design, Global Health, Social Justice, Resilient Infrastructure, and fusing the top down policy and bottom up interventions to see them all work together