• The Whole Architect: Giancarlo De Carlo
    Thatcher Bean
    MASS Design Group

Villagio Matteotti designed by Giancarlo De Carlo, Terni, Italy, 2018. Courtesy of MASS Design Group. Photo: Thatcher Bean.

Giancarlo De Carlo (1919–2005) was the only Italian architect member of Team X. In his formative years he took a firm stance against fascism and totalitarianism and carried this free spirit in all his endeavors. Two initiatives in particular, pertaining to the last 30 years of his life, are of interest for this project. One is the establishment in 1976 of the International Laboratory for Architecture and Urban Design. The second is the founding, in 1978, of the magazine Spazio e Società. This temporal limitation is critical to the proposed documentary film project, which seeks to gather the testimonies of his collaborators and friends, which are still alive. The film reveals the heroism behind De Carlo’s participatory approach to architecture—one that brings accountability to designers in their construction of, and response to, the sociopolitical conditions of our time, in an effort to resist neoliberalism and neocolonialism.

In 2014 Thatcher Bean helped establish a film production studio within MASS Design Group. Over the last five years, this studio’s unique capacity has been leveraged to document, illustrate, and promote the effects of the built environment on society. The studio has produced dozens of short films and interviewed over 100 of our building’s users, builders, and clients. In 2017 he directed and edited MASS’s first feature length film, Made In Ilima, which premiered at the New York Architecture and Design Film Festival. He has been a guest speaker at SXSW Eco; The Impact Building Summit in Washington, DC; A Better World by Design Conference at Brown University; and is a frequent presenter at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. He has served as a guest critic at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and presenter at the Yale School of Architecture.

Tomà Berlanda is an architect and scholar with extensive international academic and professional experience. As of April 2015, he is professor of architecture at the University of Cape Town, and coauthor of The Whole Architect. His research interests focus on the implications that can be drawn from a non-stereotypical reading of the African city and the practice of architecture in non-Western urban settings and landscapes. Inspired by ILAUD and De Carlo’s work, as cofounder of asa studio in Kigali (2012–14), he led a socially engaged practice in an extensive design and build campaign to provide community based early childhood and health facilities across Rwanda.

Michael Murphy is the founding principal and executive director of MASS Design Group, which he cofounded in 2008. Since leading the design and construction of the Butaro Hospital in Rwanda, Michael has gone on to lead projects throughout the world. He leads the visioning and design of the studio's work. A frequent speaker and writer, Murphy sits on the board of the Center for Health Care Design, was a finalist for the TED Prize, and sits on the advisory board of the Clinton Global Initiative. Muirphy’s role in the project is to contribute to research, interviews, and production of the documentary.

MASS (Model of Architecture Serving Society) Design Group is a nonprofit architecture and design collective that advances justice, promotes dignity, and improves human and community health through mission-driven design processes. Their work spans the fields of design and architecture, research, engineering, training, landscape architecture, education, and strategic planning. MASS began in 2008 during the design and construction of the Butaro District Hospital in Rwanda; a project of Partners In Health and the Rwandan Ministry of Health. Since then MASS has grown into a collective of 100 employees across three cities, working on projects in 21 countries. MASS has served 475,000 people through their projects, ranging from designing the National Memorial for Peace and Justice with the Equal Justice Initiative, to convening African architects, planners, and scholars to discuss the pressing urban issues in Africa and the training required for designers to address them.