Last month, Contract magazine shared the story of Butaro Hospital in Rwanda, a project by MASS Design Group that not only provided the district with its first hospital, but also helped stimulate the region’s economy by training and involving locals in the build process. Herman Miller--whose Better World initiative seeks out ways to devote human and financial resources to human-centered design--has taken notice of MASS’s not-for-profit work in healthcare and recently announced a collaborative partnership with the Boston-based firm.
“Call it serendipity, fate, or perfect timing, but shared values and a shared approach to human-centered design have brought MASS Design Group and Herman Miller together,” says John Kim, marketing manager for Herman Miller’s Better World. “The partnership feels very right.” While details are still being ironed out about the partnership, what is known is that Herman Miller will donate funds and staff. Herman Miller volunteers will be involved in either design consultation services or actual design/build work, and some will even work onsite for brief durations in locations such as Rwanda, Haiti, and Liberia. The manufacturer will also sponsor a fellow in the MASS Design Group fellowship program.
“This partnership is an ideal way to support an exciting organization that shares a similar philosophy on how space can contribute to better health,” says Beth Nickels, president of the manufacturer’s healthcare division.