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Our buildings are making us sick. Can they heal us instead?

Listen to Episode 2 of Almost There with guest Michael Murphy: Our buildings are making us sick. Can they heal us instead? 

Before Michael Murphy became an architect, his father was diagnosed with terminal cancer. For the next eighteen months, as his father was treated, they worked together to restore their old family home. When the house was completed, his father’s cancer was in remission, and he told Michael that the project saved his life. 

Today, as the founder of MASS Design Group and lead designer on projects like the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama, and the Butaro Hospital in Rwanda, Michael is committed to making buildings that can heal, reshaping our understanding of what architecture can do for our health and for the planet. As Michael says, “If architecture can change our health and can keep us alive, it has to be a right.” 

In this episode, Dwayne and Michael discuss the perverse architecture of prisons and hospitals; their collaboration designing the first-of-its-kind “Freedom Library” bookshelf for prison dormitories; and the lasting impact of the great Dr. Paul Farmer, who co-founded Partners in Health, on Michael’s design thinking.

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