AIA Virginia is pleased to announce that Patricia Gruits with the non-profit firm MASS Design Group will be a keynote speaker at Architecture Exchange East (ArchEx). In keeping with the theme of re:culture, she’ll share her approach to working with communities as well as the story behind the firm’s culture during the ArchEx General Session on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019 in Richmond, Va.

About Patricia Gruits
Patricia Gruits is a Director with MASS Design Group leading both design and research projects in health, education, and equity. Since joining MASS in 2013, she has led the design of the Maternity Waiting Village in Malawi with the Malawi Ministry of Health, a series of primary schools in East Africa with the African Wildlife Foundation and the M2 Foundation, and is currently leading the development of an assessment tool to measure the impact of design and infrastructure investments.

Ruhehe Primary School
The redesign of Ruhehe Primary School offers the first proof of concept for design interventions piloted by MASS Design Group at Mubuga Primary School in 2015. Photo by Iwan Baan.

Prior to joining MASS, Patricia worked with Kennedy & Violich Architecture in Boston and co-founded the global non-profit, Portable Light, which provides a portable and sustainable source of power and light to those in resource limited areas of the world. 

Her work has been featured in journals of architecture and design as well as on the BBC World News and the Discovery Channel. She has lectured at SCAD, RISD, Kunstfack University, Tufts University and BuildBoston and has taught design studios at Northeastern University and the Rhode Island School of Design. Patricia received her Bachelor of Science and Master of Architecture from the University of Michigan.

About MASS Design Group
The Boston-based MASS Design Group is organized as a 501(c)(3) non-profit to create a model of practice optimized to deliver maximum impact to their  partners and the communities they serve. They take on projects that are mission-aligned, that serve the public, and that their board of directors believes are worthy of consideration.

About Architecture Exchange East
ArchEx is AIA Virginia’s annual conference and expo. This year, it takes place at the Greater Richmond Convention Center from Nov. 6–8, 2019. The program is curated to bring together the brightest minds and most engaging speakers to explore the theme of culture.