Projects like Rural Studio and MASS Design Group seek not just to create buildings but also to strengthen communities by asking architects to consult with locals throughout the design and construction process. How do architects create connections across lines of race and socioeconomics? How do architects think beyond their buildings to the broader social impact of their work?

Ned Cramer (Architect and Editor, ARCHITECT): Moderator

Marika Shiori-Clark is an architect who uses design to empower global change and battle inequality. While attending Harvard for her Masters in Architecture, Shioiri-Clark joined MASS Design Group, a not-for-profit that designs, builds and advocates for buildings. Marika was the lead designer on the Butaro Hospital project in northern Rwanda, completed in partnership with Partners in Health, developing designs and overseeing construction. 

Marika has received several awards for her work in reframing architecture for global change. She was an Ideas Scholar at the Aspen Institute in 2009, a summer fellow at Public Architecture in 2007, and received a U.S. National Commission for UNESCO Traveling Fellowship in 2008. She has a B.A. in Urban Studies from Brown University, and a Master's in Architecture from Harvard. 

Alex Henderson is the 3rd Year Instructor and Construction Coordinator for Rural Studio. He graduated with a degree in Architecture from Auburn University in 2013.