Featuring The Community of Ilima, Congo.
In the center of Equator Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Ilima community remains one of the most isolated in the world. The people have coexisted with endangered wildlife in the surrounding forest for generations, but as the pace of development has increased, this fragile ecosystem has suffered.
They partnered with the African Wildlife Foundation and MASS Design Group in 2012 to create a new conservation-focused primary school and community center. This film documents the collective building process—one aimed at leveraging local craft and ecological knowledge towards education, preservation, and beauty.
An Infant Bonobo Ape. Ilima Is Surrounded By One Of The Only Bonobo Habitats on Earth.
SEE THE FILM
Made In Ilima is now screening at film festivals internationally. See below for a screening schedule and sign up for updates on upcoming screenings and academic distribution.
MASS at the Chicago Architecture Biennial
April 15, 2018
Official Selection of the Boston International Film Festival. Playing at the Kendall Square Cinema. Director and team in attendance for Q & A.
February 25, 2017
The Architecture & Design Film Festival (ADFF) is the nation’s largest film festival devoted to the creative spirit that drives architecture and design. Join us for the inaugural festival in D.C.
World Premiere - Cinepolis Chelsea Theater.
School door being fabricated in Ilima from materials sourced on-site.
Rachel Brose was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and moved to Ilima full-time to document the construction of the primary school. Beyond filming the project, Rachel tracked material and labor statistics to develop a more comprehensive picture of how the design and building of the primary school was impacting the Ilima community and surrounding ecosystem. Her background as an educator gave her a unique insight and lens into the project.
Thatcher helped launch MASS's internal film production in 2013. He has directed Design That Heals and the feature length documentary Made In Ilima, which have screened at film festivals and universities internationally. Thatcher has served as a guest critic at Harvard and speaker at Columbia and Brown Universities.
Laura Hanson received a Masters of Public Health from Boston University. Before editing Design That Heals, Laura filmed and produced 'Tracing Toxins', a collaboration with Carnegie Institute of Science highlighting an ongoing research initiative inside Peru’s Manu National Park to assess wildlife and indigenous populations for toxic exposure to mercury, a byproduct of illegal gold mining.
Alan co-founded MASS Design Group and as Chief Operating Officer manages global operations and leads projects ranging from architecture to policy. Alan began directing film alongside Thatcher Bean in 2014. He is a regular guest lecturer at Harvard is currently the William B. and Charlotte Shepherd Davenport Visiting Professor at the Yale School of Architecture.
Michael Murphy is the executive director of MASS Design Group, which he founded in 2010. Michael leads design and research programs at MASS and has overseen the expansion of MASS into ten countries and three continents. He regularly speaks on architecture and health care, and sits on the boards of the Clinton Global Initiative Advisory Committee, the Harvard Graduate School of Design Alumni Board, and the Center for Healthcare Design. Michael holds a Master in Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design.
MASS Design Group
MASS Design Group began in 2008 during the design and building of the Butaro District Hospital in Rwanda; a project of Partners In Health and the Rwandan Ministry of Health. Since then, MASS has expanded to work in over a dozen countries in Africa and the Americas. MASS's work spans the design of buildings, research, policy, education, strategic planning and film production.
Architecture is not neutral; it either helps or hurts. Architecture is a mechanism that projects its values far beyond a building’s walls and into the lives of communities and people. To acknowledge that architecture has this kind of agency and power is to acknowledge that buildings, and the industry that erects them, are as accountable for social injustices as they are critical levers to improve the communities they serve.
The stakes are too high, and the accountability too low, not to insist that architects do something to address these challenges.
MASS Design Group is set up as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization to create a model of practice optimized to deliver maximum impact to their project partners and the communities served by them.