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Architecture can be a catalyst of economic, social and cultural change, with the micro-economy of a single architecture project often transforming areas of greatest need. Mass Design Group, founded in 2008, have embraced architecture’s powerful agency as their design ethos. This talk will showcase the work of Mass Design Group in the field of healthcare and education to showcase how architecture can contribute to economic development from the ground up. The talk will juxtapose Mass Design Group’s projects in Africa to theoretical perspectives on the relationship between architecture and economic development to understand the value that comes with good architecture and design. It will also question the broader purpose of architecture in the current globalised world, outlining its role in shaping communities that are economically sustainable in the long term.