Ashley Marsh

A subjective demonstration of societal values, architecture is that which stands between utopia and reality.


Ashley Marsh is a design strategist and architect who believes the bandwidth of the world is greater than that of your...


Ashley brings over a decade of expertise in strategic design and planning for the built environment. She is passionate about non-linear design approaches and is most at home scenario planning the future of the human condition. 

Currently a Senior Associate at MASS Design Group, she's helping advance the MASS philosophy that "architecture is not neutral; it either helps or hurts [...] to acknowledge that architecture has this kind of agency and power is to acknowledge that buildings, and the building industry that erects them, are as accountable for social injustices as they are critical levers to improve the communities they serve."

A former senior strategist with Gensler, Ashley has deep experience conducting user research relative to built environment impacts, and building change management and user experience strategies for large, complex organizations. She has worked at the intersection of learning, public, technology and innovative research sectors for a majority of her career. Additionally, she's a seasoned facilitator and engagement strategist. She’s proud of having facilitated in unique settings: the warehouse of a river rafting company in rural Idaho, in an empty parking lot on Oakland’s west side and at the Headlands Center for the Arts in Marin. 

Ashley is an alumna of The Third Teacher + design consultancy and in 2009, she co-founded Open Hand Studio -- a virtually-based social impact studio -- which garnered her a Design Futures Council Emerging Leader award and positioned her as an inaugural member of the Public Interest Design 100. Her Master of Architecture degree, received with honors from Washington University in St. Louis, explored interdisciplinary ecological design issues facing St. Louis’s most ambiguous urban conditions. In 2017, she was named '40 under 40' by the San Francisco Business Times and in 2016, her research and engagement leadership helped a school in her backyard (then Oakland, CA) win a $10 million XQ Super School prize.


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