2024 Sasaki Foundation Design Grants

SHARED VOICES: CHARTING A COURSE FOR COMMUNITY ACTION

Pitch Night 2024

110 Chauncy, Boston, MA

Sasaki Foundation

Our mission is equity in design. Our Design Grants fund community experts to create design solutions for challenges in their neighborhoods.

Grants Process

In 2024, we launched a call for proposals for our sixth annual Design Grants competition. We received 14 applications representing 30+ organizations and institutions, 5 Boston communities, 2 Greater Boston cities, 4 Gateway Cities, and multiple proposals focusing on Greater Boston.

Explore the 2024 winners and finalists below. Learn more about our 2024 call for proposals here.

Thank you to our 2024 jurors for all of your time and effort supporting the Design Grants program this year: Timothy Gale, Jury Chair, of Sasaki, Susan Chu of Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation, Mai Nguyen of International Finance Corporation (IFC), Melissa Q. Teng of Design Studio for Social Intervention, and Giovanny Valencia of Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation.

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community leaders
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non-profits
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start-ups
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The call for proposals
Shared Voices

Charting a Course for Community Action

​The challenges in addressing environmental resilience, displacement, affordable housing, access to mobility choices, meaningful public engagement, and other social equity considerations in planning and design are so broad and complex, they require a shared approach to facilitate all the necessary conversations and deliver actionable solutions. Most of these challenges faced by Massachusetts communities are not limited to local neighborhoods—their effects are felt and shared across the Commonwealth and beyond. Multiple futures are at stake, and we can make a difference by acting now.

The Sasaki Foundation recognizes the need for interdisciplinary approaches, diverse community voices, and regional cooperation as key drivers to find shared solutions and create shared impact.

The Grant Winners

Gardens for All (Jardines Para Todos)

Proactive Approaches to Climate Adaptation

Alexandra Oliver-Davila, Angelica Rodriguez, Stephanie Aguayo, Veronica Taylor

Sociedad Latina’s Jardines Para Todos design initiative will be led by 15 high school Youth Leaders who are part of their Environmental and Food Justice Program (EJ). Their EJ youth focus on addressing the impacts of climate change in their Mission Hill and Roxbury community and receive training and career mentorship to become the next generation of leaders in sustainability and environmental STEM. For the Gardens For All design initiative, the youth will create a design guide and workshops for community members that cover different strategies for low-cost gardening setups, accounting for spatial constraints, portability for rental housing, and limited light and irrigation requirements.

A few of Sociedad Latina’s Environmental and Food Justice Youth Leaders revitalize the community garden at the Tobin Community Center.

Photo courtesy Sociedad Latina

Community visioning green space design event for empty lot on October 1, 2021

Four Corners Main Streets community project

Photo courtesy Four Corners Main Streets

Inclusive Four Corners
Creative Community Building

Marcos Beleche, Marilyn Forman

Most recently, the City of Boston has been promoting an initiative known as Squares and Streets (S&S) that seeks to rezone key neighborhood areas to allow for more housing density and business development. This team from Four Corners Main Streets seeks to explore the details of S&S as a way to better understand the planning process and identify mitigation strategies for potential negative impacts and to create sustainable long-term benefits in return. Their goal is to have this process be inclusive of their neighborhood’s diversity.

Planning for a Chinatown Library Park

Creative Community Building
Innovation in Health and Wellbeing
Proactive Approaches to Climate Adaptation

Vivian WuWong, Regina Lee Tham, Angela Soohoo, Anita Yip

With a permanent Chinatown branch of the Boston Public Library planned to break ground this year, Friends of the Chinatown Library, residents, and other community groups share a vision of creating a small park or community garden next to the library. Because the land is privately owned and the landowner, a small community church, is not interested in selling at this time, they are unfolding a gradual and multilayered community campaign to convince key stakeholders and mobilize support. Support from Sasaki designers will help them to involve community members in developing and promoting this vision.

Chinatown rallies for a new branch library

Image courtesy Friends of the Chinatown Library

The Finalists
Bridging Communities through Shared Landscaped Urban Space
Creative Community Building
Innovation in Health and Wellbeing
Proactive Approaches to Climate Adaptation
Patti Seitz, Sara Brunelle, Salma Nour, Lynne Gains
The team proposes creating a shared resilient landscaped social space that incorporates Child Play in Roxbury, aimed at nurturing the well-being of local community youth and resettled refugee children and fostering interaction between their families, through an inclusive participatory design process.
Community, Sustainability, and Robotics: Rooting in and Reimagining Third Spaces for Youth in Revere
Creative Community Building
Innovation in Health and Wellbeing
Proactive Approaches to Climate Adaptation
Asha Chana, Sorhavattiy Tieng
In the heart of a rapidly gentrifying, gateway city, Revere Youth in Action (RYiA) centers placemaking with the intention of providing a third space for BIPOC, immigrant, LGBTQIA+, and multilingual youth. RYiA plans to facilitate a sustainability and composting workshop series with the Nutrons.
Immigrant Community Welcome Center and Affordable Housing Project
Creative Community Building
New Models for Housing
Innovation in Health and Wellbeing
Dr. Geralde V Gabeau, Kevin Whalen, Adler Bernadin, Dieufort “Pastor Keke” Fleurissaint
Founded by Haitian immigrants, Immigrant Family Services Institute (IFSI) staff empower Caribbean arrivals with vital essentials—food, clothing, shelter, and legal aid, then offer education and job training. Immigrant numbers increased serving 14 times the number of families in under two years.
The Lot Next Door
Creative Community Building
Proactive Approaches to Climate Adaptation
Jaronzie Harris, Saranya Sathananthan, Jonah Toussaint, Aisha Revolus
This project is a community-driven devising process that culminates in a new play that will premiere summer 2026. The Lot Next Door explores systems at the neighborhood level in a world-class, 21st-century city steeped in troubled history and complex environmental futures.

STAY TUNED FOR MORE FROM OUR 2024 COHORT