To make big change, we gather the best ideas—from design and beyond.

About the Foundation

We believe design has the power to address the most urgent challenges of our generation, from social equity to environmental resilience. It is an agent of change. And yet, access to design—for communities who need it the most—is often limited.

Making meaningful and lasting change requires designers to transcend the boundaries that separate practice and research, academia and industry, the profession and the public. Making change requires designers to embrace vastly different points of view. Above all, making change requires collective impact.

At the intersection of research, practice, and community, the Sasaki Foundation is committed to advancing the value of design, inviting diverse partners to co-create change.

“Contribution is the only value.”

- Hideo Sasaki

Hideo Sasaki


The Sasaki Foundation was established in 2000 by friends and family of Hideo Sasaki, as well as the contribution of the firm that bears his name. The Sasaki Foundation builds on over six decades of work by Sasaki, an organization that pioneered interdisciplinary practice. Drawing on this legacy, the Sasaki Foundation continues to forge new paradigms in design and design practice.

Who We Are

Today, the Sasaki Foundation is governed by the board of trustees who represent a range of design professions and perspectives.

The Sasaki Foundation’s inaugural executive director is Alexandra Lee, a noted expert in public-interest design, who will lead the next stage of its development.

The Board of Trustees
Executive Director

Alexandra Lee

An established leader in the non-profit and community development sector, Alexandra Lee brings a robust portfolio to the inaugural Executive Director position with the Sasaki Foundation. Lee will guide the Foundation in establishing a more expansive research agenda and seek new partners to drive innovation. Prior to this role, Lee served as the Executive Director of the Kendall Square Association, Project Director for the Golden Gate Bridge 75th Anniversary, and served as the inaugural Director of Public Programs for the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy. Read more about her role.

How We Operate

Today, the Sasaki Foundation operates as an independent 501(c)3 private foundation. While it leverages Sasaki’s in-house resources and global network, the Sasaki Foundation is a separate legal entity with a mission, goals, and programs that are wholly independent from Sasaki.

The Sasaki Foundation has historically been supported by contributions from Sasaki; as it expands its programs, the Sasaki Foundation will increasingly rely on grants from like-minded foundations, corporations, professional associations, and individuals.

The Sasaki Foundation is located on Sasaki’s campus, in Watertown, MA within a new 5,000 SF flexible research and shared work space called the Incubator at Sasaki. As the interface between Sasaki and its academic, professional, and community partners, the Incubator will be a site of cross-industry collaboration. The Sasaki Foundation serves as the steward and convener for this facility: activating it with public programs, facilitating research initiatives, and inviting new teams and ideas to join.


The Incubator at Sasaki is housed on Sasaki’s campus in Watertown, MA.

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