November 21, 2023

First Annual Celebration of Design a Success

First Annual Celebration of Design a Success

On Thursday, November 16, 2023, the Sasaki Foundation hosted our first annual Celebration of Design at 110 Chauncy in Downtown Boston. The event saw 130+ attendees and raised $24,000 to support our mission of equity in design. That’s enough to fund a Design Grants Action Grant, a public speaker panel, and 11 SEED students for a week!

Thank you to our event sponsors Boston Global Investors (BGI), BR+A Consulting Engineers, DLJ Real Estate Partners, Eastern Bank Wealth Management, and Naveo Credit Union.

Our theme, the Eras Tour, highlighted the eras of Hideo Sasaki and the eras of the Sasaki Foundation. A display traced Hideo’s experiences from WWII Japanese internment camps through his career as an internationally renowned landscape architect. The Sasaki Foundation’s work was also front and center. Since kicking off our own programming in 2018, we have pushed forward our mission of equity in design:


  • 350+ students introduced to careers in design through our design education programs
  • $271,000 awarded to community-led projects through the Design Grants
  • 175+ events hosted to connect communities and design professionals
Photo of Sasaki Foundation Executive Director Jennifer Lawrence and Board of Trustees Chair Mary Anne Ocampo welcoming attendees to the 2023 Celebration of Design

Sasaki Foundation Executive Director Jennifer Lawrence and Board Chair Mary Anne Ocampo welcome 2023 Celebration of Design attendees

Photo from behind a performer with a mic and ukulele, singing to a crowd in the background

2023 Celebration of Design community-led open mic

In addition to learning about Hideo and the Sasaki Foundation, event attendees enjoyed an evening of food, drinks, and fun. Cuisine En Locale and Sugar Baking Company provided delicious local food, with drinks provided by in-kind sponsors Boston Beer Company and Downeast Cider House. Activities abounded, from friendship bracelet making inspired by the Eras Tour to a giant puzzle of the event poster. A community-led open mic was another highlight:

  • Fangli Zhang sang original music.
  • Gabe Colombo shared place-based spoken word and Taylor Swift covers on ukulele.
  • Liz von Goeler impressed with both operatic and jazzy acapella.
  • David Hirzel reflected on his time working with Hideo.

A silent auction included 19 works of art and experiences donated by Sasaki staff and friends of the Sasaki Foundation. Bidding kicked off online, with participants joining from across the country.

Thank you to all who made this event a success! We look forward to your continued support throughout the year, and hope you’ll join us again for next year’s second annual Celebration of Design. (Theme suggestions welcome.) And if you were unable to attend this year, it is not too late to contribute! Donate through the silent auction now through November 30.


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