July 8, 2019

Summer Exploratory Experience in Design (SEED) Kicks Off

Summer Exploratory Experience in Design (SEED) Kicks Off


Whenever we see young students, we always ask them the same question: what do you want to be when you grow up? It’s such a hard question, in your early teens, to ponder what you want to do with the rest of your life. What if, instead, we asked them: what excites you right now? And then help them find an industry that suits those interests.

A career path should be something you’re passionate about, something that piques your interest everyday, something that you want to work hard for day in and day out. It should excite you, invigorate you, challenge you, and better you. But often times, that career path may not be the obvious choice, or it may be outside the norm, for a young high school student. In particular, with school budgets facing major cuts, and arts programs seeing the brunt of those decisions, careers in the design fields are falling farther and farther off the radar for students who may be looking for an industry where they can really get their creative juices flowing.

Enter the Summer Exploratory Experience in Design, or SEED. 

SEED is a 6-week paid internship structured holistically around introducing young high school students to the world of design. The program is an intensive deep-dive into collaborative project work, office culture, and drawing basics, all while catering to the learning styles and habits of young teenagers. SEED works closely with Sasaki designers to provide the students with access to world class projects and the people who design them. Over the course of the summer, the students will work on their own group project, spend time in Sasaki project design charrettes, and learn valuable hand sketching and computer drawing skills.

Through SEED, the Sasaki Foundation aspires to help students learn how to create change, one project at a time. The goal is to collectively build a culture of equity in the design field, by showing young students alternative career paths to industries they may never have known.

This year, the Sasaki Foundation is partnering with American Student Assistance (ASA). For over 60 years, ASA has focused on helping students pursue a college degree: pioneering an entire student access program and partnering with hundreds of colleges and universities to help students and alumni manage their student loans and maintain financial wellness. ASA’s mission is to help students know themselves, know their options, and make informed decisions to achieve their education and career goals. ASA’s role will be instrumental to the overall success of this program.

A thriving design industry relies on a pipeline of diverse, talented, and passionate practitioners who infuse new ideas and disrupt established patterns. The Sasaki Foundation supports initiatives that prepare such future leaders. The Foundation also advocates for innovative design practice, seeking ways to cross discipline boundaries and amplify impact. Of special interest are programs that advance diversity and inclusivity in the next generation of design professionals.

The design industry has historically been homogenous, and as research shows, companies that have diverse employees and inclusive cultures thrive. Important in achieving these goals is the introduction to new ways of thinking. Traditionally, throughout school, many students encounter knowledge that is divided into “right” and “wrong.” Exposing students to design thinking helps to introduce dynamic modes of thinking through the design process that generate innovative solutions to problem solving beyond the simple right and wrong. The Foundation works closely with a diverse array of design professionals to foster a collaborative learning environment to achieve these ends. Students will learn valuable verbal and graphic communication skills to allow them to advocate for their own ideas while absorbing the ideas and experiences of others, allowing them to grow and become responsive to an array of diverse perspectives.

The Sasaki Foundation and American Student Assistance are very excited about this year’s program. Stay tuned for program updates through our blog and social channels.


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