Together we are

empowering the next generation through design thinking

2019-2020 Design Mentorship Program

Incubator at Sasaki

About Design Education

A thriving design industry requires 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 Sasaki 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. By connecting young students with design practitioners through deep and meaningful experiences, the Sasaki Foundation is investing in a more equitable design industry, to the benefit of all.

“It was here that I found my interest in architecture.”

— Shemar, 2018 SEED student

2019 SEED internship

Watertown, Massachusetts

2019 SEED students working on group projects

Incubator at Sasaki

Summer Exploratory Experience in Design (SEED)

SEED, sponsored by American Student Assistance, is an annual six-week paid internship structured holistically around introducing young high school students to the world of design. The program, which began in 2018, is an intensive deep dive into collaborative project work, office culture, and design fundamentals. The SEED program works closely with Sasaki to provide the students with access to world-class projects and the people who design them. Over the course of the summer, students work on their own group project, spend time with Sasaki professionals in design charrettes, learn valuable hand sketching and computer drawing skills, and so much more.

In 2020, the Sasaki Foundation translated this six-week internship into an online curriculum. We encourage students to explore SEED online and to apply for the SEED program when we open applications each spring.

Design Mentorship Program

The Sasaki Foundation Design Mentorship Program, launched in 2019 and sponsored by American Student Assistance, provides the opportunity for local middle school students to discover what is possible through the field of design. Through a monthly after-school program at the Incubator at Sasaki, students receive extensive exposure to the field of design as provided by Sasaki designers. Students are beginning to explore their interests in the field of design, and through the program are better exposed and more uniquely positioned to assess the future opportunities available to them.

Learn more about the Design Mentorship Program.

2019-2020 Design Mentorship Program students exploring virtual reality technology

Incubator at Sasaki

2019 Architecture + Design Thinking Day students sketching with Sasaki designers

Incubator at Sasaki

Architecture + Design Thinking Day

Architecture + Design Thinking Day, an annual program in partnership with the Boston Society for Architecture, Boston Private Industry Council, and Boston Public Schools, is a one-day introductory career awareness initiative for high school students and serves as a pipeline for students interested in entering the SEED program. The day at Sasaki’s Chase Mills campus includes an office tour, an overview of design and how designers get motivated to enter the field, followed by a real design exercise, a student presentation of their designs, and one-on-one interviews with Sasaki designers to learn more about a career in design.

Crimson Summer Academy
The Crimson Summer Academy at Harvard University is an innovative program for motivated high school students with a passion for learning and a desire to excel. The curriculum focuses on citizenship in the 21st century and, more specifically, on what it means to be a responsible American in an interconnected world. Public school students who currently attend ninth grade in Boston, Cambridge, or Somerville, who have been nominated by a principal, teacher, or guidance counselor familiar with their academic and personal potential, and who have not had all of the resources necessary for success are invited to apply. Each summer the Sasaki Foundation hosts the students for a tour, presentation, and discussion of the possible careers in design.

2019 Crimson Summer Academy students hear from Sasaki designers

Incubator at Sasaki

students exploring design through LEGO

Incubator at Sasaki

FIRST LEGO League
FIRST LEGO League is an accessible, guided, global robotics competition for elementary and middle school students. Each academic year, FIRST LEGO League introduces a scientific and real-world challenge, engaging teams of students in research, problem solving, coding, and engineering. In 2019, the Sasaki Foundation hosted a group of seven students who chose a problem close to home: overcrowding in their schools beyond what school buildings can hold.