May 23, 2024

The Sasaki Foundation announced today the finalists for its sixth annual Sasaki Foundation Design Grants program. These seven teams will pitch to a jury of experts on Thursday, June 6, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at a public event sponsored by LeMessurier. The Design Grants are an annual competition to showcase projects that support and drive interdisciplinary innovation and empower our local communities.

March 28, 2024

We recently connected with Taylor Cain and Kim Lucas from 2023 Sasaki Foundation Design Grants project EarlyEducatorSpace 2.0. The project is a unique opportunity to bring together family childcare providers, families, neighbors, and affordable housing property managers in a way that expands access to childcare, creates opportunities for economic mobility for public housing residents, and enhances affordable housing spaces.

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Stay updated with the latest stories, news, and events.

March 6, 2024

We recently connected with Vanny Huot from the 2023 Sasaki Foundation Design Grants project Movement Training and Cultural Center. The project will focus on designing a recently acquired building in Revere to serve the Ayni Institute and Neighbors United for a Better East Boston (NUBE) as a regional movement hub.

February 26, 2024

Today, the Sasaki Foundation announces our 2024 Design Grants call for proposals. The Design Grants are an annual program that funds community experts to create design solutions for challenges in their neighborhoods in Greater Boston and the Gateway Cities. Since 2018, the Sasaki Foundation has received 91 applications, and has awarded 22 teams a total of $271,000 through the program.

December 15, 2023

Check out our newly released 2022-2023 Design Grants Research Report to learn more about our fourth cohort’s work, offering innovative solutions to address food resilience, access to childcare, environmental justice, community infrastructure, and gentrification, with an ongoing impact in Greater Boston and beyond.

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May 23, 2024

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Sasaki Foundation Announces 2024 Design Grants Finalists

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May 23, 2024

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Sasaki Foundation Announces 2024 Design Grants Pitch Night Finalists

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Anna Scherling

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The Sasaki Foundation announced today the finalists for its sixth annual Sasaki Foundation Design Grants program. These seven teams will pitch to a jury of experts on Thursday, June 6, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at a public event sponsored by LeMessurier. The Design Grants are an annual competition to showcase projects that support and drive interdisciplinary innovation and empower our local communities.

Each year, the Sasaki Foundation announces research topics that address current trends and inequities in design. In 2024, the Sasaki Foundation focused on Creative Community Building, New Models for Housing, Innovation in Transit and Access to Mobility Choices, Innovation in Health and Wellbeing, and Proactive Approaches to Climate Adaptation, under the theme of Shared Voices: Charting a Course for Community Action. This theme recognizes that multiple futures are at stake, and we can make a difference by acting now.

“We were thrilled with the response to this year's call for proposals,” says Jennifer Lawrence, Executive Director. “The Sasaki Foundation is excited to consider proposals that address some of the most challenging issues facing local communities, including spaces for youth, community for refugee families, community land use, inclusive planning processes, infrastructure for immigrants, environmental justice, and gentrification."

Applicants proposed projects to win cash awards and dedicated time with Sasaki designers. In the program’s sixth year, the Sasaki Foundation received 14 applications from multi-member teams competing for the opportunity to take advantage of this unique relationship with Sasaki, a global design firm. The projects represented 30+ organizations and institutions, 5 Boston communities, 2 Greater Boston cities, 4 Gateway Cities, and multiple proposals focusing on Greater Boston.

“We have a fantastic jury, representing a wide range of life experiences and Boston-area organizations: Design Studio for Social Intervention, Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation, International Finance Corporation (IFC), Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation, and Sasaki, who will evaluate the teams on the design, equity, inclusion, innovation, and impact of their ideas,” says Timothy Gale, Jury Chair and Sasaki Foundation Trustee. “We're excited to hear from these impressive teams that proposed ideas for our 2024 Design Grants. We welcome all to join us at 110 Chauncy on June 6 for Pitch Night!”

 

The 2024 Design Grant finalists are as follows:

 

Community, Sustainability, and Robotics: Rooting in and Reimagining Third Spaces for Youth in Revere

Community: Revere

Focus Area: Creative Community Building, Innovation in Health and Wellbeing, Proactive Approaches to Climate Adaptation

Lack of space and visibility in a rapidly gentrifying city is a major obstacle for Revere Youth in Action (RYiA). Revere is a Gateway City with no YMCA, Boys and Girls Club, or other accessible third space for its largely BIPOC, multilingual, immigrant, LGBTQIA+ youth population. RYiA recently acquired programming space in the heart of the city. Having an autonomous, dedicated space expands programming options from a school-year program and summer program to more targeted offerings. RYiA envisions collaborating with The Nutrons, a robotics club, for their sustainability workshop series to build an urban composting system.

 

Bridging Communities through Shared Landscaped Urban Space

Community: Roxbury

Focus Area: Creative Community Building, Innovation in Health and Wellbeing, Proactive Approaches to Climate Adaptation

With more than 7,500 refugee families having arrived in Massachusetts in 2023, and current stresses resulting from the need for immediate shelter, there is an urgency to create bridges between established and dislocated communities to promote empathy, understanding, healing, and social inclusion. This team proposes creating a social space in Roxbury to support positive human connection and community health through a resilient landscaped environment that integrates child play. They will engage with a local community and newly introduced refugee families in mentoring a diversity of youths through programming and design workshops, to develop a responsive inclusive design solution.

 

Planning for a Chinatown Library Park

Community: Chinatown

Focus Area: Creative Community Building, Innovation in Health and Wellbeing, Proactive Approaches to Climate Adaptation

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.

 

Inclusive Four Corners

Community: Dorchester

Focus Area: Creative Community Building

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. S&S has been negatively received at best, with the loss of community voice in the development process being a concern. This team 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.

 

Immigrant Community Welcome Center and Affordable Housing Project

Community: Brockton

Focus Area: Creative Community Building, New Models for Housing, Innovation in Health and Wellbeing

Dedicated to fostering community building, enhancing wellbeing, and addressing housing inequities for immigrants, Immigrant Family Services Institute (IFSI) recently purchased a property in Brockton and plans to create a welcome center alongside housing for newly arrived immigrants. This initiative reflects their commitment to design solutions that serve and uplift underrepresented communities. Their vision is for an inclusive space that not only provides essential services and secure housing but integrates community-led design principles, ensuring the space is reflective of and responsive to the needs of residents it serves. They believe in the power of design to break down barriers and create equitable opportunities.

 

Gardens For All (Jardines Para Todos)

Community: Mission Hill and Roxbury

Focus Area: Proactive Approaches to Climate Adaptation

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.

 

The Lot Next Door

Community: Dorchester

Focus Area: Creative Community Building, Proactive Approaches to Climate Adaptation

This community-driven devising process 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. The play's central narrative explores a constellation of relationships and events revolving around a city owned lot in Dorchester. The team's ultimate goal is to use a playmaking process as a tool to heal and build their neighborhood in order to move forward with a vision for the land in question that promotes equity, justice, and future sustainability.

 

If you would like to attend Pitch Night, sponsored by LeMessurier, on June 6 either in person at 110 Chauncy in downtown Boston or online, please register. We hope to see you there!

 

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Partnership hosts design exploration workshop at Boston Children's Museum

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May 23, 2024

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Sasaki Foundation Announces 2024 Design Grants Finalists

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May 23, 2024

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Sasaki Foundation Announces 2024 Design Grants Pitch Night Finalists

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Anna Scherling

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The Sasaki Foundation announced today the finalists for its sixth annual Sasaki Foundation Design Grants program. These seven teams will pitch to a jury of experts on Thursday, June 6, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at a public event sponsored by LeMessurier. The Design Grants are an annual competition to showcase projects that support and drive interdisciplinary innovation and empower our local communities.

Each year, the Sasaki Foundation announces research topics that address current trends and inequities in design. In 2024, the Sasaki Foundation focused on Creative Community Building, New Models for Housing, Innovation in Transit and Access to Mobility Choices, Innovation in Health and Wellbeing, and Proactive Approaches to Climate Adaptation, under the theme of Shared Voices: Charting a Course for Community Action. This theme recognizes that multiple futures are at stake, and we can make a difference by acting now.

“We were thrilled with the response to this year's call for proposals,” says Jennifer Lawrence, Executive Director. “The Sasaki Foundation is excited to consider proposals that address some of the most challenging issues facing local communities, including spaces for youth, community for refugee families, community land use, inclusive planning processes, infrastructure for immigrants, environmental justice, and gentrification."

Applicants proposed projects to win cash awards and dedicated time with Sasaki designers. In the program’s sixth year, the Sasaki Foundation received 14 applications from multi-member teams competing for the opportunity to take advantage of this unique relationship with Sasaki, a global design firm. The projects represented 30+ organizations and institutions, 5 Boston communities, 2 Greater Boston cities, 4 Gateway Cities, and multiple proposals focusing on Greater Boston.

“We have a fantastic jury, representing a wide range of life experiences and Boston-area organizations: Design Studio for Social Intervention, Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation, International Finance Corporation (IFC), Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation, and Sasaki, who will evaluate the teams on the design, equity, inclusion, innovation, and impact of their ideas,” says Timothy Gale, Jury Chair and Sasaki Foundation Trustee. “We're excited to hear from these impressive teams that proposed ideas for our 2024 Design Grants. We welcome all to join us at 110 Chauncy on June 6 for Pitch Night!”

 

The 2024 Design Grant finalists are as follows:

 

Community, Sustainability, and Robotics: Rooting in and Reimagining Third Spaces for Youth in Revere

Community: Revere

Focus Area: Creative Community Building, Innovation in Health and Wellbeing, Proactive Approaches to Climate Adaptation

Lack of space and visibility in a rapidly gentrifying city is a major obstacle for Revere Youth in Action (RYiA). Revere is a Gateway City with no YMCA, Boys and Girls Club, or other accessible third space for its largely BIPOC, multilingual, immigrant, LGBTQIA+ youth population. RYiA recently acquired programming space in the heart of the city. Having an autonomous, dedicated space expands programming options from a school-year program and summer program to more targeted offerings. RYiA envisions collaborating with The Nutrons, a robotics club, for their sustainability workshop series to build an urban composting system.

 

Bridging Communities through Shared Landscaped Urban Space

Community: Roxbury

Focus Area: Creative Community Building, Innovation in Health and Wellbeing, Proactive Approaches to Climate Adaptation

With more than 7,500 refugee families having arrived in Massachusetts in 2023, and current stresses resulting from the need for immediate shelter, there is an urgency to create bridges between established and dislocated communities to promote empathy, understanding, healing, and social inclusion. This team proposes creating a social space in Roxbury to support positive human connection and community health through a resilient landscaped environment that integrates child play. They will engage with a local community and newly introduced refugee families in mentoring a diversity of youths through programming and design workshops, to develop a responsive inclusive design solution.

 

Planning for a Chinatown Library Park

Community: Chinatown

Focus Area: Creative Community Building, Innovation in Health and Wellbeing, Proactive Approaches to Climate Adaptation

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.

 

Inclusive Four Corners

Community: Dorchester

Focus Area: Creative Community Building

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. S&S has been negatively received at best, with the loss of community voice in the development process being a concern. This team 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.

 

Immigrant Community Welcome Center and Affordable Housing Project

Community: Brockton

Focus Area: Creative Community Building, New Models for Housing, Innovation in Health and Wellbeing

Dedicated to fostering community building, enhancing wellbeing, and addressing housing inequities for immigrants, Immigrant Family Services Institute (IFSI) recently purchased a property in Brockton and plans to create a welcome center alongside housing for newly arrived immigrants. This initiative reflects their commitment to design solutions that serve and uplift underrepresented communities. Their vision is for an inclusive space that not only provides essential services and secure housing but integrates community-led design principles, ensuring the space is reflective of and responsive to the needs of residents it serves. They believe in the power of design to break down barriers and create equitable opportunities.

 

Gardens For All (Jardines Para Todos)

Community: Mission Hill and Roxbury

Focus Area: Proactive Approaches to Climate Adaptation

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.

 

The Lot Next Door

Community: Dorchester

Focus Area: Creative Community Building, Proactive Approaches to Climate Adaptation

This community-driven devising process 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. The play's central narrative explores a constellation of relationships and events revolving around a city owned lot in Dorchester. The team's ultimate goal is to use a playmaking process as a tool to heal and build their neighborhood in order to move forward with a vision for the land in question that promotes equity, justice, and future sustainability.

 

If you would like to attend Pitch Night, sponsored by LeMessurier, on June 6 either in person at 110 Chauncy in downtown Boston or online, please register. We hope to see you there!

 

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Partnership hosts design exploration workshop at Boston Children's Museum

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the power of design
belongs to all of us
2019 SEED high school internship
Incubator at Sasaki | Watertown, Massachusetts
the power of design
belongs to all of us
Team at the Incubator at Sasaki
Watertown, Massachusetts
the power of design
belongs to all of us
Team at the Incubator at Sasaki
Watertown, Massachusetts
the power of design
belongs to all of us
Patron touching art in the Please Touch the Art exhibit
Mosesian Center for the Arts | Watertown, Massachusetts | photo courtesy Matt Jatkola

The Sasaki Foundation fosters equity and inclusivity by engaging diverse groups and individuals in the design of the environment. We sponsor research and programs that empower communities and strengthen education in design.

Donate by July 12 to support our Design Education Matching Campaign and multiply your impact by 10!

Poster for A Celebration of Design: The Eras Tour, featuring 9 photos of Hideo Sasaki with bright color overlays, and a larger image of Hideo Sasaki in the middle

Events

Emerging Professionals Trivia Night

June 27, 2024

What is a group of unicorns known as? In what year was the internet opened to the public? Do you know the answers to these questions or other obscure facts? Join us on June 27 at our first ever emerging professionals trivia night hosted by the BSA Foundation and the Sasaki Foundation, and powered by SMRT Trivia! It’s time to show off all the random knowledge you collected over the years, while enjoying a drink, food, and friends on the roof deck at Sasaki. Tickets are only $30 and all proceeds will benefit the BSA Foundation and the Sasaki Foundation.

What we do

The Sasaki Foundation empowers communities by tackling inequity in design. We work with communities, civic leaders, practitioners, educators, and others to support research and programs that diversify the voices involved in shaping the built environment.

1

Research & Grants

Complex challenges—such as climate change adaptation, affordable housing, mobility and transit access, and community building—require interdisciplinary approaches by a diverse set of stakeholders.

2

Community Learning

Meaningfully engaging the public in the design process offers the greatest opportunity for success in sustaining communities.

3

Design Education

Industries that have a diverse talent pool and an inclusive creative process are the most successful. A thriving design industry needs a pipeline of diverse, talented, and passionate practitioners.

History

In 2000, the Hideo Sasaki Foundation was established by Sasaki, a multidisciplinary design firm, and included a bequest from the family of Hideo Sasaki, an internationally renowned landscape architect who was admired for his teaching, critical abilities, and multidisciplinary approach to design. Today, the Sasaki Foundation carries forward Hideo Sasaki’s legacy by blurring the boundaries that separate practice and research, academia and industry, the profession and the public to co-create change to shape the built environment.

 

Hideo Sasaki

1970s