On Wednesday, April 11, the Incubator at Sasaki held its first public event, introducing community members to the mission of the Sasaki Foundation and the Incubator. The event was attended by representatives from several local academic, professional, and non-profit organizations, including The Boston Foundation, the Barr Foundation, Girl UNinterrupted, G|Code House, Solve MIT, the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, Watertown Public Schools, and many others.
Representing a major investment in Sasaki’s commitment to interdisciplinary design, the Incubator is intended to create an ecosystem of innovation that convenes Greater Boston’s vast talent network to tackle large systemic issues. The Sasaki Foundation serves as the steward and curator for this facility—activating it with public programs, facilitating research initiatives, and inviting new people to the mix.
The evening, marked by clinking glasses and excitable conversations, paused for brief remarks from Sasaki leadership, the Foundation’s board chair, as well as the president of Columbia Construction Company, construction manager for the recently completed space.
“Sasaki’s stockholders had a discussion about what it means to be a global design firm in today’s world,” began managing principal, James Miner, AICP. “And we committed ourselves to achieving great design through a series of actions: design, risk, repeat. This has become our guiding light for how we continue to expand and evolve the firm. A central part of doing that was to create this space we’re standing in today: to extend the reach of design—beyond our clients, beyond our daily lives. That is what tonight’s launch is all about.”
Chair of the Board and Sasaki principal, Mary Anne Ocampo, began her speech by emphasizing the theme of the event. “The power of design belongs to all of us. Above all, we believe that making change requires collective impact. We need to do this together,’” she asserted passionately. “We believe that design has the power to address the most critical, challenging issues of our day; from social equity, to environmental resilience—it is an agent of change, it has power in what we do and how we think. Often times, access to design is very limited; we want to help those who are vulnerable, those who are marginalized, in a way that brings design to them.”
The speeches came to a close with Sasaki Foundation Executive Director, Alexandra Lee. “It’s really great to see all these familiar faces. Thank you all for coming! For the next chapter of the Foundation, we really want to turn things inside-out and reach out more to the community through partnerships. This new space is a physical representation of our mission, of creating a structure in which diverse voices can unite in problem-solving. To that end, we’d love for you to think about how you and your organization can join us—how can you partner with us?”
Board members then joined Lee for the official ribbon cutting of the Incubator space.
Continue scrolling for more photos of the event.