DUSP Teams Win Inaugural Sasaki Foundation Design Awards

On October 2nd, 2018, the Sasaki Foundation announced a collection of winning teams for its inaugural Sasaki Foundation Design Awards. The Design Awards are an annual competition to showcase projects that support and drive interdisciplinary innovation and empower their communities to address trends and inequities in design. The research topic of focus for 2018 were proactive approaches to climate adaptions, new models for housing, innovation in transit and access to mobility choices, and creative community building.

"We were extremely impressed by the response we received from applicants, our partners, and communities," said Alexandra Lee, Executive Director of the Sasaki Foundation. "The Foundation is excited to fund innovative projects focused on bringing new, local solutions to global challenges."

East Boston is a coastal neighborhood faced with rising sea levels and intensifying development pressure. Eastie for Eastie, designed by Collyn Chan (MCP Candidate), Mario Giamperi (MCP ’18), Kelly Main (MCP ’18), and Kannan Thiruvengadam, promotes land pooling, land readjustment, and community land trusts as an alternative to preservation in place or displacement for the Eastie community. The team proposes to engage with several community partners to identify barriers to climate adaptation faced by residents in Eastie. Through a participatory design process, the team will co-create a series of design and policy proposals that Eastie can use to stay in place, preserve or increase housing availability, and minimize climate-change related risk.

In the Boston metropolitan area, low-income tenants face significant housing barriers when attempting to rent housing, deepening segregated housing markets throughout the region. A new digital interface, the ECHOLocator – designed by Nicholas Kelly (PHD Candidate), Jonathan Tarleton (MCP ’18), Robert Terrell, and Anson Stewart (PHD ’17, MCP ’14 and SM ’14) – will provide housing choice voucher holders with customizable information on communities that are both affordable and serve their public transit needs. The ECHOLocator team will use this opportunity to pilot and refine the tool alongside their clients, as well as expand access across the 15,000+ voucher holders and to housing authorities nationwide.

Winning teams of the Sasaki Foundation Design Awards receive cash awards and office space at the Incubator at Sasaki. In this first year, the Foundation received 140 inquiries and two dozen applications from multi-member teams. The projects represented fifteen organizations, seven teams of individuals, nine Boston communities, two Greater Boston cities, and three Gateway Cities.

"We had a great team of judges, culled from organizations like Harvard, MIT, Microsoft, Northeastern, and others, who evaluated the teams on how equitable, innovative, and impactful their ideas were," says Mary Anne Ocampo, Chair of Sasaki Foundation's Board of Trustees. "We are excited to welcome these new teams to the Incubator this fall to tackle projects that will empower underserved communities within Massachusetts."

To learn more about the Sasaki Foundation and the winning teams, click here.