Jeannie is an architectural designer who works on projects of many types and scales, within both campus and urban contexts. She gets her energy from engaging with people, and is inspired by the powerful social aspects of architecture.
Sasaki’s Day of Service* provides us with the unique opportunity to give back to the communities in which we live, work, and design. For the past five years I have participated in the annual Design for Justice project with 10th graders from the Urban Science Academy in West Roxbury. Through Design for Justice, students experience the impact that design can have on social issues. The program focused on exploring space planning, area and material quantity calculations, and managing budget constraints.
This experience challenges the students to work in teams, present their work to an audience, and also provides the opportunity to engage with industry professionals. Helping me connect with the students this year were my colleagues, Jhanéa Williams [pictured above left], a designer and local artist, and Chris Winkler [pictured below center], a designer and fellow Roger Williams University alum.
In addition to Sasaki architects, recent participants in the program have included designers from Studio Luz, Architects for Humanity, local engineers, and students from the Harvard GSD.
Participating in the annual design project at Urban Science Academy is just a small piece of how we at Sasaki involve ourselves with community and support education. It is impactful to not only provide feedback to the student’s designs, but to encourage and inspire the next generation of students that they can pursue a career in architecture or the arts. When I was in 10th grade, I hadn’t even considered that becoming an architect was an option. I value that today’s students are being exposed to design challenges as part of the base curriculum for all 10th graders at their school. This is of exceptional importance for schools of predominantly minority populations, as this exposure can help lead to a more diversified profession.
Engaging with the youth of a community is one of the most powerful ways to have impact on the future of a place. In addition to all of the other ways in which my colleagues remain active in the greater Boston community, I’m proud that this continued participation at the Urban Science Academy, as well as the support provided by Sasaki’s sponsored “Day of Service” for all employees, has allowed me to play a small part in giving something back.
* Sasaki is committed to community engagement, and encourages its staff to embrace volunteer opportunities with a Day of Service policy—through which employees are paid one day of regular wages in exchange for one day of volunteering each year.