On Thursday, November 8, Sasaki held a Diwali celebration at its Boston, Massachusetts office. For a second year, a group of Sasakians planned the festivities as a way to share how the festival of light is celebrated by South Asians around the world—giving a glimpse into traditional aspects most central to the holiday, including food, music, color, and light.
Following a feast of Indian food, the cheerful program also included a trivia game to share facts about the holiday and Indian culture as well as a tabla performance by planner Alykhan Mohamed and landscape architect Sourav Biswas, a duo that goes by the moniker, The Biryani Boys. The tabla is a percussion instrument comprised of two drums of different sizes and shapes, which has its origins in the 18th century.
The rangoli shown here was created over the course of several days by designers from all backgrounds, as just one element of decoration for the festive occasion. The large installment of flowers and leaves will remain on display in Sasaki's lobby for the rest of the Diwali celebration period.
This celebration is one of several events throughout the year that arise out of the Sasaki’s High Holidays program. The program invites staff to organize cultural celebrations to help colleagues to understand and appreciate the many cultures represented in the Sasaki community. Sasaki is a highly global practice, with over 30 languages spoken by staff, and a plentitude of projects worldwide, so the exchange of cultures is vital to strengthening the practice.
"Sharing cultural experiences as a studio helps our designers to build better understanding of both their colleagues and our clients around the world," explains Sasaki's Chair of Firm Culture and landscape architect, Caroline Braga, ASLA. "Celebrating our high holidays is both valuable and just plain fun. We all look forward to these events, which feed and nourish us—well beyond the literal sense—though we certainly do get our fill of amazing global cuisines. As designers we need this kind of inspiration and broadening of our perspectives all the time for us to bring the best work forward."
To catch a glimpse of the day’s festivities, scroll on for more photos.
Urban designer Kartiki Sharma makes opening remarks, welcoming Sasakians to the celebration.
The Biryani Boys, planner Alykhan Mohamed and landscape architect Sourav Biswas, treat Sasakians to a traditional tabla performance.
The trivia game, hosted by urban designer Diane Athaide and others, introduced a a number of fun facts about the holiday and Indian culture.
Special thanks to the entire team who contributed to the success of this event:
Raj Adi Raman, Pankti Sanganee, Elango Govindan, Sneha Lohotekar, Praveen Raj, Sourav Biswas, Shannon Hasenfratz, Alykhan Mohamed, Gwendolyn Sands, Nadia Maneechote, Lorena Brambila, Ilka Lin, Marlee Gleiberman, Kathleen Monahan, Information Services Team and Office Services Team.