Design firms are, by their nature, inherently creative organizations. Everyone lends a different perspective to one common purpose: great design. It’s something that we at Sasaki intentionally cultivate by bringing together a broad mix of creative disciplines. But great design and inherent creativity do not exist solely in a design firm. This got us thinking: where else do we find great design; who else uses a creative process? In today’s innovative, DIY, maker-culture age, surely everyone must draw from their own version of the creative process. That, in a nutshell, is the basis of Sasaki’s latest creative venture—the launch of our first podcast. Aptly named “Design Chatter,” co-hosts Ian Scherling, landscape architect, and Joanna Chow, Brand Communications Manager, sit down to chat with creatives of all backgrounds. Covering topics as diverse as their own backgrounds, Design Chatter’s guests provide inspiring testaments to the power of creative processes in any industry.
The season begins by welcoming Henry Gordon Smith, a Brooklyn-based entrepreneurial urban farmer. His non-profit, Agritecture, which began as a blog in 2011, now runs vertical farming workshops that educate interested participants around the country. These participants range from full-scale architecture and design firms to elementary schools and young students. He aims to bring “building-integrated agriculture” (BIA) into everyday urban life. In providing workshops for architecture and design firms, his goal is to promote the integration of BIA ideas as much a standard part of building and urban space design as stairs, roofs, or site circulation. Listen to the whole podcast here.
Design Chatter’s second guest is Sasaki’s own Senior Associate landscape architect, Kate Tooke ASLA, who has cultivated a passion for play and urban playscapes through each phase of her diverse personal background. With an undergraduate degree in civil engineering from Dartmouth, Tooke spent a few years as a high school math and physics teacher before returning to school to study landscape architecture. Her current practice feeds on her experiences of empowering and inspiring urban youth. She sits down with Ian and Joanna to discuss the importance of play in enabling humans, both young and old, to be happier, more creative members of society. Listen to the whole podcast here.
The inaugural season of Design Chatter wraps up with guest Giles Li who discusses the importance of creativity in culture and community. Li is the executive director of the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Community (BCNC), which made major strides in their goals of reinforcing community connections through art and art education with the opening of the new Pao Arts Center. Although located in the heart of Boston’s Chinatown, the Pao Arts Center is meant to bring all types of people together, from longtime residents of Chinatown to new residents and other community-at-large members. Listen to the full podcast here.