For nearly 120 years, the Society of Arts and Crafts has had a dual mission to encourage the creation, collection, and promotion of the work of contemporary craft artists and to advance public appreciation of fine craft. The Society’s move to a new space in Boston’s Seaport District from the historic Back Bay neighborhood not only marks a major milestone in the institution’s history, but also symbolizes the impact of Boston’s technology boom on the city’s cultural landscape and creative economies. Sasaki guided the client through the process of obtaining the space through a public competition process organized by the Boston Planning & Development Agency. Our role included the development of a bold vision for the future, space planning, and a holistic strategy for maximizing the space and its urban location.
The new 9,000 square foot space includes museum quality exhibition galleries, retail store, research library, event space, artist-in-residence studio, storage, support and staff offices, as well as an outdoor sculpture plaza for the organization’s public programming.
In addition to designing the space, the Sasaki team developed a new brand identity and messaging strategy that serves to reposition the Society for its second century in Boston. This new brand identity and messaging draws from the strength of the Society’s deeply rooted history while forging a new pact for future growth and prosperity. The newly crafted tagline “Craft Illuminates Difference” and the corresponding plus-sign pattern became the inspiration for expressing the Society’s visual identity across the 160 linear feet of glass frontage. Likewise a new sculptural metal canopy back-lit and perforated with the Society’s brand pattern brings attention to an otherwise understated main entrance.
This new state-of-the-art location in Boston’s innovation district will provide the society with a vibrant new context to broaden its visibility and programming, and continue its legacy into the future as one of the great cornerstones of Boston’s evolving creative community.