At Sasaki, a place where the dream jobs are built

WHS student explores architecture with visit to Watertown home of world-famous design firm


Raider Times photo / Raider Times staff

The Watertown, Mass., home of Sasaki Associates, the world-famous architecture and design firm.

Giovanni Reyes, Raider Times staff

Have you ever been interested in architecture and have thought about pursuing it in the future, but not know the steps to take, to further your knowledge of the career?

There are not a lot of only architecture-based courses for high schoolers, especially for someone like me, only in my sophomore year of high school, so it makes it a challenge to get a step ahead in the learning process. I was able to sit down and talk to a few people at Sasaki Associates, which is one of the most famous for its work in the the architecture field, to find out some ways to improve my knowledge and skill in the field.

Raider Times photo / Courtesy Sasaki Associates
Incubator space at Sasaki Associates in Watertown, Mass.

Sasaki, which is one of the best architecture firms in the country, was founded in 1953 in Watertown, Mass. In 2012, it opened another office in Shanghai.

The Watertown facility, located right on the Charles River near the pool, is a cement building with a sign reading Sasaki over a tall glass door. Inside of the office was kind of a maze and confusing to navigate, but it all worked, people with different professions sitting with each other so creativity and ideas could flow. 

Inside Sasaki, people with different professions sit with each other so creativity and ideas can flow.

I was able to interview two architects, Chris Sgarzi and Meredith McCarthy, and even the CEO of Sasaki, James Miner, who gave great insight on his journey, to be in the position is in. Here is what some of what the architects had to say on how students can improve their knowledge and skills.

Art can help an architect out a lot, being able to draw somewhat quick and accurate sketches is a good skill to have. Chris Sgarzi says to always sketch, it doesn’t even have to be a building, just getting comfortable sketching and improving is what you should focus on. He also mentioned to take classes in your school that can some way relate to architecture, whether its art, for sketching, or even wood shop.

Chris also said, start to build a portfolio, which will help you out. Granted you won’t have complicated and advanced sketches or work, but you still can add your sketches in there to show people and or even colleges.

Taking internships is one of the best ways to learn more about the profession. While talking to Meredith McCarthy, she mentioned taking internships and emphasized how much they can help. Though there are not many for younger high school students, but there are a lot of internships for older students. Internships are one of the best ways to learn because you are actually hands on, and are learning directly from a professional.

I am very thankful to the people of Sasaki who were able to help set these interviews up, they gave great insight on the world of architecture and also how to start preparing to step into their world.

Raider Times photo / Courtesy Sasaki Associates
Sasaki Associates in Watertown, Mass., works on design and architecture projects around the world.

–Sept. 29, 2018–