An Influence for Architects
#OTD Today is the birthday of the Japanese-American landscape architect who designed some of the country’s best-known industrial parks, urban spaces, and campuses, Hideo Sasaki, who was born on this day in 1919.
Sasaki was born in Reedley, Calif., and grew up on his family’s truck farm in the San Joaquin Valley. During WWII, Sasaki and his family suffered at an internment camp in Arizona, where Sasaki worked in beet fields.
As a very bright student, Sasaki went on to study at the University of Illinois and Harvard Graduate School of Design.
Sasaki lived in the Boston area, where he taught at Harvard for more than 20 years, chairing its landscape architecture department from 1958 to 1968, and he founded his Sasaki Associates firm. By 1993, more than a third of all landscape architecture professors had been trained by Sasaki.
Sasaki created industrial parks for big companies like John Deere and Upjohn. He also designed urban spaces like Boston’s Copley Square, New York’s Washington Square Village and the St. Louis Gateway Mall.
In 1971, Sasaki became the first recipient of the American Society of Landscape Architects medal.
Sasaki died of cancer back in August of 2000.