Sachiko Kawagoe

MFA ’24 Architecture

As a natural-born outsider, Sachi’s interests revolve around “othering”. Othering comes in many shapes and sizes: architecture often tries to distinguish itself from a building, artistic professionals can have a hard time acknowledging the creativity of others, and our society constantly undermines what is recognized as “different”. Her creative process often includes the celebration of otherness through surveying history and people of the community, reframing and reclaiming the narrative to propose a strategy of resiliency.

“Unmannered Mannerisms”: The stool mimics the style of the Windsor chair, the first chair recreated by a furniture craftsman union in Japan inspired by Soetsu Yanagi’s folk-art movement, signifying the effort of adapting to the Western lifestyle introduced post-World War II. The piece is also a self-reflective conversation about what “good manners” do to physical needs. By highlighting her own inappropriate habit of rocking non-rocking chairs, the making of the stool became not only furniture-making but also place-making for inappropriate manners.

“2 Rivergreen Dr, Everett, MA”: This public elementary school design proposal was inspired by a series of interviews with five teachers and ex-teachers who worked in early education in the greater Boston area. Reflecting the national shortage of teachers, the school is designed to accommodate not only children but also teachers. The use of cross-laminated timber construction empowers complex form language that dissects the traditional institutional look a school has, expressing a communal form residing on the revitalized wetland, aiming to create an intimate relationship between the structure and the human body.

Sachiko Kawagoe (Sachi’) is a designer specialising in space/placemaking. She was introduced to the world of spatial design by participating in experimental theatre as a performer turned set designer. Her career as a lighting and architectural designer includes various projects, such as residential, commercial, public spaces and landscapes. She received her B.A. in Literature from International Christian University in Tokyo, Japan and is completing her Master of Architecture at Massachusetts College of Art & Design.