Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Friday, October 24, 2014

2014 Hawaii BIM Camp

On October 23rd Aaron Wagner, DSA's BIM Manager, spoke at the annual Hawaii BIM Camp located at Ala Moana Hotel. Over the years Aaron has become a frequent speaker and shares his knowledge on building information modeling. This event is geared towards the architects, owners, engineers, drafters, builders, and the techies of the field.


Aaron's solo presentation consisted of Revit Information Reporting, the ability to extract the specific and appropriate information needed to distribute building data within developed Revit projects. And he then partnered with Matt Bickel to teach the best practices and tech tools on the main parts of a BIM Project by using firsthand experiences of community projects in Hawaii.
Niu Valley Middle School Workshop Part 2

Last week Sakamoto-Newman JV Architects directed the second series of design workshops at Niu Valley Middle School. Great minds came together to facilitate input on the design process.

Experimenting with spaces using the modeling blocks.
DSA Credit.

Sakamoto-Newman JV Architects administered classroom activities that allowed the participants to configure modeling blocks to assess the furniture and potential space. As well as a stake-out and site model activity to observe the perimeters.

Stake-out and site activity to understand space and perimeters.
DSA Credit.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Panel of Discussion with Howard Hughes Representatives and Michael Palladino 

Dean Sakamoto, FAIA; Michael Palladino, FAIA; Judith Stilgenbauer, MLA
DSA Credit.

Guest lecture hosted at the University of Hawai`i Manoa School of Architecture with the American Institute of Architecture Students Hawai`i Chapter (AIAS) and Howard Hughes Corporation. Senior partner, Michael Palladino, from Richard Meier & Partners Architects talks about their involvement with Howard Hughes and the development in Ward Village.

Dean Sakamoto and Judith Stilgenbauer, faculty member at the School of Architecture, were invited as guest panels with Michael.
HPR Interview: Makiki Walking Tour with Docomomo

Dean Sakamoto, Docomomo Hawai`i Board Member, joined Chris Vandercook at Hawaii Public Radio (HPR) on September 30th to discuss the Makiki Walking Tour that will be taking place on October 11th. Dean explained that in the late 50's and 60's, Honolulu saw a demand for family homes. The building boom created opportunities for Hawai`i architects to build on everything they had learned about urban design. Now Docomomo Hawai`i, a non-profit dedicated to preservation of modern movement buildings, will lead a walking tour of nine apartment buildings, built in the mid-century. 

To listen to the interview click the following link:

Friday, September 19, 2014

World Language Classroom Complex Design Workshop at the Niu Valley Middle School

Sakamoto-Newman JV Architects conducted its first design workshop to kick-off the World Language Classroom Complex at Niu Valley Middle School. The design team facilitated two-days of site analysis and concept planning with DOE administrators and Niu Valley MS faculty. This project is one among the first of the Hawaii DOE’s 21st Century School Initiative program. Dean Sakamoto introduces the workshop.

Richard Munday, AIA, discussing with Patrick O'Brien, D.O.E.
DSA Credit.

SFCA Board Appointment

Pictured (from left) is Jonathan Johnson, executive director; Karen Tiller
Polivka, commissioner; Barbara Saramines-Gannes, chair; Dean Sakamoto,
commissioner. James Gonser photo credits.

Dean Sakamoto was sworn-in today, September 17th, to serve as commissioner on the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts Board. He was appointed by Governor Neil Abercrombie to serve a four year term at this post which entailsguiding policy and commissioning for this agency under the Department of Accounting and General Services. Sakamoto will serve on the Art in Public Places Program committee which oversees the State's permanent andrelocatable public art collection as well as the Hawaii State Art Museum (HiSAM).

For more information on SFCA see:

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

21st Century School Design for the Tropics

Dean Sakamoto organized and moderated a roundtable discussion, at the University of Hawaii Manoa Campus: School of Architecture, of local architects and academics that included: 

Mark Ayers, AIA, LEED AP, Ferraro Choi
Cathi Ho-Schar, AIA, Collaborative Studio
Kyle Hamada, Collaborative Studio
Stephen Meder, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Richard Munday, AIA, Newman Architects
Dean Sakamoto, FAIA, LEED AP, Dean Sakamoto Architects
Jonathan Weintraub, R.A., Hawaii DOE Facilities Design Branch

To discuss the changes and needs for a 21st century learning space and how to adapt to the conditions. Each professional provided a short presentation on their specialized project afterwards a lively student/professional discussion and Q&A.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Dean Sakamoto on Think Tech Hawaii

Dean Sakamoto will be a guest on Jay Fidell's radio show ThinkTech Hawaii 'Catching Up with Kaka'ako', which will air on Wednesday, August 20th at 3PM on UStream. He will be discussing the Urban Resilience for the future of Kaka'ako with his HURRIPLAN expertise, initiative role with the AIA National Disaster Relief Committee, and knowledge on Vladimir Ossipoff.

ThinkTech Hawaii is a non-profit corporation created to raise public awareness about the importance of technology, energy, , diversification, and globalism to the diversification of Hawaiʻi's economy and future. For more information of ThinkTech Hawaii see link:

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

NTBG Turns 50 Years Old!

The National Tropical Botanical Garden on Kauai, Hawaii turns 50 years old today, August 19th! And Dean Sakamoto, architect of NTBG's Juliet Rice Wichman Botanical Research Center (BRC), is attending this event. During this celebration, NTBG will be announcing the dedication of the new Biodiversity Trail which honors Senator Daniel K. Inouye. NTBG's Congressional Charter was achieved by Senator Inouye in 1964, his first among many lasting legacies he has established for Hawai`i. Today, NTBG is a global leader in responsible sustainable development - striking a balance between the natural environment and humankind's ability to shape it. Pictured above at the Daniel K. Inouye Overlook is Thomas Hewitt, NTBG Board Chairman-elect; Chipper Wichman, NTBG, Director and CEO; Mayor Bernard Cravalho of Kaua`i; Irene Hirano Inouye, President of the U.S.-Japan Council and Ford Foundation Chair of the Board of Trustees; and Hau`oli Wichman, NTBG, Assistant to the Director. 

To read more about the National Tropical Botanical Garden:

In addition to the the completion of the LEED Gold certified BRC, DSA has completed the Native Hawaiian Community Learning Center and Breadfruit Institute facilities on NTBG's Research Campus Renovations for more information about these projects see:

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Street Presence

DSA's job site sign was enthusiastically presented by a young pedestrian on Chapel Street in front of the Lincoln Society project in New Haven. The Lincoln Society - DSA's client, is a senior (secret) society located near Yale University - is part of the larger Chapel-Howe Street development project which DSA has been involved in over the past two years. Who knows, maybe she'll be our client one day?
Enrique Rosado photo

Friday, June 20, 2014

HURRIPLAN Featured at AIA National Convention in Chicago

Dean Sakamoto, FAIA, LEED AP will be presenting HURRIPLAN: Resilient Building Design for Coastal Communities course at the American Institute of Architects (AIA) National Convention in Chicago on June 25, 2014. Sakamoto's firm Dean Sakamoto Architects specializes in resilient architectural design. Resilience is a new area of concern in the environmental design field as we face challenges due to global climate change and rapid urbanization.  

Developed by Sakamoto and a team of national subject matter experts with the NDPTC in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at UH Mānoa’s College of Social Sciences, “HURRIPLAN: Resilient Building Design for Coastal Communities" will introduce participants to best practices for community planning and non-residential building design in hurricane-prone regions. Utilizing a hands-on approach, the workshop will also incorporate instructor-led discussions and a design exercise using a hurricane-prone school site in New York City.

Presenting the workshop with Sakamoto will be NDPTC instructors Illya Azaroff, AIA, LEED AP; Michael Lingerfelt, FAIA; and Dennis Hwang, JD, a land-use attorney and coastal geology expert. Sakamoto and Lingerfelt are members of the AIA National Disaster Assistance Committee which is hosting the event. 

See this link for the full release:

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Urban Observation 

Children's Discovery Center surrounded by homeless camp

This is no scout camp in the foreground to the Hawai`i Children's Discovery Center in the Kaka`ako Makai district of Honolulu. It is a tent city in the public right-of-way which has plagued the area for several years now. It is ironic and heart-wrenching to see families - elders, children and working-age adults - living in this State-owned precinct where recently legislated City & County of Honolulu rules which do not allow street side dwelling should be enforced in what is touted as Honolulu's "urban village". This is an urban issue par excellance which needs to be addressed now. The Children's Discovery Center, an anchor of Kaka`ako Makai since 1998, has thus far, tolerated consequences of this situation. Action is needed now. 
Dean Sakamoto photo
See link to a recent news story on this issue:

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Smart Cities Panel at New York Center for Architecture

An impressive event at the AIA NY CFA last night on the topic of Smart Cities held in conjunction with the 2014 Integration Segment of the UN Economic and Social Council on Sustainable Urbanization at the United Nations on May 27-29. Smart Cities has to do with the utilization of open source data to enhance the functionality of city operations such as traffic, energy, crowd sourcing and disaster preparedness. AIA NY President Lance Jay Brown, FAIA, opened the event he framed within his Presidential theme "Civic Spirit: Civic Vision." Speakers pictured above (left to right) are Tom Wright, Executive Director, Regional Plan Association; Margaret O'Donoghue Castillo, AIA, LEED AP; Urs Gauchat, Dean of NJIT College of Architecture and Design; Dr. Joan Clos, Executive Director of, UN Habitat and former Mayor of Barcelona; H.E. Vladimir Drobnak, Vice President, UN Economic and Social Council. The speakers discussed the state of cities from global, regional and sectoral perspectives. A common consensus among the panel is that all cities must contribute to the effort of greenhouse gas reduction, plan strategically, design and build with the future in mind. Dean Sakamoto photo.

See this link to the Consortium for Sustainable Urbanism (CSU)

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Excavation at Chapel-Howe Project Site

Foundation excavation has just started at the long-awaited and contested Chapel-Howe housing project in New Haven's Chapel West Special Services District. DSA is working with Beinfield Architecture who is the architect of record for this 136 unit mixed-use housing complex a block away from Yale University. RMS is the developer who faced numerous challenges from neighborhood stakeholders but prevailed and will see the project built now. Seeing this project implemented is particularly satisfying for DSA because it fulfills our recommendation for a "gateway" building for this site in our 2006 Vision and Strategic Plan for Chapel West.  DSA also helped RMS to attain the zone change and site plan approval with the City for this project and is working with Beinfield Architecture on the facade design. Dean Sakamoto photo.

See a link to the New Haven Independent story on the successful zoning hearing:

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Hawaii Children's Discovery Center Founder & Chinese Researchers Visit New Haven

Loretta Luke Yajima, the magnanimous founder and president of the Hawai`i Children's Discovery Center stopped in New Haven today. Loretta is working with the Beijing-based Children's Museum Research Center (CMRC) to plan and realize numerous children's centers throughout China. Her center in Honolulu is an incredible story: it was a former city trash incinerator converted into a place which fosters continuous creativity and multi-faceted development among island keiki (kids). Thanks to the CMRC and the Lao Niu Foundation, China's youth will will thrive in this way. This is fantastic news for the world! A visit to the Luckey Climbers workshop to check on the status of an imaginative play structure designed by Spencer Luckey and his team was the objective of her Elm City junket. Loretta was accompanied by Ni Zhang, Xuecheng Zhou and Sarah Li of the CMRC. Dean Sakamoto, pictured with Loretta above, was on the original design team of the Hawai`i's Children's Discovery Center during the early 1990s and was thrilled to help host the CMRC Team. Special thanks to Enrique Rosado of the Erwin Hauer studio. Sarah Li photo.
See these cool links:

Urban Observation
Boat and Building Cause Double Take

A sail boat is suspended against the facade of the Sanaa designed New Museum on the Bowery in New York City. This juxaposition/displacement of a watercraft and the museum building's stepped facade creates a sensation of movement. While in reality, just the sky and street life moves around this static edifice. Rock-on New Museum, you are helping us to see and look twice at you! Dean Sakamoto photo.

Check out

Working with Manuel Miranda MMP studio

Located in the creative enclave of the Bowery District in Lower Manhattan is MMP, a graphic design studio led by Manuel Miranda. Manuel is a graduate of the Yale School of Art Graphic Design Department and currently teaches there when he is not designing books, exhibitions and environmental graphics. DSA is proud to be working with MMP on its 21st Century Schools projects. Architecture without provocative graphics and intelligent splashes of color is like watching a silent black and white film. Dean Sakamoto photo.

To see samples of MMP's work see

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Native Hawaiian Community Learning Center 

DSA's renovation of the Acacia Building at the National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG) at Kalaheo, Kaua`i into the Native Hawaiian Community Learning Center was captured by photographer Mariko Reed earlier this month. This project also included the renovation of the Breadfruit Institute and new education offices. This Learning Center, while small in size - approximately 2000 square feet - is large on legacy. NTBG's Headquarters and Research Campus was designed by legendary Hawaiian modern architect Vladimir Ossipoff. This building was the first of structure to be built on the campus in 1982. The late Hawai`i Senator Daniel Inouye was largely responsible for securing funding for this renovation project four years ago. Fifty years ago, Senator Inouye legislated the Congressional Charter for the Garden to be the national center for tropical botany which it continues to be today. Mariko Reed photo.

For more info on NTBG see:

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Lincoln Society on the Move

Pictured here is DSA's project to move the Lincoln Society's new Tomb to the lot next door on Chapel Street in New Haven. Really a historic two-family house built in the late 1800s, this structure is referred to as a Tomb because the Lincoln Society is a "secret society" located nearby the Yale University Campus. DSA's work involved site planning, foundation engineering, and designing a new basement level living unit for the Society's members. The relocation of this old house is being made in conjunction with the development of a 136 unit housing project at this prominent Chapel-Howe Street intersection. This site contributes to the Dwight District Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places. Once realized, these two projects combined will realize a key component of DSA's Vision and Strategic Plan for the Chapel West Special Services District in 2005. Colin Caplan photo.
For more info on Chapel West see

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

archawai`i Project Reviews

Dean Sakamoto served as guest critic at two University of Hawai`i School of Architecture Final Project Reviews on May 5 and 6, 2014. On Monday, he helped to review projects for the Arch 543 Urban Design Studio taught by Judith Stilgenbauer titled Ecological Urbanism for a Resilient Ala Moana Waterfront. The next day, he participated in reviewing the work of Arch 343 Design Studio for the Waikiki 2050 project co-taught by David Rockwood, Martin Despang and Mireille Turin. As usual the student work is visionary, energetic and free of the worldly constraints we face in practice. Despite the later, the good news is that these students and their professors have Climate Change Adaptation on their minds and computer screens. Pictured above is the last student critqued during the Arch 343 Review. Dean Sakamoto photo. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Project Site Scoped Out 

Dean Sakamoto-Newman Architects JV will be designing a new 21st Century World Language Classroom Complex at Niu Valley Middle School in East Honolulu, one of Hawaii's top performing middle schools. Situated near the top of scenic Niu Valley the existing school is a classic example of mid-century modern design for the sub-tropics. The DSNA JV's charge is to design a cutting-edge high performance prototype that sets the pace for future rehabilitation of this campus and perhaps others around the 50th State. 

Saturday, May 3, 2014

From the Archives

Here's a fuzzy snapshot from a family picnic at Ala Moana Beach Park in Honolulu sometime during the early 1960s. Visible behind the cool mid-century cars is the newly built IBM Building designed by Vladimir Ossipoff. The boy in his mother's arms (at right side) is Dean Sakamoto. Today, the IBM Building is home to Dean Sakamoto Architects' Honolulu office. How time flies!