Ken is not the easiest man to interview.
Too much on the line,
and the office is always in mind.
All I could get him to reveal went like…
a few strokes, like 10, off his golf game
Perhaps the best way then,
to get to know Ken, would be to consider
his unique approach to landscape architecture,
and the firm, Ken Saiki Design.
An alternative shop of renegade designers,
a city of creative processes, which is
Enlivened by the energy of youth,
and a group of liberated senior designers.
Ken’s philosophy has no manifesto, simply:
“Work must be fun.”
Conceived of by a Madison native
a passion indebted to…
a semester abroad with his brother,
a visit to a friend in London—
a visiting professor…
“It was a very good year”
Not Frank, but Jim Sinatra
Inspired by another passion
…for his destined wife Pat
~~~for the mantra, “If you don’t get better, you die.”
Ken doesn’t strike me as the type of person
who names a design firm after himself.
There is no ego in his workflow,
no a priori right way to design, and no
Saiki signature imposed upon the lives
and efforts of others.
Design is problem-solving.
Design is starting over with nothing
but the experience of having tried before.
Design has no solution,
for it is a reiterative process.
Then he resolves the paradox stating,
“No one is smart enough to impose a design
confused with arrogance and ignorance.
Rather, a base level of understanding is
constantly being called into question”.