Dean Sakamoto, FAIA

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Dean Sakamoto, FAIA, LEED AP, SEED, is a practicing architect, educator and director of a public interest design foundation. He is the founding Principal of Dean Sakamoto Architects and founder of the SHADE group (Sustainable Humanitarian Architecture Design for the Earth), based in Honolulu, Hawai'i. DSA, was founded in New Haven, Connecticut (1999), while he served on the Yale University faculty. In 2014, Dean established SHADE, a collaborative environmental design practice and non-profit public interest design institute in Honolulu.


Mr. Sakamoto is an educator and practicing architect with a national presence and diverse local expertise. As an educator, he served on the faculties of Pratt Institute, Yale School of Architecture, Yale School of the Environment, and the University of Hawai‘i Department of Urban and Regional Planning. He was named Transformation Fellow at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, School of Architecture (2019) and returned to the Yale School of Architecture faculty in 2022.


His New Haven and Honolulu based firm, Dean Sakamoto Architects, is known for its environmentally sensitive and culturally specific designs. He is the architect of the Juliet Rice Wichman Botanical Research Center at the National Tropical Botanical Garden on Kauai, Hawaii, a LEED Gold certified and hurricane resilient building and recipient of the 2010 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Honolulu Award of Excellence. Mr. Sakamoto serves on the AIA National Advisory Committee on Resilience and is the lead developer of HURRIPLAN: Resilient Building Design for Coastal Communities, a Federal Emergency Management Agency certified professional training program offered at the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center. Mr. Sakamoto earned a Bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Oregon, a Master’s degree in architecture from Cranbrook Academy of Art, and a Master’s degree in environmental design from Yale University.


He is the primary author of the book and curator of the international exhibition, Hawaiian Modern: The Architecture of Vladimir Ossipoff (Yale University Press in Association with the Honolulu Museum of Art, 2007, 2015, 2022). He is one of the founding members of Docomomo US_Hawai'i Chapter and was its first president (2012-2013).