Profile in Craft: Kelly Sakaki moving from academia to industry

Craftsmanship refers to something made with the highest quality. It requires a distinct mindset and approach. Values like durability, integrity, and calling are often associated with craftsmanship. But it’s more than that. Craftsmanship—to live a life and perform work with craft—is the struggle for individual agency in a world telling us to fit in. More than finding a calling, it is about understanding how to fully utilize ourselves and our unique ability to solve problems of every kind. My goal is build a bridge between the principles of craftsmanship in the traditional sense and apply it to our own lives and work.

Image credit: Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health.

Image credit: Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health.


[from] Always taking things apart and not always able to get them back together again, Kelly Sakaki never lacked confidence to try.

Now Kelly is an engineer and post-doc fellow at the Center for Brain Health. His job focuses on developing instrumentation for scanning cells in brains. He works as a scientist, biologist, engineer—to name a few disciplines! Kelly is developing cures for autism.

There are a lot of toys to play with, but ultimately the goal is to help people. Kelly’s passion is designing instrumentation. It’s an art, and rarely works the first time. It’s a process of iteration. There’s no rule book to tell him what to do.

“I’ve found my passion. I know this is where I want to be.”

Christine Haskell’s research focuses on individuals dedicated to the craft of their professions, in pursuit of excellence, sustainability. Craftsmen and women use those principles to raise standards toward a better world. In the Profiles in Craft Series, you’ll find a trove of profiles of intriguing artisans and innovators across the globe that illustrate her research and links to the full articles. Christine’s book Craft Your Life is due in late 2019.