Scout Labs

Designing for social innovation

What is Scout Labs?

In partnership with the City of Boston Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, Scout Labs uses a human-centered design process to research pressing civic issues in our city and prototype creative solutions. These semester-long projects are taken on by a team of interdisciplinary students who build connections and co-create possible solutions with the people of Boston.

Our Process



So how do we start? We observe, engage, and immerse ourselves in the project challenge by conducting interviews and observing people’s behavior in the context of our challenge. The team also talks to field experts and conducts academic research to understand the existing body of knowledge in the field.



Here, we take all our insights and synthesize them to define the core problem. We want to frame this problem statement clearly, as it will guide the rest of our design process.



At this step, the team takes this newly defined point of view and begins to brainstorm ideas. We encourage free and open thinking during this phase, and utilize a variety of techniques to push ourselves to think outside of the box.



This is where our ideas take form. We construct rapid prototypes, or scaled-down versions of our solutions, to allow our team to experiment with our most promising ideas from the previous phase.



Time to put our work out there! We iteratively user test the prototypes with members of the larger community. Feedback gained during this phase allows us to refine our prototypes and develop a final solution.