Visioning session with representatives of the Lower East Side BID. On the table: A proposal for container-based pop-up retail and artist residences on Norfolk St. between Rivington and Delancey.

About Our Practice

Our Vision: Co-create a better world.

Pilot Projects Design Collective LLC is a design and systems thinking firm founded on the belief that even small things well designed and fully realized, can catalyze big systemic changes. The firm, led by founder Scott Francisco, is made up of professional designers, planners, strategists, ecologists and craftspeople, all skilled at creating concrete, inventive and intentional solutions to challenging problems.

Our work encompasses a wide range of processes and deliverables, from the design of brands, organizations and workspaces, to urban streetscapes, public spaces and new buildings. We also specialize in co-designing "communities of practice" and catalytic events that inspire collective action and culture change.

All of our work relies on working closely with our clients to co-create solutions to their unique challenges. Our signature tool, SANDBOX, is a collaborative design process that gets people around the same table to make collective decisions. Guided by expert facilitation and visible constraints, it aids in the creation of design solutions that are inclusive and sustainable. Check out our short  SANDBOX video to get an insight into this unique process.

Services and Sectors

Pilot Projects designs physical spaces, urban environments, services and products. And we apply design thinking to the symbols and systems that can be even more impactful. We believe design must address both infrastructure and culture to really work and view each of our projects as a catalyst for long-lasting change. Our services are designed to embrace the messy mix of people, places, communities and institutional hierarchies to create goal-surpassing outcomes. These services include urban design, office design and corporate consulting. Our clients range in size and cut across many sectors, from private entities—both for profit and not—to public agencies.

Co-design Workshop

Co-design Workshop is a facilitation and consulting service that helps organizations understand  and influence (redesign) the systems that support and structure their mission and goals.

We know that visible and invisible systems - each with their own function or purpose - support or thwart all organizational efforts. Working together we’ll explore these systems and decide how they can best be re-configured to elicit better outcomes.

We organize workshops (half-day to multi-day) with leaders and stakeholders that allow time for both discovery and design action plans, with an emphasis on early incremental change that is visible and tangible. Rather than master plans, we focus on finding and creating DNA that can be “planted” in pilot projects and other actions, with the goal of long-term systemic growth and change.

All workshops are led by founder Scott Francisco who’s twenty years as an architect, urbanist, educator, researcher and designer give him depth and sensitivity in co-design, communications, and systems thinking. Scott has pioneered unique approaches to community design facilitation that pairs with his knowledge of physical, regulatory, communication and cultural infrastructures.

Fees for workshops vary with size and goals. For organizations needing to minimize financial risk, we offer the option of a goals-based fee structure where payment is made only after specific goals are achieved. Please inquire if you would like more details on this approach:

Urban Design

We are passionate about igniting and realizing a vision for the city that is inclusive, vibrant and human.  In a thriving city, public spaces offer the very best places for people to work and live. Their importance can not be overstated. At Pilot Projects, we believe that this merits comprehensive and continual improvement at all scales. Our intentionally inclusive design approach coalesces economic criteria, stakeholder needs, and research into best practices. This hands on method in conjunction with decades of urban design and planning experience allows us to produce public places that serve the people who rely on them while refining the policies that pattern land use for future generations.

Workspace Design

Pilot Projects is founded on the belief that the spaces organizations inhabit have enormous impact on their culture and their effectiveness. We work with organizational leaders at all levels to clearly articulate and realize their vision in a tangible way. Our SANDBOX process empowers those who use office spaces to co-design their environment -- allowing us to recognize tensions and recognize differences between departments. This creates workspaces that reflect complex needs, values, and goals and are supported by all.


We offer a large palette of consulting services for organizational development, branding and product development. Consulting tools are geared toward producing real value that is directly aligned with an organizational mission, whether that be financial, human capital, ecological cultural or all of these together. Consulting services include ideation, visioning, product conceptualization and incubation, and various methods of visualization and measurement.

Our Team Members Have Worked Closely with the Following Organizations:

The Smithsonian Institution | US General Services Administration | Google | Disney | Canadian Broadcasting Corporation | ABC News | NBC Telemundo | Alexandria Properties: East River Science Park | Government of Alberta | GlaxoSmithKline | Omnicom | The Gap | Young Harris College | Life University | Massachusetts Institute of Technology | SUNY Buffalo | Deloitte | Bank Street College of Education | Open Society Institute (George Soros Foundation)  | The Alfred A. Knopf Publishing Group | The Perseus Books Group | Yale University Press | NNSA | Pinebridge Investments 

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