"Project design" — from ideation to implementation — is at the heart of everything Pilot Projects does. In addition to commissioned client work, we invent integrative projects that turn pressing systems challenges into development opportunities.
An international conference in NYC exploring the use of sustainably-sourced wood to build city infrastructure, promote forest conservation, and enact climate change mitigation.
Timeframe: October 29-30, 2015
Process: First 2015 conference planned, funded, executed, and completed. Publications, follow-up events, and 2016 conference planning underway.
Preserve a landmark, protect a rainforest, cultivate a global partnership. The Brooklyn Bridge Forest initiative will allow for one of New York City’s most important landmarks to be maintained sustainably in perpetuity—and pioneer an innovative model for other cities to follow.
Timeframe: Fall 2008
Process: Collaborating with the Wildlife Conservation Society, The Municipal Art Society of New York, Natural Areas Conservancy, and The Hudson Company
On the streets of NYC our great drinking water goes largely untapped. We aim to change that with drinking fountains that part of daily life.
Timeframe: Spring 2016
Process: Presented at @MASNYC Summit for New York City 2013
Using participatory design and culture building processes, we achieved top-to-bottom green, lean, and people-first office solutions for this large and diverse nonprofit.
Timeframe: Completed Summer 2015
Process: Sandbox strategy and planning with new office space design and custom furniture
This iconic street needed infrastructure upgrades, but it was critical that these be guided by a shared vision. Partnering with the Lower East Side Business Improvement District, we brought community groups together to create a plan for bicycle parking, street furniture, pedestrian plazas and tree plantings.
Timeframe: Fall 2013 - Fall 2014
Process: Tree planting complete and construction underway
The nonprofit, charity: water, needed a complete overhaul to fit 30 more staff in their SoHo loft space. Our co-design process helped leadership explore solutions and negotiate shared and common space priorities. The result: an office that was able to increase density without sacrificing a thriving workplace culture.
Timeframe: Completed Winter 2013
Process: SANDBOX strategy and planning with custom furniture design
Parking garages that do nothing but store cars need to step up. We propose adding secure, staffed bike parking; solar-electric stations; a community roof garden; coffee; and more.
Timeframe: Winter 2012 - Present: Currently seeking public funding
Process: Created a coalition of local organizations for co-design and strategic plan
Lose the “DMV-ness,” gain personality for a small mid-town theater company.
Timeframe: Completed Summer 2014
Process: SANDBOX strategy and planning resulting in custom workplace redesign and buildout
This public plaza upgrades a space at the speedy and disorderly entrance to the Williamsburg Bridge, building on the Essex Crossing development. A market will feature on weekends while the permanent implementation of street seats will create a resting area on off days.
Timeframe: Summer 2013 - Present: Weekend Market debuts Spring 2015
Process: Worked with DOT guidelines and BID to diversify program
With an emphasis on drawing people together and encouraging interaction the ABS Collaboration Center was an exercise in co-design for co-work
Timeframe: Completed Summer 2013
Process: SANDBOX design resulting in custom kitchen and meeting space
Our proposal for the LES BID explores ways to help very small businesses exploit an under-used site along an increasingly busy stretch off Rivington Street.
Timeframe: Submitted Summer 2013
Process: Co-design and programming with Lower East Side BID
Bowery Mission expands to serve Spanish Harlem. Pilot Projects hired to design ground floor community co-working space, help desk, and a professional services clinic.
Timeframe: Completed Spring 2013
Process: Co-design of services and spaces
The bio-industrial armature we proposed for Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal used 40 shipping containers holding bio-remediation wetland plants and soil to clean sewer overflow waste water.
Timeframe: Winter 2012
Process: Awarded Honorable Mention for Urban Ecology
These park chairs were designed to smooth the Battery Park Lawn as people moved them around.
Timeframe: Fall 2012
Process: Submitted to "Draw up a Chair" Design Competition
What a waste, what an opportunity! A project to identify, reclaim, recycle and restore New York City’s abandoned bicycles.
Timeframe: Spring 2012
Process: In discussion with City officials, LES BID and cycling organizations.
What if you could do more at an interstate rest stop than just rest? The Power Playground is a kinetic sculpture that uses your workout to power an air compressor.
Budget: Estimated unit cost $20 - $50K
Process: In design development phase. Seeking funding partner
Can the purse be redesigned to be more useful, more adaptable, and less expensive? Pilot Projects intern Anne Chen pursued a structural approach.
Process: First prototypes complete. Further exploration pending.
Can a feral cat shelter in Central Park provide an opportunity for hands-on learning? Here is Pilot Projects’ contribution to the Architects for Animals annual charity event, hosted by Steelcase.
Process: Research based on extensive fort-building and wilderness survival training. Not seeking city approvals, but rather adventurous kids ready to build forts for cats in the park.
Projects that made us who we are
What is a Pilot Project? Something small and specific which catalyzes change in a large way.
Pilot Projects was born out of our past experiences - which have proved to us that small yet innovative interventions can lead to monumental change. Here are some of our stories that paved the way for our current work:
Sandbox: The origin of a new tool: 2M square feet, 3000 employees, and 25 execs negotiating workspace allocation in a locked room.
Steam Cafe: A story of how food met tech to solve the problem of lackluster campus dining — and get people talking and bonding.
Idea Room: How a siloed organization created a glass conference room, and siloes (not the glass) shattered.
News Desk: A story about a mandate from a producer: “no technology on the table.”