Urban Innovation Challenge Exhibition

Start Date

March 17, 2017

End Date

December 31, 2017


Urban Innovation Challenge Exhibition

Public Exhibition • Harbor Garage Windows, 70 E. India Row, Boston MA

This public window exhibition highlights designs generated at the Urban Innovation Festival — a collaborative design challenge aiming to improve the livability of our city.

In July 2016, Design Museum Boston gathered 100 of Boston’s best designers for a 3-day urban design challenge. The innovators from various industries were tasked to brainstorm, ideate, and prototype solutions to improve and revitalize the area around the I-93 overpass; a region divided by highway infrastructure that contributes to pedestrian safety and accessibility concerns. Ten design teams – Bose, Stantec, Fidelity Labs, Essential, MassArt, Payette, Shepley Bulfinch, Autodesk, CBT, and Wentworth – faced the design challenge on-site in public view.

Each team was paired with a community advisor, a group consisting of business owners, neighborhood associations, school officials, residents, designers, and more, representing each of Boston’s four major surrounding neighborhoods: Chinatown, the South End, South Boston, and Fort Point.

Each team spent the weekend meeting with community advisors, collecting public feedback, selecting their best ideas, and honing their designs. Teams created renderings, prototypes, and began fabricating solutions for the area, which were then presented to the public and a panel of expert judges. Each team presentation was an inspiring session that resulted in ten new design proposals to improve the livability of the area.

The winning design, Fidelity Labs’ “Urban Hike” envisions an immersive experience that will enrich the I-93 overpass area, invigorate the surrounding neighborhoods, and encourage learning and exploration throughout Boston. The concept for their design and program was inspired by trailheads commonly found at rural hiking sites.

The Urban Innovation Challenge exhibition examines each design solution created during the festival – designs that would both improve the area and directly tackle problems like public safety, lighting, economic development, and community relations.

Banner Image by Christine Kerrigan.

Scenes From the Festival Weekend: