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Info for Gateway Community Partners

The Gateway Initiative is a truly collaborative, relationship-driven endeavor, and we are always interested in learning more about ways we can engage our wider community in Boston and beyond.

From nonprofits, community organizations, neighborhood groups, and municipal agencies to designers interested in mentoring students through Gateway, we want to hear from you about your project ideas and needs!

Gateway student at work

How Do Gateway Projects Work?

Gateway projects are typically launched in September and ideally run for a full academic year (or two academic semesters: September - December, February - May). Clients will be asked to provide a fee for services of $500 each semester to cover the operating costs associated with the project, including transportation, materials, and printing.

The process for creating a Gateway project begins with an idea that is developed and formulated through ongoing conversation between the client and the Director of Gateway Initiatives. To launch this discussion for your organization, please submit an initial Request for Proposals (PDF) to at least three months prior to the anticipated launch.

Community organizations can submit a completed project application form (pdf) to the Practice Department. If a project proposal is accepted, the client and Director of Gateway develop and clarify the project goals, scope of work, and anticipated deliverables.

Gateway projects occur twice a year at the Gateway Open House: once at the beginning of the fall semester (August) and once at the beginning of the spring semester (January). During the Open Houses, students will learn about that semester's Gateway projects, meet with client representatives, and have the opportunity to submit an application selecting their preferred projects.

Practice staff review student applications and their project preferences; final team composition balances student preferences with the combination of anticipated skills, blended experiences, and an interest in forming interdisciplinary teams.

We offer a wide range of project planning and design services that allow clients to consolidate stakeholder preferences, embark on fundraising campaigns, conduct research, or present a curated set of documents to a professional design firm. Services offered through Gateway may include, but are not limited to:

  • Feasibility studies
  • Working design proposals
  • Site and post-occupancy analysis
  • Design-build*
  • Code and zoning research
  • Project cost analysis
  • Master planning

*Prospective clients should note that stamped drawings and permit-worthy construction documents, must be performed by a licensed design professional.

Why Participate in Gateway?

As the Gateway program has evolved and expanded since 2008, students and clients alike have recognized it as a formative endeavor that promotes self-confidence, rigorous experiential learning, and active assessment of design’s impact on communities, while offering assistance directly to those who are unable to afford professional design services.

How Do I Get Started?

Please submit an initial Request for Proposals to, and we will be in touch to begin discussing your project idea and goals.

Have More Questions?

Contact the Practice Department