mHS CITY LAB is a think-tank and implementing organization with a human centered design approach. We design and pilot innovative scalable solutions to foster the development of resilient and inclusive cities

Design & Research

We believe in a human centered design approach, working with the community and local stakeholders

Policy Advocacy

We use on-ground results to influence policy and work with the civil societies & government.

Pilot & Scale

We follow lean experimentation methodology to test iterations in the field through constant user feedback

Digital Tools

Our latest project aims to reach the millions of residents of informal settlements in India to improve their lives and make their buildings more resilient.
By leveraging mobile technology to transfer construction information to unskilled masons and homeowners in low-income communities, we want to help them build safer and better designed homes. Our aim is to revolutionize the incremental construction system of low-income communities ...


Below is the summary of our ongoing Pilot for our Planning Tool Service in partnership with SAATH in Ahmedabad.

Field Interactions
People reached


mHS is working with JPAL (Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab) at MIT to investigate the impact of mason training on the built environment and understand if the current poor quality of informal housing is a demand or supply constraint problem. Working in partnership with SAATH we are determined to discover it ...



We wanted to see if design could help us in finding a solution to provide shelters for the urban homeless families living on hard pavements. After several prototypes and field interactions, we distributed over 100 of them in 2015 and after a positive feedback from the beneficiaries, we are now looking to scale the project ...



Conference on Social Innovation, Milan

Our founder Marco Ferrario presented our ongoing projects and talked of the challenges of leading a social enterprise at the Il Salone della CSR e dell’innovazione sociale conference on Social Innovation held at Milan on 4th and 5th October 2016


Join our team!

mHS CITY LAB is expanding its team for the development of digital tools to improve the quality of built housing in informal settlements. If you are passionate about tackling problems and conversations around poverty alleviation, write to us at telling us how you would like to support our mission to build inclusive cities! We […]


Panel Discussion at MoHUPA

mHS CITY LAB was a part of the panel discussion on affordable housing organised by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation on 24th June 2016. Our Senior Designer Swati Janu presented our work over the last 7 years along with our latest project that leverages digital technology. It was a great platform to be able to […]


Smart phones for smart construction

Our co-founder Marco Ferrario talks about our latest theory of change and how a simple tool or an idea can change the world, one house at a time. Remember those little black gadgets called pagers that could be hooked onto belts? Or playing ‘Snake’ on the Nokia hand held mobile phones that weighed almost a kilo? In less than two […]


Digital Networks in Informal Settlements

This post is second in series of Social and Digital Media at the Sarai programme, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi made possible by a Social Media Research grant to our senior designer Swati Janu. The research is based on our ongoing project to provide design and technical knowledge to masons and homeowners […]


Our pilots are live!

Delhi might be seeing its hottest days yet but nothing stops our incredible team! Two of our pilot projects are live – at Sundernagri, Delhi in partnership with SEWA Delhi and Behrampur, Ahmadabad in partnership with Saath Charitable Trust where the community is availing the construction cost estimate service we have developed for small plots […]

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Barsati offers an informal space for discussions around the creation of socially inclusive cities, taking off from the collaborative project of Tambu talks (Jan-July 2016). Through a series of monthly talks organized by the mHS CITY LAB team, it provides a platform for upcoming and experimental initiatives that engage with the larger but lesser heard part of Indian cities that is composed of self-organized settlements and communities. 

#3 Journalism for Inclusive Cities @Barsati

This month’s Barsati speaker is Neha Dixit, an independent journalist who will talk on issues of social justice based on her work on covering slum eviction in Delhi and the individual journeys of migrant workers. The rapid urbanisation in our country has created a deep schism in our socio-economic fabric which further oppresses lower income communities. Through the medium of investigative journalism, Neha has been trying to create awareness on the State apparatus which marginalises the weaker sections of our society.

Past talks

Chief Media Contact
mHS CITY LAB provides quotes, opinions and statements on the subjects of microfinance, housing for the poor, safety by design (for homes and public infrastructure) as well as community approaches. Please contact Swati Janu for interviews.