Essential Design was formed in April 2001 by partners Richard Watson and Scott Stropkay. After working in leadership positions at competing global design firms, Richard and Scott teamed together to embark on a mission of delivering more direct and meaningful value as a highly focused design group.

Over the past 18 years, Essential has become a leading innovation strategy & design consultancy. We work across healthcare, consumer, and industrial / technology industries, helping our clients conceive and drive to market connected digital, physical, and service experiences. Our multi-disciplinary team leverages powerful thinking and unique perspectives to empower people through design.

In late 2018, Essential Design became part of PA Consulting. The combination of our capabilities will amplify our ability to deliver innovation strategies that inspire change. We look forward to shaping our next chapter together. Learn more about design at PA Consulting.


  • Health & Wellness
  • Medical Devices & Services
  • Diagnostics
  • Scientific Equipment
  • Consumer Goods & Services
  • Retail Experiences
  • Banking & Financial Services
  • Food & Beverage
  • Industrial
  • Commercial
  • Government
  • Sporting Goods
  • Professional Audio
  • Electronics
  • Robotics


  • AIGA
  • Babson MBA
  • Bentley University
  • Consumer Technology Association
  • Design Management Insitute
  • Design Museum Boston
  • General Assembly
  • Harvard
  • IDSA
  • Mass College of Art
  • MassChallenge
  • MassTLC
  • Medical Development Group
  • MIT 2.009
  • MITX
  • Olin College
  • Service Design Network (SDN)
  • Wentworth College


Essential Design is conveniently located in Downtown Boston near Logan Airport and South Station and is easily accessible via plane, train, bus, or automobile.

143 South Street, 6th floor
Boston, MA 02111

(617) 338-6057

Parking Garage:
VPNE Parking Solutions
745 Atlantic Avenue
Boston, MA 02111

Enter on:
179 South Street
Boston, MA 02111