Sara Blumenstein

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I'm a designer and strategist based in Pittsburgh, PA. I like helping clients do new things, and projects where I can take a deep dive into a new domain, ask the right questions, and make complex things seem simple. I do that through a broad skill set that includes research, facilitation, strategy, and communications.

I've worked with clients ranging from public sector and non-profit organizations to start-ups to large consumer products companies, and across domains from community development to cybersecurity to healthcare to manufacturing. I believe that a problem well-stated is a problem half-solved; here are some questions I’ve answered through my projects:

What are tenants looking for in co-working spaces? How do local leaders feel about the future of Central Indiana? What place do consumers see for smart devices in their homes? What would make a free machine communication standard super-valuable to manufacturers? What will help outsiders see an overlooked neighborhood? How can intergenerational knowledge be shared to make something old-fashioned seem new? How can the value of a complicated new technology be explained plausibly and delightfully to stakeholders? How can the care of people with chronic illnesses be monitored and managed so that no one falls through the cracks?

I’m looking for new projects and I would love to hear about yours. Drop me a line!


Experience:

Previously, I worked as a design strategist at Fourth Economy Consulting, an economic and community development consultancy, and as a designer at MAYA Design, an innovation lab and human-centered design consultancy here in Pittsburgh. Before that, I worked at cityLAB, a tiny nonprofit that took innovative approaches towards the economic development of neighborhoods and cities.

In my spare time, I co-founded the Pittsburgh Canning Exchange. The goals of the Canning Exchange were to teach people how to home-preserve food and to grow a community of home food preservationists here in Pittsburgh.

Education:

Before all that: I went to college at The University of Chicago, where I graduated with an A.B. in English Literature with honors and learned to write clearly and think critically. I spent a year of college studying archeology at the University of Bologna, which ignited an interest in design and urbanism and helped me decide to study architecture. I received a Masters of Architecture with Distinction from the University of Michigan, then moved to Pittsburgh to work with Pablo Garcia, and was the 2010 Booth Traveling Fellow in Architecture.

(Long before that, I wrote a letter to Martha Stewart when I was twelve.)

Contact:

For even more about me, download my résumé or send me an email.

Thanks for reading!