Sara Blumenstein

Design Strategy, Pittsburgh, PA


I am a freelance design researcher and strategist based in Pittsburgh, PA. I like: taking deep dives into a new domain; asking the right questions; working collaboratively to find extraordinary solutions; and making complex things seem simple. I do that through a broad skill set that includes research, strategy, workshop facilitation, and communications.

I have worked with clients ranging from public sector and non-profit organizations (including the Urban Redevelopment Authority, the University of Pittsburgh, and the YMCA) to start-ups to large consumer products companies, and across domains from community development to cybersecurity to healthcare to manufacturing.

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

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.

Also, 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.

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.)

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

Thanks for reading!