The board and staff of Design Center Pittsburgh hope you have a great holiday season and a Happy New Year!
Welcoming Anastasia Dubnicay,
our new Director of Programs
Born and raised in the Pittsburgh area, Anastasia earned a Masters degree in Architecture from Kent State University and has worked with Pittsburgh architecture firms including Astorino and IBACOS. She is the lead mentor and Executive Director of the board for ACE Pittsburgh - a program that works with high school students interested in architecture, construction, and engineering, and the chair of CANstruction Pittsburgh - a design-build non-profit that donates structures made of canned goods to food banks. Her love of architecture has led her to hold elected positions and remain involved with Pittsburgh's American Institute of Architects (AIA) and its Young Architects Forum (YAF). We're glad to welcome her to the team, and know her strengths in design, planning and civic engagement will support out impact in the communities we serve.
The Mixed-Income Housing Toolkit (MIHT) was developed by Design Center Pittsburgh in collaboration with the Buhl Foundation's One Northside Initiative as a tool to educate communities and residents to be part of the housing dialogue. With this tool you can learn about mixed-income housing models and get a general understanding about how they work. Our goal with this resource is to compile and explain the policies and planning tools that communities and local governments are using to address the current housing crisis. With this information, neighbors can become more effectively prepared to be involved in the decisions shaping their communities and meaningfully join the discussion about the housing priorities put forth by the City of Pittsburgh and other local entities. Check out the site below.
Design Center Pittsburgh, in partnership with the Urban Redevelopment Authority, has been asked to provide data collection and building assessments to targeted CDBG eligible census tracts within the City of Pittsburgh. The focus for the first round of funding will be in the neighborhoods of Allentown, Carrick, Beechview, Hill District, South Side, Garfield, and Homewood. This assessment will include data on conditions, uses and amenities for over 4,000 commercial and industrial zoned properties within the CDBG eligible census tracts of these seven communities. Using a survey developed by Design Center Pittsburgh, the data gathered can help community groups assess the need for repairs, understand the commercial uses of properties in the district, and plan for interventions such as facade programs, attracting new businesses, and identifying code violations.
This past summer Design Center Pittsburgh established a social justice pilot program to provide direct design and planning services that help communities re-imagine their built environment through equitable development and community reinvestment. The targeted projects are intended to rebuild communities through projects that engender social equity but may not have a traditional development horizon. In partnership with Homewood's Baptist Temple Church (BTC), our team of designers drafted pre-schematic design options for BTC to turn two vacant parcels in the community into an urban green space for physical and spiritual healing. As part of the design process, BTC and Design Center Pittsburgh organized a community design charrette, a process that resulted in renderings and supporting design materials to visualize the potential community vision for the project. We hope that in providing direct technical assistance and resources to our community partners that these projects amplify the community’s voice for change and empower neighborhoods toward action around a collective vision.
Bloomfield’s main street has a vibrant medley of businesses - restaurants, barber shops, clothing stores, clinics, and much more - with a proud history of the neighborhood as “Pittsburgh’s Little Italy." Now, with an influx of new business owners, younger families, students, and a host of new development opportunities, the Bloomfield Development Corporation (BDC) has been thinking about how to embrace and build upon a community in transition. Design Center Pittsburgh partnered with BDC to gather data, prototype design interventions, and develop recommendations that can support and strengthen a diverse main street in the context of Bloomfield’s changing identity. To begin understanding these physical and social conditions, we proposed an engagement initiative called BizBloom: marketing interviews that highlight the unique stories of business owners in Bloomfield. Piloted at the Bloomfield Saturday Market, market-goers got a chance to read about the interesting narratives of the people that live and work in Bloomfield, using storytelling as a way to rethink opportunities in the built environment and market the main street to both current and new residents and visitors.
East Ohio Facade Enhancement &
Activation Program (FEAP)
Working with the Buhl Foundation'sOne Northside Initiative, the Northside Community Development Fund, the Northside Leadership Conference, the East Allegheny Community Council, and local business owners in East Deutschtown, Design Center Pittsburgh provided technical design assistance to develop and deliver a commercial Facade Enhancement and Activation Program (FEAP) for East Ohio Street. To date, the committee has worked with eight local property owners to design and develop facade improvements that are helping to revitalize East Ohio Street into a vibrant commercial district. You can see the results of the program in the before/after transformation above and walking down East Ohio. This program will continue in 2018 so look for more facade changes to come.
Looking for a unique gift this Holiday season?
Give someone a Design Consult
Is there someone on your holiday list looking to make home improvements or renovating their home this year? Consider giving them the gift of a Design Consult! Our Design Consults program matches property-owners with professional designers who provide low-cost, on-site consultations to discuss property improvement ideas and renovation options. For a small fee, a professional designer can help a property owner understand the impact of their investments and realize how the value of design can add value to their homes and neighborhoods.
Consult With The Design Center "Many local residents were matched with volunteer architects, landscape designers and other design professionals, some of whom were from Mt. Lebanon. Several stories in MTLmagazine chronicled the good results."
"The pavilion was almost entirely privately funded beginning with a $50,000 grant from the Design Center for planning and design. Several 'visioning' meetings were held in the neighborhood...to come up with the design."