“Through the Design Center experience, I have discovered creative and innovative approaches to urban place-making. I have been inspired by the possibility of the city, a special place in which a diverse mix of people can live in an environmentally conscious manner.” – Christian Umbach
Christian Umbach, a Western PA native from Washington, PA, completed his Environmental Science degree with a minor in Creative Writing at Allegheny College. During his time in College, he worked with youth through the Pittsburgh Project, was the Executive Board Leader for the Allegheny Christian Outreach, interned with the Meadville City Manager, and DJed at a radio station. Christian loves learning more about the unique challenges Pittsburgh neighborhoods face during his time with PULSE. He is serving at the Design Center.
Jessie Smucker: How has PULSE inspired you to live/think/act differently?
Christian Umbach: During my nonprofit partnership at the Design Center, I have the opportunity to explore the field of architecture and urban design. Through that experience, I have discovered creative and innovative approaches to urban place-making. I have been inspired by the possibility of the city, a special place in which a diverse mix of people can live in an environmentally conscious manner.
Jessie: Describe a typical day at your nonprofit partnership.
Christian: I begin the day by creating Facebook posts that contain the latest news dealing with urban planning and architecture. I also run a program called Design Consults. This is a home renovation program that connects homeowners with design professionals (design professionals volunteer their time to help homeowners prepare and plan for a future renovation). As the communications coordinator, It is my job to match homeowners with the appropriate design professionals.
Jessie: What is the best part of the PULSE experience?
Christian: Developing relationships with my housemates. I enjoy preparing and eating meals together. One of my favorite meals is a Thai peanut stir-fry dish. I also enjoy biking and walking around the city. My favorite place to walk to is the Fineview Overlook, one of the city’s best kept secrets.
Jessie: What have you enjoyed the most about living in community?
Christian: As an extrovert, I love having friends around to help me recharge and remain positive.
Jessie: What do you love about Pittsburgh?
Christian: A number of things:
- The historic landmarks and historic neighborhoods
- The sports culture
- The parks
- The river activities: biking, walking, the gateway clipper, kayaking
- The architecture of the buildings
- The bridges
- The topography
- The beautiful overlooks
Story by PULSE Participant Jessie Smucker.
Read more Participant Stories from Fellows about their experience in PULSE. If you would like to learn more about the PULSE program, please visit our Serve with Us page.
Also, check out other Stories of Transformation: