Urban Studio at the Art Instute of Pittsburgh

LWhitney, Urban Studio


In Professor Whitney’s Interior Design Commercial II course, students work with a client, analyzing existing conditions and producing design proposals for existing spaces in transition: not in use, under development, or in need of renovation.

This program cultivates a symbiotic relationship between the client and the students, as students provide design services and in exchange are provided with the educational opportunity of working with a client to develop a proposal meeting their needs.



The Urban Studio Project enriches the students’ learning experience while also offering a service to a client or community in need of design assistance.


LisaWhitney_adv comm wi08 040LWhitney, Urban Studio

Students document the space & meet with the client to discuss their needs, budget, and vision for the space.


Students develop a design proposal and participate in a gallery show of their work in the community


  • C-Clear Empowerment Center, McKeesport, Winter 2014
  • The Brew House Association, Pittsburgh (South Side), Summer 2013
  • Warrington Avenue Storefront, Pittsburgh (Allentown), Winter 2013
  • McKees Rocks Employment & Training Center, Spring 2012
  • Christian Community Church, Gibsonia, Fall 2011
  • Paramount Film Exchange, Uptown Pittsburgh, Spring 2011
  • National Opera House, Lincoln-Lemington, Winter 2011
  • Retail Space, Squirrel Hill, Summer 2010
  • Warehouse, Lawrenceville, Spring 2010
  • The New Granada Theater, Pittsburgh (Hill District), Winter, 2010
  • Storefront, Homestead, Fall 2009
  • Bombardier Transportations USA, Inc, Summer 2009
  • Lanigan Strip Mall, Turtle Creek, Winter 2009
  • Carnegie Historical Society, Carnegie, Fall 2008
  • Oasis Coffee, Downtown Pittsburgh, Summer 2008
  • Shannon Hall, Downtown Pittsburgh, Spring 2008
  • Unsmoke Gallery, Braddock, Winter 2008