Barensfeld grew up in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania, north of Pittsburgh, where she now lives with her wife and son. She studied at Philadelphia’s University of Pennsylvania, where she earned her Master of Architecture and Master of Landscape Architecture, garnering each program’s top design award upon graduation. This period of interdisciplinary study ignited a desire to seek a continuous synthesis of structure, topography, and form. Architecture doesn’t stop with the building; architecture and landscape should meld into one design process. Barensfeld, a licensed architect, spent twelve years in San Francisco, California, working on architecture, landscape, and engineering projects. Her award-winning and internationally published design firm, started in 2013 and now based in Pittsburgh, has landscape and architecture work built in both California and Pennsylvania.
Chair of the organization’s Modern Committee, Brittany has served on Preservation Pittsburgh’s Board of Directors since 2017 with particular interest in 20th century modern and postmodern architecture and design of Pittsburgh and the region.
As Executive Director of the Irving and Aaronel deRoy Gruber Foundation, she manages a collection of artwork by the late, Pittsburgh-based artist Aaronel deRoy Gruber (1918-2011), and curates the Foundation’s gallery space in the historic Ice House Studios.
She is perpetually exploring modernist material culture, public art and craftsmanship at their intersections. Brittany received her M.A. in Visual Arts Administration from New York University, Steinhardt (2013) and B.A. in Visual and Critical Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2005), focusing on non-profit management combined with art, architecture, and design history. She resides and works in Lawrenceville.