Founded in 2013 by Christian J. Hughes, Drafting Dreams is purposed to expose students in grades Kindergarten through 12th to principles of architecture and urban design through creative design exercises and design-oriented curricula.


The mission of Drafting Dreams is to inspire the next generation of design professionals and to increase women and minority interest and participation in design professions.


Drafting Dreams seeks to impress upon students, their parents, and their educators the importance of design education. Through design education, students learn the design process that brings about the places they interact with daily. Students are also exposed to decision-making processes that involve the built environment. This exposure will equip them to be able to influence progressive and necessary changes in their built environment as needed as adults.

Christian Hughes, a graduate from Hampton University, was tired of the lack of minorities in his industry of architecture. That is when he created Drafting Dreams a program that exposes children kindergarten to 12th grade to architecture and urban designs. His mission is to educate his students about the design process of the places they interact with daily.



Christian J. Hughes is a native of Detroit, Michigan and a 2014 graduate of Hampton University in Hampton, VA, where he received the Master of Architecture (M.Arch) degree. At Hampton University, Christian was heavily involved in Student Government, where he was able to build experience in organizational leadership, outreach, and service. In recognition of his work, Christian received the 2014 Alpha Rho Chi Medal for leadership and service. Alpha Rho Chi is a national professional fraternity for Architecture and allied arts and awards one graduate from each architecture degree granting program across America for their accomplishments in leadership and service. Most recently, Christian served as Design Associate with Michael Baker International, LLC., an international architecture, engineering, and planning firm, at their World Headquarters in Moon Township, PA. He is also Project Manager for Unity Consultants. Christian’s professional interests lie in Architecture, Urban Design, community inclusion in design, and in K-12 education.

Upon transitioning to Pittsburgh, PA in June of 2014, Christian became a fellow of Carnegie Mellon University’s (CMU) Remaking Cities Institute in the School of Architecture, participating in their UDream Fellowship. “UDREAM” is an acronym for Urban Design Regional Employment Action for Minorities. The duration of the fellowship was June 1st through September 30th of 2014, during which time Christian completed five weeks of rigorous urban design courses at CMU. The UDream Fellowship also consisted of one week of teaching principles of architecture and urban design to High School Students, and concluded with a twelve week internship. Christian held his internship at the Kingsley Association in the Pittsburgh neighborhood of Larimer, where he remains active as a consultant for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) and STREAM (Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Agriculture, and Mathematics) youth programming and sustainable community development.

Christian has worked as "Project Assistant" for the City of Detroit’s Department of Buildings, Safety Engineering, and Environmental, where he processed citizen complaints and worked with Zoning Inspectors through the plan review and permit processes. Christian has also interned at Jenkins Construction Incorporated (Detroit, MI) where he gained experience in Design-Build, Construction and Site Management, and Estimating. 

Christian currently sits on the Advisory Board of the Pittsburgh Albert Schweitzer Fellowship. He is also a Board Member for the Homewood-Brushton Business Association in Pittsburgh, PA, where he also serves as Treasurer. In addition, Christian is on the Board for the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Young Preservationists Association.


Programs and Organizations Offering

Similar Programming

Hampton University Department of Architecture

Hampton University, Hampton, VA 23668

Architecture Barbie

& Young Men In Architecture

In memory of Barbara G. Laurie, Howard University Professor and advocate for women in architecture, "Architecture Barbie" is an annual event, hosted by Hampton University Department of Architecture's AIAS/NOMAS Chapter. (American Institute of Architecture Students/National Organization of Minority Architecture Students) It debuted in April of 2013, at which time Christian J. Hughes served as AIAS/NOMAS President. In April of 2014, the event expanded to include a program for young men, "Young Men In Architecture," created and coordinated by Christian at the request of parents. Both programs, "Architecture Barbie," and "Young Men in Architecture," are hosted together, held annually on the campus of Hampton University in April. As a Hampton University Alumnus, Christian serves as an advisor to both programs. 

Click here to learn more and donate!



Carnegie Mellon University

5000 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Architecture Explorations


Hosted in the Spring and Fall of each year, Carnegie Mellon University's School of Architecture conducts their "Architecture Explorations" program, which seeks to expose students to architecture and urban design. Christian has served as a Teacher for the program's Saturday Sequence. Click here to learn more!





The Kingsley Association

6435 Frankstown Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15206

East Liberty Family Support - Family Fun Day

Every 4th Friday of the Month during the Academic Year, East Liberty Family Support, housed in The Kingsley Association in the Pittsburgh neighborhood of Larimer, hosts its "Family Fun Friday," at which the first Drafting Dreams event was held in August of 2014. Since then, Drafting Dreams has been a recurring event for selected Family Fun Fridays.


Member, The National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA)

Associate Member, The American Institute of Architects (AIA)



Kelly Chiodi, Parent - Architecture Explorations, Carnegie Mellon University School of Architecture

My son had the fortune of studying architectural ideas with Christian at CMU's Architecture Explorations. He came home each week inspired and excited to return the next. 

Being a very finicky student of teaching styles, this is high praise from him. From Christian's simple act of calling his students, "scholars" to allowing them to think through problems both on their own and in groups, he knew just how to relate to this group of young adults, guiding them toward solutions, without just giving them the answers. 

We look forward to whatever he dreams up next.


Samantha Carter, Graduate Admissions & K-12 Outreach Coordinator - Carnegie Mellon University School of Architecture

"Christian taught middle and high school students for our Saturday morning architecture program in the fall and the spring of this past academic year. [2014-2015] He is a positive mentor for the students and has a wonderful passion for inspiring young minds."


Articles by or about 

Christian J. Hughes, NOMA, Associate AIA, M.Arch

Drafting DREAMS - Transcending the Gender Lines

By: Carnegie Mellon University, School of Architecture Remaking Cities Institute


Dossier - Christian Hughes, Assoc. AIA

This intern architect understands the importance of giving back.

By: The Pittsburgh Chapter of the American Institute of Architects


The Unbeaten Path - #28BlackArchitectsIn28Days

By: Christian J. Hughes, NOMA, Associate AIA, M.Arch for the Pittsburgh Chapter of the American Institute of Architects


People Places & Things

75 x 5K Service Spotlight - Christian Hughes and the Kingsley Association

By: Michael Baker International, LLC.


Christian's Personal Webpage