About me
My name is Julia Stafi, I'm an architect, artist, and social activist from Saint Petersburg, Russia.

As Bill Clinton says - if you want to lead something, start by saying - this is what I care about.

This is what I want to do. For me, it is important to make the world beautiful, safe, and equitable for all the inhabitants of the Planet.

This is my brief dossier and story.

After graduating from the Penza State University of Architecture and Civil Engineering in 2012, I almost immediately moved to St. Petersburg. I worked as an architect for a number of different companies. The path of a female architect in Russia—well, it is not easy. This is a traditional "male profession" and occupation.
You will not find a single woman searching for "famous architects of Russia" since the times of the Russian Empire.
In a more modern story, in the town planning council of St. Petersburg (a city with more than 5 million residents), out of 30 committee members, 30 are men.
It's OK to be an interior designer, but a woman architect as principal? No way.
I never asked for special treatment, and I never will.
This is why I founded my own practice in 2015 and am still holding a state license for architectural business in the Russian Federation. I continued to work for a number of companies as a partner, gaining the necessary practical knowledge.

My first international recognition came in 2016 with the "Cannabis Bank" competition. The project received an honorable mention from the jury.

My first significant social, and I would say "nerve" project, was a concept for the reconstruction of Adolf Hitler's house in Austria. The project was presented at the Vienna Architecture Biennale in 2017.

2017: Place and Displacement: A Market in Refugee Settlements competition (IDeA) finalist

2019: International Associate of The American Institute of Architects

2020 - Present: SHELTER: co-author and lead designer.
Improvement, development, and supporting animal shelters. Drawing attention to the problem of abandoned and abused pets.

2021: Rick Rescorla Initiative. Honoring the mostly unknown hero of 9/11.

2022: AIA mentorship program participation as a mentee (Noam Maitless as a mentor)

2022: I have received a Sho-Ping Chin Women Leadership Summit grant.
I'm the first Russian woman to do it.
I received this grant for my anti-war protest and project, "The Memorial".

2022: Participant in the Wheelwright Prize Program.

2023: Present: War on Terror Memorial Initiative.

What makes me an ideal candidate? I've heard this question dozens of times. In fact, in the Russian version, it sounds something like this: why should we adopt you?
I'm not an ideal candidate. Ideals are different. When creating my projects, I always think about the world in which I and our children would like to live.
I know what it is to be a creative and free thinker in a totalitarian state.
Even in such conditions, I create and dream—even before the broad hype around artificial intelligence, I created a short manifesto, INTOPIA- the world of 2040 through the eyes of an architect.
My view of AI is somewhat different from the mainstream.
I felt like I was part of this world of the future, a world in which AI would free me, an architect, from routine and bureaucracy, leaving me with the role of an artist and social worker. A world in which AI will save us from housing problems, the plague of parking lots, and landfills. I saw myself not as a consumer but as a mentor and teacher for the machine. A world in which TaaS will make the same revolution as the Ford Model T did in its time, and we, architects, will start planning our cities and communities with a clean slate—Rethink, Redesign, Remodel.
My dreams were crushed in February 2022.
At least, that's what I thought.
The madness that has gripped my country is difficult to describe.
And this motivates me to continue to think, to do, and to create with greater effort.

Thank you.

Cannabis Bank
Julia Stafi - Lead design and concept.
Visualization by Nikita Petrov
The Abyss
Julia Stafi Lead design and conceptualist
Miroslav Stafi - manifesto
Full project - ICARCH
Julia and Miroslav Stafi - Idea.
Daria Zernova - visualization
Short on YouTube
War on terror Memorial 2023 - Present.
Julia and Miroslav Stafi - Idea, concept, proposal
Photo by Michael Yon
The Memorial. 2022-Present
Proposal, social and people's project.
Sho-Ping Chin Women Leadership Grant.
Case #3

A small start-up technology company will be moving from their co-working space into proprietary office space in a 'hot and happening' location in an urban metropolis. They have asked you to help them envision an 'innovation lab' type of space for them. The head of the company has expressed a desire to "... have a space unlike anything she has seen before!" They have a modest budget and the schedule is aggressive.

With a modest budget and an aggressive schedule, I will offer them a space from the "Stranger Things" universe. A cozy yet innovative basement where big thoughts and great ideas are born. Believe me, this place will be discussed and published in many tabloids - if the company needs such fame. "A young innovative company works in the office whose design is inspired by "Stranger things". Sounds good? How to manage this attention is a question for the PR manager.
What do we end up with?
If the goals of the space are to:
• Enhance their brand and reputation so that they may impress potential investors - Yes

• Foster creativity and innovative thinking within their employees -Yes

• Attract and retain the top talent within their field - Depends

• Have a 'wow' factor for employees and guests - Yes. Wow! Yes!

And answering the main (as for an architect) question. If the head of the company has not watched "Stranger Things", she will definitely get space that has never been seen before (we answered to her request). If she watched it and didn't like this idea, then, in any case, I will boost her imagination, get feedback, and determine a further idea for the project.