Where are you from and why did you move to Singapore?
I moved to Singapore from Vladivostok, Russia nine years ago as my family wanted me to get a better education here, and I’ve just completed my second year as an architecture student in the National University of Singapore.
What do you enjoy about studying architecture?
It was a very spontaneous decision. Since I like science and art, I thought it’d be a good idea to suffer in architecture (sighs). I think my sigh says it all!
All jokes aside, I think architecture is a kind of education that is completely irreplaceable—it makes me question everything and pay attention to details. Many people think that architecture is just about calculating and building things, but there’s a lot of human experiences at play too.
Walk us through your latest project.
We’ve just finished exploring façades in school. To build our façade, my partner and I developed a biodegradable material from food waste.
First, we collected and boiled many apples, then let them sit for a long time. A jelly-like element called pectin formed, and after adding binding agents, flour, and water, we got a malleable material like plastic. That’s where the science aspect comes in, which I love! Forget about everything else, I can sit with the goo all day (laughs).
What’s your favourite architectural structure in Singapore?
My favourite building is the Golden Mile Complex which unfortunately will be demolished soon. Unlike the rest of Singapore that feels very polished and rigid, this building feels alive—breathing, changing, and full of character.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
Much of my inspiration comes from my memories of Russia. It’s a wild and vast place where I can drive for miles and still have a clear view of the skyline. There’s also an interesting harmony of the forest and the ocean which I’ve never seen anywhere else.
I’m also greatly inspired by Neri Oxman, a designer and professor the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab who experiments with ways we can make architecture grow and decay organically. She recently built a five-metre tall pavilion made of biopolymers including the same plant-based pectin that I used for my project and chitin from shrimp shells.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I do book binding and a bit of photography on the side.
My boyfriend and I also enjoy spending time with each other just eating good food and drinking natural wines. One of our favourite food places is Chedi, a Thai Omakase place which is so good!