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Maiia Sivtseva

ARCSR PhD in Architecture 2018-Present

PhD Candidate, AAD

As part of her research through design, Maiia built a community structure in Yakutsk, Siberia and in 2019 she presented a paper entitled 'Socio-cultural Initiatives through Collaborative Making in the Subarctic Climate of Yakutsk'. She is currently completing her PhD at London Metropolitan University.

ARCSR Alumni Profile

What does your day to day role involve?

Research studies

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Interacting with inspiring people: my supervisors, researchers from the CASS and outside, and fellow students. Character of job: research + design practice + hands-on practice. Moreover, every stage of my research work is very creative, provides new opportunities and challenges, that are inspired to be approached creatively.


Did you have to undertake any additional qualifications to get into your chosen career, if yes please describe your route 

I had to gain my second MA degree at the CASS in order to start my PhD research. As my first MA from the Oxford Brookes University was not related to the field of research and did not include much of academic writing.


Do you think your ARCSR experience directly assisted you in obtaining your current role and career path?

Yes, ARCSR helped me to choose not only the topic for my PhD research and introduced me to academia, but also shaped my approach to architectural practice, broadened my horizons and indicated my future career plans and goals. Basically, changed my career path completely, I could not imagine that the role of an architect could include aspects that ARCSR is teaching - it is a complex philosophy combined with deep understanding/analysis of the context, time, scale, shapes and materials.


What did you enjoy most about the course?

The sense of belonging to the research community and enormous support of my supervisors to learn new and achieve more. The dynamic process of research with hands-on case studies that I am free to shape. That brings both physical (built structures) and non-physical outcomes (collaborations with people).


What are your professional ambitions?

1. Successfully complete my PhD.

2. Stay both at practice and academia, maybe through creating a non-proHt organisation for hands-on projects in the future, collaborating with people all over the Arctic and Subarctic regions. Continue practicing bottom-up and teaching.


In your opinion, what are the essential skills for you career?

1. Self-organisation and time management.

2. Communication and networking.

3. Quick production of work (research and design).

4. Being curious and easy-going.


If you are undertaking research, what sort of research is it?

Research through practice. Collaborative placemaking with the local communities in the extreme continental sub-Arctic climate conditions, based on the theories of ARCSR.


What is your best memory of ARCSR?

Summer practice course at CAT, Wales.


What advice can you offer to new ARCSR students?

Talk more to people. It's all because of them and for them.


And finally, tell us a bit about what you are currently working on at the moment. 

At the time, I am writing my Chapter 1 for the RD2 submission; a contribution for a possible publication in Finland; preparing a summer workshop for students in Yakutsk; finishing collaborative design work of a city park in Lensk (Siberia), and preparing for the online doctoral colloquium in Colombia.

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