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Yulia Korneeva

Where are you from?

I was born in Siberia, Russia and spent all of my childhood and adolescence there. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not cold all year around, a lot of Siberia has four seasons and springtime is glorious (it typically comes pretty late, snow fully melts around May). When I turned 18, I moved to Saint Petersburg, Russia with my family and went to college. I lived there for four years before moving to the United States for grad school.

Where did you go to school?

I went to college in Saint Petersburg, receiving a bachelor’s degree in international relations. Afterwards, I went to Lincoln University in Oakland for grad school, majoring in business and finance. And finally, I decided to change my career path, and pursued an architectural and interior design program at UC Berkeley, which led me to where I am today!

Tell me about your family.

All my family is in Russia. I try to visit them as often as I can, but lately it’s become almost impossible. I have a younger brother who is a UX designer and a younger sister who is a freshman in college. She is currently studying to become a structural engineer and was hugely inspired by my career path.

What is the last show you binge watched?

The Last of Us. Funnily enough, I’ve been really into foraging and learning more about mushrooms as of late. Mycelium is a fascinating stuff and I’m not surprised there is a show (and a video game) about humans turned into zombies by mushrooms.

Q: Did you pick up any new hobbies during quarantine?

I got more into baking. I really enjoy not only how technical baking is, but also how sometimes you need to trust your gut and experiment with ratios and flavors. And of course, I appreciate when people enjoy what I’ve made. I’ve also decided to learn Italian.

Q: What is the most interesting aspect of architecture to you?

The most fascinating thing about architecture is that buildings and humans have an unspoken connection. There is a dialogue between people and the spaces they inhabit. Client needs, preferences, and desires are what make each project unique. I also believe that there’s a bond between the built environment we craft and live in and its natural setting.

Q: What kinds of projects do you most enjoy working on?

The best projects are the ones where the client trusts your vision but also pushes your creative mind. I like working on houses that are simple, elegant, and have a sense of belonging to the site. I also like when everything has a purpose, and the design is fully functional.

Q: What are five features you would include in your dream home?

Open floor plan, substantial fenestration to welcome in more natural light, and repurposed/salvaged materials like marble countertops in the kitchen – that’s every baker’s dream. I’m also constantly aware of how much natural stone ends up in landfills post demolition, and how special it would be to give it a second life. I'd also love a reading nook, and a custom designed shoe display (I’m a shoe addict and collect designer shoes, so it would be nice to have a way to showcase my entire collection).

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