Meet our experts
Gilles Beschoor Plug
HE Ambassador of the Netherlands to Russia
Mr Gilles Beschoor Plug serves as the Ambassador of the Netherlands to Russia since 2021. He graduated from Erasmus University Rotterdam where he obtained a Master of Law degree. Joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1988. Throughout his career, he served as a Private Secretary to HM the Queen and HRH Prince Claus of the Netherlands, Deputy Ambassador in Damascus, Ambassador in Abu Dhabi, Ambassador in Tel Aviv, and Ambassador in Belgrade, and has various experience within the MFA. Speaks Dutch, English, French, German and Russian.
Janette Verrijzer
Cultural attaché, the Dutch Embassy in Russia
Before joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Janette Verrijzer was trained as a slavist, a historian, and a journalist. She worked there in widely varying functions, ranging from economic to security issues and from political work to public diplomacy. Currently, she is the head of the Cultural Department in the Embassy of the Netherlands in Moscow.

Design is one of the focus areas of the work of the department. After all, design in all forms is essential to solve the problems of today and design the world of tomorrow.
Pascale Leistra
VMX architects
Pascale Leistra is an architect, researcher, educator and business strategist. As an architect, she worked at Atelier PRO on numerous educational projects, such as school buildings community-, sports- and cultural centres. One of her exemplary projects is Letovo School Campus in Moscow, which has been awarded Best Moscow School Architecture Award 2016. Based on her passion for heritage she has built up solid experience in transformation and renovation. Changing times require new answers and solutions. At VMX architects, Pascale continues working on context, program and clients' ambition with a strong sustainable motivation. Working in an international team in which people inspire each other, her aim is to create healthy and happy environments.
Annemartine van Kesteren
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
Annemartine van Kesteren is a curator, design consultant and writer based in Rotterdam. She is part of the curatorial staff of the Boijmans van Beuningen Museum where she is responsible for the collection of contemporary design. She curated groundbreaking exhibitions as Change the System (2017) and Boijmans drivethru (2020) and collaborated with many Dutch designers. Trained as an Industrial Design engineer, for several years she worked for the global strategic design team of Philips Design and developed products and creative strategies for clients in Europe, Asia and America. She regularly teaches and is frequently asked for expert reviews. Her daily activities range from strategy development, creative direction, curating, and writing.
Picture taken by Fred Ernst
Stefan Al
Stefan Al Architects, CEO & Founder
Stefan Al is an architect, urban designer, researcher, and educator. He has worked on some of the world's largest structures, including the 2000-feet tall Canton Tower. He served as a professor at various institutions such as Virginia Tech, Columbia University, and the University of Pennsylvania. In addition, he was invited to be a TED Resident and advisor to various city governments, including Hong Kong. In addition to his work as a designer, he has published eight books that explore the pressing design challenges in cities. They have been widely acclaimed including by the Wall Street Journal, Architectural Record, The Times and NPR.
Marian Stuiver
Wageningen University, Head of the Green Cities programme
Marian Stuiver is a PhD in Agricultural Sciences at Wageningen University and Research Centre. She is a programme leader in Green Cities. Dr Stuiver is developing consortia on topics such as sustainable business, climate change and nature in the city. Marian is a recognised global expert on strategic visioning, science for impact, ethics and governance. She is developing methodologies to connect entrepreneurs, organizations and policymakers from different backgrounds and cultures for a common goal.
Bob Hendrikx
Studio Hendrikx, CEO & Founder
Bob Hendrikx is an inventor, architect and biodesigner. He is the founder and inventor of the living coffin that turns humans into compost. His other works include growing the world's first living home at the Dutch Design Week and buying a broken-down Detroit home for $1000 to make sustainable housing accessible for all. Bob has been chosen as human of the year 2020 by VICE Media. His ambition is to empower and inspire people towards a living future by turning science-fiction into reality.
Denis Oudendijk
Refunc
Denis Oudendijk is an architect who looks at the world without a manual, the goal of his design approach is to change the way we look at design. By changing people's perception of and shifting the functionality of every object on earth, he gives new meaning to objects and tries to find solutions which are within anyone's reach. Functions are temporarily and do have a lifespan, in architecture and in design. He, together with his team, is questioning the standard design approach where form follows function, and they believe that their methods meet the goals of circular thinking, prolonging things' lifespan to endless.
Polina Maltseva
Dobrograd city, Head of Social Infrastructure
Polina Maltseva is currently leading social infrastructure projects for a newly created city in Russia - Dobrograd, including the opening of the first school and kindergarten there this fall. She is also a founder and CEO of an online school for parents that provides courses on educational best practices. Also, Maltseva serves as a consultant for other projects in offline and online education for K-12.
Previously she was the COO of the Letovo School leading the creation of the top-performing boarding school in Russia. She also worked on projects for San Francisco Unified School District. And before that held a consultant position at the top global consulting firm, McKinsey&Company. She is a graduate of Higher School of Economics, London School of Economics, and Harvard Business School (MBA). She created one of the largest student organisations in Russia focused on business education (Case Club) as well as the McKinsey Business Diving case championship with more than 2000 participants.
Petr Kudryavtsev
Citymakers, CEO & Founder
Petr Kudryavtsev is an urbanist and sociologist, a co-owner of Building Media Group, and a partner at Citymakers. In the past years, he worked as publisher and editor-in-chief for ARX professional journal in architecture and cooperated with other specialists to have founded the Territorial Development Institute (TDI), which designed 20+ major urban construction projects for Moscow and various regions of Russian, created the Friends of Zaryadye public movement. Since 2012, he has served as a partner in Citymakers Bureau, which specialises in socio-cultural programming, creation of concepts for the development of urban districts and public spaces, as well as educational projects. Kudryavtsev has authored more than a hundred papers in leading architectural publications and served as an official representative of the World Architecture Festival in Russia, and a member of the Festival's judge panel.
Nabi Agzamov
Strelka KB, Head of the Urban Ecology Centre
At Strelka KB, Nabi works on creating a more sustainable and resilient urban environment, by strengthening the relationship between water, ecology and cities.
He worked at an urban design and landscape architecture firm SCAPE (New York, NY), there, among other projects, he participated in the design of the "Ecological Citizens" exhibition for the US Pavilion at the Venice Biennale Architettura (2018).
Nabi holds a Master of Science in Architecture and Urban Design from Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation at Columbia University, a Bachelor from New York Institute of Technology, and is an alumnus of The New Normal postgraduate programme at Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design.
Timur Burbaev
NRU HSE, School of Design; Art. Lebedev Studio
Timur is the head of the Industrial Design programme at the School of Design of NRU HSE in Russia and the Art Director at Art. Lebedev Studio in Russia. Also, he is a visiting lecturer at the British School of Design in Moscow. He is a designer that won several international awards in Industrial Design: Red Dot, IF Design (Germany), Good Design (Japan). He supervised and created numerous projects both individually and as the Art Director of Art. Lebedev Studio, including those for the Moscow city infrastructure, Russia Premier League, Bosch, and other institutions. Timur was trained as a design engineer (transportation design).
Alexey Boev
VISOTA bureau
Professional experience and current professional activity:
· Architect "Neutelings Riedijk Architects" (Netherlands)
· Founder of the architectural research bureau "VISOTA" (Netherlands)
· Head of the study of the system of houses and palaces of culture in Russia "Identity in the typical"
· Guest teacher at the "Amsterdam Academy of Architecture"
Studied at the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture and obtained an International Master of Architecture degree
Daria Naugolnova
VISOTA bureau
Professional experience and current professional activity:
· Founder of the architectural research bureau "VISOTA" (Netherlands)
· Head of the study of the system of houses and palaces of culture in Russia "Identity in the typical"
· Guest teacher at the "Amsterdam Academy of Architecture"
Studuied at the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture and obtained an International Master of Architecture degree