Stiliyana Minkovska

Artist, Architect ARB/RIBA, Designer, Researcher

I am a qualified architect (ARB/RIBA), practising across the wide intercourses of art, architectural, interior, product design, making,and human-centred research. Igraduated from the Royal College of Art in 2016, where my dissertation was awarded with distinction. My thesis project focused on pregnancy and childbirth, which was rooted in my personal experience as a young mother. The proposal looked at the deinstitutionalisation of birth, which occurs within the hospital environment in western societies, by turning the birthing mother from a medical object into a celebratory matriarchal reproductive economy through spatial qualities and design.

In 2018 I qualified as an Architect from the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London. Recently, I completed a residency programme with the Design Museum, where I advanced further the research that I commenced at the RCA. I designed three progressive elements of offerings, which work around the comfort and wellbeing of the birthing mother. The immersive alternative childbirth environment called Ultima Thule was exhibited at the Design Museum, London from January until July 2020. The triptych was then donated to St Thomas’ hospital, where my birth journey commenced in 2016, to their Home from Home Birth Centre.

My interest in healthcare with particular emphasis in the maternity wards and the birth centres has also been reflected in my artwork. Most recently I exhibited a series of Erotic Kit for Internal Selfies to capture the antenatal and postnatal conditions of the maternal-female body as a place. I study part-time for a Master’s in research(MRes) programme in Healthcare and Design at the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London. My projects are narrative-based, and I combine real scenarios with imaginary settings through thorough storytelling, which evoke macro questions from a micro sampling.