We are good listeners and creative solution-finders, detectives and artists, property-aware professionals and persistent out-of-the box thinkers and doers. The founding members Dejan Mrdja and Ursula Dimitriou ensure that the projects of the studio are always contemporary and genuine.


Ursula Dimitriou has over seventeen years  of professional experience as a qualified architect involved in all project stages, from conceptual design and planning applications to construction management. She has an extensive design and detailing experience across a range of sectors with an emphasis on residential, hospitality, retail, arts and culture. Ursula graduated from the National Technical University of Greece in Athens in 2000. She holds an MA in Art and Architecture from UPC in Barcelona and a PhD degree from the Department of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths University of London. Her PhD focused on design and politics.

She has nine years of teaching experience at BA and MA levels in Architecture, Urban Design and Visual Culture. She has led design studios and contextual studies modules at Central Saint Martins, Westminster University in London, Welsh School of Architecture, University of the Creative Arts in Farnham, Goldsmiths University in London, etc.  Ursula’s research interests include public space, common space, participatory design, design and social sustainability, grassroots urban practices, theatrical and ephemeral practices in the urban space, public art, visual media as a research method.

Dejan Mrdja has experience of working on a wide range of projects spanning from master planning, urban regeneration, refurbishments, mixed-use, housing and arts & culture projects.  His focus in the practice is on planning, build-ability and delivery of projects. Dejan has an degree in architecture and engineering from the University of Belgrade, Serbia (2006). Before setting up Studio SYN with Ursula, Dejan has worked in London for a number of award-winning design-led practices. Dejan has extensive client experience, ranging from private clients, developers, start-up design businesses and art organisations. Dejan teaches architecture at Central Saint Martins BA and University of West England BA, Bristol.

Dejan is also a practicing artist and holds an MA in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins, London (2017). Dejan’s art works are at the intersection of art and architecture, where he addresses his artistic interests through gestural drawing, body actions and mark-making. He builds his art work with an aim to create robust, immersive experiences for both the participants and the audience. Dejan brings in this approach into Studio SYN’s architectural projects wherever possible.

Despoina Tsafou is an Architect Engineer graduate of the National Technical School of Architecture (NTUA) in Athens. She also holds a Master in “Architecture, Art and Ephemeral Space” from UPC University of Catalonia. In Barcelona she further developed her methodology and experience in exhibition design and museography while working with “Ambito Cero” office. She has over 11 years of experience as an architect and exhibition designer and is a member of the Technical Chamber of Greece.  In Athens she has collaborated in a number of prestigious projects for clients such as the Milos Mining Museum, Vagonetto, Greek Ministry of Culture, Goulandris Natural History Museum, Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation (PIOP), National Gallery of Athens.

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