Cristina was born, trained and qualified as an architect in Italy (1999, Florence). After an MSc in Computer Aided Building Design (Strathclyde) and a PhD in Architecture (Sheffield) she has been working across practice and academia in Sheffield and London.
She is a director at Studio Polpo, the research led social enterprise design and architecture practice that she co-founded in 2008, and a Reader/Associate Professor in Community Led Architecture and Urban Design at Sheffield Hallam University. Cristina has a strong record of research and scholarship, having obtained funding from a range of bodies, including RCUK (EPSRC, AHRC), the EU and the UK Department of Health and published and presented her work from academic journals to parliamentary launches, public events, and exhibitions.
She is recipient of a RIBA President's Award for Outstanding Practice-located Research (2012) and, with Studio Polpo, she was invited to contribute to the British Pavilion for the Venice Architecture Biennale 2020 (postponed2021) with an installation about the British High Street. Cristina’s work focuses on supporting collective endeavours and countering inequality through practices of care, actively proposing and implementing alternatives. She has a particular interest in Ethical Practice, Collective Production of the Built Environment, Social Innovation and Community-Led Housing.