Maria, 25, lives in Ulyanovsk, a Russian provincial town that is so focused on its past as the birth place of Communist leader Lenin that it has several museums dedicated to him.
Maria, a 6-year student majoring in graphic design, is just as focused on the future and hi-tech cities.
While the well-perserved historical towns of Europe are popular Russian tourist destinations, Maria’s preferred travel spots are the likes of Hong Kong and Dubai, ”cities of the future.”
”I am inspired by the atmosphere of megapolis’s like Hong Kong and sci-fi films,” Maria said of her graphic design work. She hopes to visit Japan next and then the US.
Maria posts some of her design work on Instagram. US-based SpaceX, which designs and manufactures space technology, came across her profile and contacted her about possible cooperation.
”I was in shock for a week…I told all my friends about it.”
Maria said she loves American candy bars like Twix and Mars and eats one nearly every day. The habit started in childhood.
After Communism collapsed, her dad – like many professionals in the former Soviet Union – moved into trade to survive. He sold various American goods, including candy bars. And that gave rise to Maria’s innocent desire to visit the US.
‘When I was three or five year-old, I would constantly ask, ”Dad, when are we going to America?” She said her father would answer ”soon.” If something works out with SpaceX, then Maria may indeed visit the US in the near future.