1971 Aug Julie7 3.jpeg

Julia Rousakis

Julia Rousakis co-founded APE Studio after more than a decade of work with Richter Spielgeräte on projects throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and sites in Canada. A native of Houston, Julia enjoyed a free-range childhood exploring the playgrounds and bayous of her hometown. As APE Studio’s director of sales and marketing, Julia aims to bring the same opportunities for self-directed play and nature discovery to play spaces across North America. Julia is a former journalist and writer for museums, a two-time graduate of Columbia University, and the parent of two playground enthusiasts.

Julia is a Certified Playground Safety Inspector


Chelsea Hoffman

From a young age, Chelsea has been climbing trees and halyards in search of quality play.  A co-founder of APE Studio, Chelsea oversees the firm’s special projects.  Prior to working with Richter, her experiences with the exhibitions team at MoMA and leading outdoor adventures for children and communities have served to reinforce her current pursuit of challenging and meaningful play experiences that connect users to the natural environment. 

Chelsea is a Certified Playground Safety Inspector.


Ed Miller

Ed is a co-founder of APE Studio and serves as the company’s technical director. Ed is also the owner of Corby Associates, a family-owned company started by his grandfather that provides installation and inspection services to school districts and cities. Ed is a leader in the playground field, a board member and the chair elect of the National Playground Contractors Association, and an active a member of the National Park and Recreation Association. 

Ed is a Certified Playground Safety Inspector.

Childhood Photo.jpg

William Larson

Will is APE Studio’s planner and designer bringing over three years of experience to playground projects. Having grown up in North Carolina he has always made time for the outdoors and even as a resident of New York City is still an avid hiker, skier, and general wildlife enthusiast. With a background in industrial design, specifically product design, spaces and human interaction with things designed to occupy those spaces has always been a passion of Will’s. 

Will is a Certified Playground Safety Inspector.

Francine's Bio Picture.jpg

Francine Katz, RLA

Francine joined APE Studio in 2018 as a Project Manager after nearly a decade of experience planning landscapes and play spaces, including work on the Trust for Public Land’s Schoolyards to Playgrounds initiative. She serves as APE Studio’s primary point of contact on project concept, design development, and safety compliance. She has dedicated her career to implementing strategic design focused on the promotion of play and physical activity. Francine received her Bachelor’s of Landscape Architecture from the University of Maryland in 2011.

Francine is a Certified Playground Safety Inspector.