After a year working for Stephen Bayley on design exhibitions at the V&A's Boilerhouse project, Stafford Critchlow studied architecture at Newcastle University, graduating with a double first. He finished his diploma with a year at Venice University studying under Aldo Rossi. Having worked for Gaul Associates in Chicago and for Skidmore Owings & Merrill, he joined Chris Wilkinson Architects in 1992.
There he worked on the practice's Jubilee Line Extension projects in Stratford, east London, and the Dyson headquarters in Malmesbury, before becoming project architect for Explore @ Bristol Millennium Science Centre. He became an associate director of Wilkinson Eyre in 2000 and subsequently led the Museum of London redevelopment, two City & Islington College buildings and the exemplar Schools for the Future secondary school design for the Department for Education and Skills, currently in development as the John Madejski City Academy in Reading.