Stefan Popa

AArchitect in Residence – Plastics: 'Ethic or Aesthetic?'

Series: AA Collections Talks
Date: Monday 26 February 2018
Time: 18:30
Venue: AA Lecture Hall
Running time: 65 mins

Plastic materials are praised for their versatility, lightness, longevity and potential for formal expression as they still provide inexpensive solutions to complex design, functional and constructive issues. Yet the ways in which these highly customised elements are to be reused or discarded after they fulfil their initial function are unfortunately limited in their consideration. 

In the second half of the 20th Century, the re-utilisation of materials such as plastic, glass and metal was intensely debated in architecture schools, the AA included, as well as in the profession by architects and designers who were at the forefront of the reuse movement. The lecture and accompanying exhibition will attempt to open up questions related to the agency of architecture in environmental debates and contemporary concerns with the growing global plastic waste stock. 

Stefan Popa studied in Bucharest, Paris and Barcelona before joining the Architectural Association. After graduating from the Vallès School of Architecture in Barcelona in 2009, he was awarded the Caja de los Arquitectos scholarship and started practicing architecture as a design team member of Foster + Partners. His interest in theory of architecture in relation to design practices led him to pursue the History and Critical Thinking MA degree at the Architectural Association in 2014. His current PhD research titled ‘Earth Games: the Lillehammer Winter Olympic Games or the failure of the ecological project’ examines the agency of architecture in ecological debates. Over the last three years Stefan has also taken part in competition and academic juries in the U.K, Egypt and Romania and has presented part of his research at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal and the University of Architecture and Urban Planning in Bucharest. 

Image: 'Unfolding Caravan,' 5th Year project by students John Frazer and Peter Columb; Architectural Association, 1968-1969. Architectural Association Archive. 


This lecture is part of the inaugural AArchitect in Residence programme which invites current AA students to submit ideas for an exhibition and lecture drawing on materials from the library, photo library and archives. The author of the selected proposal will get to stage their exhibition which will open following this lecture. This annual competition encourages current students to work with the collections to further their individual research, while also providing a platform for students to give lectures and curate exhibitions before graduating from the AA. 

All lectures are open to members of the public, staff and students unless otherwise stated.

June 2018
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