MARIANA POPESCU She is post-doctoral researcher at the Block Research Group (BRG) at the Institute of Technology in Architecture at ETH, involved in the NCCR Digital Fabrication. Popescu is an architect with a strong interest in innovative ways of approaching the fabrication process and the use of materials. She studied architecture at the Delft University of Technology, before obtaining her PhD at the BRG in 2019. Her research focuses on the development of KnitCrete, a novel, material-saving, labour-reducing, cost-effective formwork system for casting of doubly-curved geometries in concrete using 3D knitting. She is the main author of the award-winning KnitCandela shell and has been included in the MIT Technology Review Innovator Under 35 list in 2019.
MARIO MONOTTI (Locarno, 1975) He graduated from Zurich Polytechnic with a degree in Civil Engineering and subsequently, earned a PhD in Technical Sciences where he focused his research on the plastic analysis of reinforced concrete slabs. Since 2009, he has held the position of Professor of Structural Design at the Accademia di architettura in Mendrisio, Switzerland. He is also the founder and owner of the Monotti Ingegneri Consulenti SA in Locarno. His company specializes in structural design in architectural contests in the public and private sectors on national and international levels. Mario Monotti works collaboratively with young architects. His name is associated with the school of Leutschenbach of C. Kerez (European steel design award 2011), the House on Two Pillars of C. Scheidegger and J. Keller (Betonpreis 2017), the National Pavilion of the Kingdom of Bahrain for Expo Milano 2015 of Anne Holtrop and many other project and exhibition pavilions.
SMILJAN RADIĆ (Santiago de Chile, 1965) He graduated from the Catholic University of Chile's School of Architecture in 1989 and undertook further studies at the Istituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia, Italy. He opened his own architecture firm in Santiago de Chile in 1995. He was selected as the best architect under 35 by the College of Architects of Chile in 2001; he was given the Architectural Record’s Design Vanguard award in 2008; named honorary member of the American Institute of Architects, USA, in 2009; in 2013, 2015 and 2018 he obtained the award for best Chilean Building, by Universidad Mayor, Chile; in 2015, the Oris Award, Croatia; in 2018 the Theater Bio Bio was nominated as one of the best building by Architectural Record’s Design Vanguard and in 2018 he obtained the Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, USA. Radić was selected to design the 2014 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in London. He is the president of Fundación de Arquitectura Frágil. The aim of the foundation is to promote the study and dissemination of experimental architecture or that of an improbable reality, where the boundaries of architecture are blurred. With a distinctive approach to form, materials, and natural settings, Radić mostly builds small- to medium-sized projects that deal with the notion of fragility often using artisanal production techniques, materials of different weight and density to contrast what is alterable from what is permanent. He currently lives and works in Chile, always in close collaboration with the sculptor Marcela Correa.
More guest critics of the midterm and final reviews will be announced during the semester.