Dr. Mariana Popescu is post-doctoral researcher at the Block Research Group (BRG) at the Institute of Technology in Architecture at ETH Zurich, involved in the NCCR Digital Fabrication. Popescu is an architect with a strong interest in innovative ways of approaching the fabrication process and 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.
Dr. Mariana Popescu is post-doctoral researcher at the Block Research Group (BRG) at the Institute of Technology in Architecture at ETH Zurich, involved in the NCCR Digital Fabrication. Mariana is an architect with a strong interest in innovative ways of approaching the fabrication process and use of materials. She has received Bachelors and Masters degrees in architecture from Delft University of Technology, specializing in non-standard and interactive architecture within Hyperbody.
After graduating she was part of a start-up, Hive Systems, developing a platform enabling designers and architects to quickly conceptualize, visualize and build complex interactive environments using distributed algorithms. From early 2013 onwards she has been working at Zwarts and Jansma Architects in Amsterdam as a parametric design specialist. From 2008 to 2010 she was part of the Nuon Solar Team, a multidisciplinary team designing, building and racing a solar car across the Australian Outback and part of the ReVolt House team, which built a fully self-sustaining house during 2011 and 2012.
From June 2015 to 2019, Mariana was a PhD researcher at the BRG, part of the NCCR Digital Fabrication. She successfully defended her PhD dissertation on "KnitCrete: Stay-in-place knitted fabric formwork for complex concrete structures" on June 4, 2019. Additionally, her thesis committee, consisting of Prof. Dr. Chokri Cherif of TU Dresden, Prof. Dr. Jan Knippers of University of Stuttgart and Prof. Block, nominated her for an ETH Medal for outstanding thesis!
In 2019, Mariana has been named to MIT Technology Review’s prestigious annual list of Innovators Under 35 as a Pioneer.