Stella Papanicolaou is a senior lecturer at the School of Architecture Planning and Geomatics, where she has taught since 2001. She currently co-runs the postgraduate vertical studio elective, Adapt! that focusses on design with existing buildings. She also teaches histories and theories of modern movement architecture in the Bachelor of Architectural Studies (BAS) degree programme.
Her interests lie in the adaptation of existing buildings as a means of provocation; modern movement buildings in the Global South, exploring meaning in the production of space with a focus on the role of architecture on the public realm; and has been developing tools for critical thinking in design through walking and mapping.
She has worked in practice for Gabriel Fagan Architects (1984), Munnik Visser Architects on projects with Roelof Uytenbogaardt and Julian Elliott (1997-99), at dhk Architects (2001-02), has worked in collaboration with Indigo Architects (2000 & 2005) and ran her own practice (2000-06) prior to taking on a full time academic post at UCT in 2008.
After obtaining the BAS degree at UCT and before completing the B.Arch degree, Stella went to Venice where she stayed from 1985 to 1993. There she attended several and diverse courses at the University of Architecture in Venice (IUAV) and worked as assistant director for the International Centre for Cities on Water, where, among other activities, became involved in the editing of several the Centre’s publications. In 2015 she obtained the M.Phil degree in Architecture and Urban Studies through the African Centre for Cities.