ARCH: pop up

CONTENT / In the Cambridge Dictionary “to pop-up” means to appear or happen, especially suddenly or unexpectedly. This word is also used to describe a shop, restaurant, etc. that operates temporarily and only for a short period when it is likely to get a lot of customers. Similarly, like a three-dimensional folding object that suddenly pop-ups from the book and soon after, when the page is turned, the object disappears. 

The pop-up phenomenon is an answer to an instant occasions or events that create a space and needs for temporary use. Those events might have both positive and negative character. On the one hand, the growing popularity of the pop-up restaurants or shops brings the new opportunities for local communities and small entrepreneurs. On the other, the instant need for relief in situations such as earthquakes, floods, military conflicts cause an urgency to provide emergency shelters and to undertake other activities that are associated with the emergency situation. 

Globally, the pop-up movement is connected with temporary use of space or structure that brings a new quality in a short period of time. In urban areas the pop-up installations make use of abandoned plot or unused (or unfinished) buildings, or they complement the urban pattern with new values. 

The pop-up architecture is closely related to social, technical and cultural status of the space where it occurs. The idea of the pop-up places seems to be fitted in the flexible societies where people are less and less tight to concrete places and look for some constantly-changing physical and cultural landscape.

In Europe and North America, the pop-up places are the avant-garde in commercial, retail and housing services. Those temporary places which are often installed in urban voids or lands without any identity, have strong experimental character where the new concepts can be tested. The limited danger of large investments allows small entrepreneurs to risk and try new ideas, which will be evaluated in real life conditions. 

The temporary character of the pop-up places makes them exclusive and limited. This goes together with high popularity in a short period of time. The marketing of pop-up places can be arranged by fast messages sent to the potential customers. Therefore, the Internet advertisement via web pages and social media, and spreading the information by the word of mouth are the best solutions for instant marketing. The pop-up places can also be self-advertised by the means of surprise.




  • The new city observation skills – identity of places with potentials for pop-ups
  • Analysis of the physical and social context of the chosen spot
  • Determination of the pop-up influences on a local community 
  • Identification of the potentials (pros and cons) of temporary architectural interventions




  • Search for potential pop-up places in the local area
  • Observations and analyses of the local community (survey, interviews photos, drawings, diagrams, collages)
  • Development of the architectural design of a pop-up structure
  • Teamwork (3 -5 people in the team)


SCHEDULE / 2-Week Workshop. Weekly 4-hour class arranged with the students:


Introduction / (What?)

Development – analytical phase (3 min presentations) / (Where and What for?)

Final presentation – pop-ups (3 min presentations) / (Why and how?)


EVALUATION / The following process and projects elements will be evaluated:


  1. Chosen spot and argumentation (clarity, comprehensiveness, consistency)
  2. Results of the surveys ( e.g. interviews, photos, diagrams, sketches)
  3. Final design and its value in the context of the conducted studies


Bibliography / 

  • Alkisti Eleni Victoratou (2013) Pop-up Initiatives in Athens, Greece Shed Light on Economic Crisis. The Global Grid. Urbanist news. Local views.
  • Ella Harris and Mel Nowicki (2015) Cult of the temporary: is the pop-up phenomenon good for cities? The guardian.
  • Marni Epstein-Mervis (2016) The Rise and Rise of Pop-Up Architecture. Curbed. Accessed on 5th Feb. 2019:
  • Rebecca Burns (2014) Multistorey car park in US transformed into designer micro-apartments. The Guardian.
    • Paul West (2011) Pop Up Concepts in Hospitality. Ignite hospitality.
    • Laura Powell (2018) Hotels Experiment With Pop-Ups to Attract New Audiences. Skift.
    • Robert Kronenburg (2008) Portable Architecture. Design and Technology. Birkhauser Verlag AG ISBN: 978-3-7643-8324-4
  • Peter Jones, Daphne Comfort, David Hillier (2017) A Commentary on Pop up Hospitality Ventures in the UK. Athens Journal of Tourism. Volume 4, Issue 3. Ed. Gregory T. Papanikos, Valia Kasimati, ISSN: 2241-8148, Pages 203-216.
  • Pop-up power: How pop-up outlets are changing the landscape of fashion retail (2018), Strategic Direction, Vol. 34 Issue: 10, pp.7-9,
  • Gaitan, J. W. (2015). Pop Up: A Deployable Brand in the Urban Fabric (MArch Thesis, Carleton University).
  • Staback, D., Addison, J., Angles, Z., Karsan, Z., & Tibbits, S. (2017). Aerial Pop-Up Structures.
  • Hollwich, M. (2015). Lasting Impressions: Pop‐Up Culture by HWKN. Architectural design, 85(3), 124-129.
  • Rian, I. M., Chang, D., Park, J. H., & Ahn, H. U. (2008). POP-UP TECHNIQUE OF ORIGAMIC ARCHITECTURE FOR POST-DISASTER EMERGENCY SHELTERS. open house international, 33(1).



Wroclaw University of Science and Technology (Poland) / Jerzy Łątka (

Yasar University in Izmir (Turkey) / Mauricio Morales-Beltrán (