Every autumn De-a Arhitectura starts a new school year welcoming pupils, teachers and architects to our three main educational programs: “De-a arhitectura mini” (“Playing architecture mini”), “De-a arhitectura in my city” (“Playing architecture in my city”), “De-a arhitectura in my school” (“Playing architecture in my school”).
In September 2018, 185 classes across the country, of which 25 in rural areas, started following one of our courses. Approximately 4,600 students in the first and second grades (“De-a arhitectura mini”), third and fourth grades (“De-a arhitectura in my city”) and the sixth, seventh, ninth, tenth and eleventh grades (“De-a arhitectura in my school”) are being guided as we speak by teachers and over 150 volunteer architects in deciphering the city and the built environment in which they live, be it rural or urban.
More about the start of the school year for De-a Arhitectura, in Romanian, here.
Admissions to De-a Arhitectura’s Educational Programs
In November 2018 we’ve launched the enrollment process for the teachers and architects who wish to take part in our programs during the next school year, 2019-2020. We’ve been developing and implementing architecture and built environment educational programs for the past 7 years in educational institutions across the country with the help of volunteering architects and built environment specialists. Beneficiaries are kindergarten, elementary school and gymnasium children, and up to high school, whose teachers choose to implement one of our programs in their classrooms.
De-a Arhitectura Training Programs
Each school year, more than 250 teachers and architects dedicate themselves to promoting the values of the built environment to the classes of pupils enrolled in our optional courses. Their effort begins in the summer and their students, parents and professionals are grateful: they prepare weekly educational experiences that develop students’ respect for architecture and urban planning and their subsequent involvement in improving the quality of life in localities.
From July till August, the distance training of volunteer teachers and architects for the “De-a arhitectura in my city” course takes place, with guidance provided by the association in studying the methodological guide and teaching materials and preparing the presentations and simulations to be held in the face-to-face training workshops taking place at the beginning of September.
At the same time, the online training program for “De-a arhitectura mini” course is being held. The program is intended for teachers and volunteer architects enrolled for the next school year and is designed for 20 hours of study, with the participants being free to go through the training at their own pace, at home or anywhere they have an internet connection.
Details in Romanian, here.
In September 2018 we organized similar training workshops like the ones mentioned above. Two such training workshops were held in Bucharest and Timisoara for the “De-a arhitectura in my school” program.
For this school year, 2018-2019, we had the pleasant surprise to have more classes than ever included in the educational program in localities across the country. Thus, almost 400 secondary and high school students from 17 schools, together with their teachers, have shown interest in the built environment and wanted to bring change to their schools to inspire others.
Read more in Romanian, here.
Why such training workshops are paramount for everyone involved you can read here in Romanian, in an article by Claudia Pamfil, De-a Arhitectura founding member and in charge with the training programs.
De-a arhitectura in My City
De-a Arhitectura‘s branch coordinators are those who organize everything locally, in the area they manage. They have uninterrupted contact with local volunteers, architects and teachers, answer queries and demands, guide them, support them, they are there when in need, they inform the rest of the team about the local state of affairs. And twice per year they go to class (if they do not already have 1-2 classes that they teach to on a weekly basis) to see hands-on how they can help, how we can do better. Here you can read in Romanian about one of our coordinator’s day spent visiting different classrooms in the program.
We were happy to continue in 2018 our partnership with Greenitiative and have the classes in our programs go on field-trips at the Green Mogo Center. As part of the last chapter of the “De-a arhitectura in my city” course, “Sustainability”, the students had the opportunity to visit a building where environmental friendly materials and technologies were employed. The hosts taught the kids about eco-design and circular economy, they visited the eco-design workshop and saw the 3D printer, as well as some up-cycling objects made by students collaborating with Green Mogo.
Details about the field-trips, in Romanian, here.
De-a arhitectura in My School
We are extremely proud to have succeeded in March 2018 to launch the online platform “My School Projects” with the support of Holcim Romania and the Romanian Order of Architects, the partner and sponsor of the educational program. The web platform is a gallery of projects made through participatory design by secondary school or high school students, alongside architects and teachers, within the educational program “De-a arhitectura in my school”. The first projects presented on the platform belong to the first two years of course testing in Bucharest and Timisoara (2015-2017). Every year that follows there will be new projects added to the platform from the educational program.
During 2018 the projects developed by pupils within the “De-a arhitectura in my school” educational program in 2017-2018 were successfully implemented with the help of our sponsors. Following, you can read briefly about the projects.
“Furniture Design” at the Hans Mattis Teutsch Vocational High School in Brasov
The purpose of the project was to build an ensemble of outdoor furniture pieces that together became an “open-air classroom”. Between August and November 2018, 70 students from the Hans Mattis Teutsch Vocational High School participated in the designing and building of their outdoor classroom under the coordination of De-a Arhitectura architects and teachers. The project was selected and received a grant of 12,000 lei from the Science Fund program, created by the Brasov Community Foundation in partnership with the Romanian-American Foundation.
More in Romanian, here.
Revitalization of Inner Courtyard at the Gheorghe Cioata Secondary School in Todiresti, Vaslui County
Together with the pupils, the architect and teacher decided that the area proposed for intervention would be the inner courtyard, as all the pupils in the area, from kindergarten to primary and middle classes, had access to that particular space. The challenge was to understand and find a solution to meet the needs of all age groups within the school. The proposal was to integrate a series of childhood games alongside seating places (banks) to facilitate socialization, as well as a range of sport activities (such as tennis or ping-pong). The project received funding from our sponsor, Digital Spirit, after being declared a winner alongside another school at the end of a sponsorship contest.
More in Romanian, here.
Cervantes Under the Sun: Mobile Class Inauguration in Bucharest
The project started from the 10th grade pupils’ need and desire to spend lessons outside and to have a flexible space which could accommodate diverse activities. The context catalyzed the idea: the classroom was sub-dimensional and had a relatively rigid atmosphere. The pupils, under the architects’ guidance, set out to build a mobile classroom module that could be customized, furnished and integrated by high school students. Together with the mobile classroom module, a “mobile library” was launched, a micro library which students could consult without formalities and which focused mainly on the arts and design. The project was funded through the “We Mobilize Excellence” program, a Porsche Romania initiative, run by the Bucharest Community Foundation.
Read more in Romanian, here.
Ball Pool at the School for Inclusive Education Cluj-Napoca
The project originated in the wish of the children to play outside. They are special children; their parents would probably say they suffer from Autistic Spectrum Disorder, they are pupils in a special school in Cluj-Napoca and sometimes it’s hard to understand and help them. The children would probably tell you that they are like all other children; they want to play, laugh, run, do little homework and enjoy a sunny day, if possible outside of the classroom. When asked how to describe this project, they told it was a story that began with: “Once upon a time there was a day when we were playing in the sensory room of the school, we were swimming in the ball pool”. That’s how the team decided to build the Ball Pool; they roamed the schoolyard in search of the right place and found a sunny corner and a small and cheerful willow, full of buds. The project was funded through the 2% of the income tax redirected towards the association by taxpayers and with the help of Holver who donated the wood for the pool.
De-a arhitectura Exhibitions
At the end of each school year, classes and groups of students completing one of the three main courses, organize exhibitions in which they present their models, projects, drawings and photographs taken during the school year. The exhibition is a living proof and a crowning of their efforts and gives children the opportunity to publicly assume responsibility for their creations and to give them confidence in themselves and in their power.