Holidays Workshops

Heritage and Water

What is a heritage building? How has the presence of water shaped the history of the city and its built heritage? How has the function of heritage buildings changed over time? And their relationship with water? What legacy do we leave for our descendants?

The De-a Arhitectura Association, in partnership with the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism of Timișoara (FAUT), the Water Museum, and the National Museum of Banat, organized the “Heritage and Water” workshops between July 10 and 14, 2023, dedicated to children and teenagers aged 8-14.

In the “Heritage and Water” holiday workshops, children are encouraged to discover heritage buildings that are related to the history of water in Timișoara. Along with students and architects, they will explore the history of the place, measure, draw, and analyze the urban and social context. During the workshops, participants will take on the roles of reporters, photo-reporters, collectors, presenters, and interact with guests from related fields (geographers, landscape architects, sociologists). They will work in teams and imagine a possible transformation of the heritage sites to make them more accessible to children. The workshops will conclude with a presentation to which parents, specialists in the built environment, and representatives of the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism of Timișoara will be invited.

As a result of these workshops, educational resources have been created that can be downloaded and used by primary and secondary school teachers during the “Different School Week”. In this format, the “Heritage and Water” project brings an interdisciplinary approach that correlates concepts from sciences (history, geography, mathematics, technological education, communication sciences, etc.) with skills from the field of visual arts, in a process of understanding and arguing the influences between the natural and built environment as perceived by people. Furthermore, following the analysis, a possible future scenario and how it can be realized are imagined. Activities begin with a visit to the chosen heritage site for study. Students will collaborate in teams focusing on specific subjects – The Architects, Treasure Detectives, Geographers, Hydrologists, Historians, Reporters. At the end of the analysis phase, they will all play the role of Visionaries. The teacher’s sheet includes general data, purpose, objectives, scenario, glossary, resources, and instructions for each team and stage. Finally, we propose a questionnaire to evaluate the activities for both students and teachers. The entire scenario and content of the sheets can be adapted, and activities can take place over one or more days, depending on the class schedule and the specifics of the locality (travel time to visit the studied heritage site).

Heritage buildings – historical, industrial, or vernacular monuments, represent the “built dowry” inherited from our ancestors. Water is the natural element near which the first human settlements appeared and developed, but which, in its accidental or usual manifestations (such as rain), can also destroy them. What heritage buildings or complexes are there in your locality? And in what forms is water present in the built environment? What do heritage and water have in common? Why should we value and preserve the built and natural heritage of a locality? How can a heritage site be adapted to the needs of its contemporaries? What legacy do we leave for our descendants?

The goal of the project is to increase the awareness of primary and secondary school students about heritage sites and their relationship with water. We aim for them to be able to:

  • describe how we orient ourselves in the locality with the help of landmarks,
  • identify on the map the heritage sites visited;
  • describe the heritage sites visited using all senses for their perception,
  • relate the perceptive qualities of water and argue its benefits within the locality,
  • imagine a possible transformation of the visited sites and argue why and how these sites will become more accessible to children and various categories of the public, better respond to new needs of the inhabitants or environmental changes.
Prof. Lavinia Adam, Lecturer Dr. Arch. Maja Bâldea, Dr. Arch. Brîndușa Havași, Primary School Teacher Prof. Felicia Popovici, Interior Design and Furniture Specialist Carmen Săndescu, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Arch. Mirela Szitar-Sîrbu, Lecturer Dr. Arch. Otilia Tudoran.
Graphics: arh. Veronica Sava.

Project coordinator: Brîndușa Havași,