August 30, 2018


This is a list with answers to the most frequent questions we receive. If you don’t find your answer here please write to us:

When was De-a Arhitectura Association founded?

Formally, De-a Arhitectura Association was founded in January 2013. But it had function as early as 2011 as the De-a Arhitectura work group, composed of six founding memebers that got together to write the „De-a arhitectura în oraşul meu” course. Here are some more details in Romanian.

What is the corect name?

The official name is De-a Arhitectura Association, but we often use De-a Arhitectura. In our internal communication we usually abbreviate the name DAA.

What is De-a Arhitectura's mission?

After five years of activity, in 2017 we reviewed our mission as follows:

We build through education. Our building grows when:

  • Both children and adults understand and cherish the values of built environment and become active citizens in their local communities.
  • Built environment professionals get involved in society through education.
  • Games, experiments and creativity foster education

Who founded De-a Arhitectura Association?

De-a Arhitectura association was founded by 6 architects, mothers:

  • Mina Sava – president / architect
  • Vera Marin – vice-president / architect urbanist
  • Corina Croitoru / architect
  • Miruna Grigorescu / architect
  • Claudia Pamfil / architect urbanist
  • Eliza Yokina / architect

The associations has many associated members and collaborators. You can find a list here.

What does De-a Arhitectura Association proposes?

De-a Arhitectura proposes an enrichment of the architectural and urban culture of the present Romanian society by educating the children who are also “opinion makers” of their parents. Our goal is to help children understand the architecture and the built environment and to connect what they learn at school with the complex processes that transform the places they live in.

As adults, they will be both city users and architects’ clients, as well as citizens and decision-makers who will have to actively participate in shaping the place they will live in, create communities with a healthy and harmonious life, using both cultural heritage and innovation.

Through its ongoing work, De-a Arhitectura Association aims to:

  • Introduce architectural and built environment education for children into the curriculum, as well as encouraging and instructing teachers to use the built environment and architecture as learning resources for other subjects.
  • Promote architectural and built environment education for children in schools, to teachers and the architects guild.
  • Promote in the school environment the idea of a quality built environment as civic responsibility, to increase the involvement of future citizens in the planning and design processes that will affect their living environment.
  • Accustom the children involved in the program with elementary concepts of architecture and urbanism by observing and directly analyzing the built environment in which they live, applying these notions in a common creative process, as well as communicating and assuming the results of their work.
  • Apply experiential learning methods that use creativity, curiosity, communication skills and team spirit.
  • Increase the visibility of the architects guild in society, starting with the school environment and the children’s families.
  • Continuous train professionals in architecture and urban planning for greater availability of communication to the general public.

What makes De-a arhitectura courses different?

De-a arhitectura courses are an opening to a field that does not appear in the curriculum, but which is part of our lives and influences it. Thus, children will know the specific language of architecture, familiarizing themselves with its characteristic features, and enrich their visual culture.

Our programs are designed and built to help children develop a range of skills and attitudes that are perhaps less used in traditional education. They have the opportunity to discover and practice a way of thinking and a “design thinking” approach, specific to architects and designers, thus being involved in an active learning process,through projects and hands-on activities, who use their practical sense and creativity.

Does De-a Arhitectura wants to turn the children into architects?

NO. De-a arhitectura team has set out on the way to help as many children as possible become conscious consumers of architecture and, therefore, as youngsters and adults, promoters of a quality built environment. We want to give children a few basic principles to help them decipher, analyze, understand, appreciate the surrounding built environment with a minimum of elements that are now lacking in the general knowledge. Indirectly, students find that there are professions such as architect, urban planner, designer and landscape planner, that can inspire them later. We hope that when they will be adults they will communicate with these specialists when needed.

Just as math classes do not turn students into mathematicians or history classes into historians, De-a arhitectura programs do not intend to turn them into “small architects”!

What courses and didactic materials does De-a Arhitectura offer?

  • De-a arhitectura Mini, optional course (curriculum at school’s decision or extracurricular) for students in the first or second grade.
  • De-a arhitectura in My City, optional course (curriculum at school’s decision or extracurricular) which is part of the national offer, approved by the Order of the Minister of National Education no. 4422 of 28 August 2014 for 3rd, 4th or 5th grade students.
  • De-a arhitectura in My School, optional course (curriculum at school’s decision or extracurricular), for students in the 6th, 7th, 9th, or 10th grades.
  • Safety for School Children, teaching material for students in the 6th, 7th or 8th grade.

To whom are the De-a Arhitectura courses addressed?

In the De-a arhitectura assistance programme, only the classes in state schools can be registered. Private schools wishing the support of the association can contact De-a Arhitectura using the e-mail address:

How much do De-a arhitectura courses cost?

De-a Arhitectura Courses in state schools are free of charge within the limits of the funding the association enters in that school year.

From 2016, the Cultural Architecture program is a priority project of the Architects’ Order in Romania (OAR), being financed by the „Timbrul arhitecturii” tax.

What other activities are carried out by the De-a Arhitectura Association?

  • De-a arhitectura Club, workshops of several hours or even a day that target certain competences of children of different ages, are being held over the weekend and allow children who are not enrolled in our school and kindergarten programmes to have a first touch with the fascinating world of architecture.
  • De-a arhitectura afterschool, an adaptation of the educational program “De-a architectura in My City” for afterschool activities or a children’s club comprising two courses of 12 sessions each, in which the emphasis is on the practical DIY activities.
  • De-a arhitectura in kindergarten, an educational initiative that considers that in the future, no matter the profession the children who participated in this activity would follow, they can understand the environment in which they live and protect it, enrich it, shape it in full knowledge .
  • De-a arhitectura narrated, conferences for children, a project complementary to educational programmes in schools, which aims to familiarize children with positive and concrete examples of architecture, as well as with the social role of architecture and architect, inviting known architects from Romania to talk to primary school and gymnasium students.
  • De-a arhitectura TALKS, international conferences, exchange of experience and cooperation with organizations in other countries that run similar programs, the meeting point in front of a network of people interested in the education of architecture and built environment for children.
  • De-a arhitectura Exhibition, event at the end of the school year celebrating the completion of the De-a Arhitectura courses in schools through a series of exhibitions across the country presenting the projects of the classes participating in the program.
  • De-a arhitectura training, the training of volunteer teachers and architects on interactive teaching methods based on project learning.
  • Urban Up! built environment for highschool students, a project selected after a competition in the field of educational projects, which proposes to the high school students meetings with architects, urbanists, engineers, anthropologists.
  • Developement of teaching materials in the fields concerned.

Who goes to class?

The De-a arhitectura courses about architecture and the city are a complex experience for schoolchildren, especially due to the presence of a specialist in class. Beyond the richness of  knowledge, the volunteer brings to the youngsters the passion for this profession and a novel way to tackle them in play on serious themes. The schoolchildren find, invariably, in the architect who comes to each De-a arhitectura class, a model that during a school year they have the time to observe, question, call for help when they get stuck in the hardships of teamwork. And the architect feels the weight of this trusty investment and, almost without exception, rises to the expectations of his “children.”

De-a Arhitectura Quotes

In order to have safer, more beautiful cities and a higher quality of life, education is increasingly seen as the most efficient investment with real and consistent results sustained in the long run. It is part of our mission to teach children what their role is in developing tomorrow’s cities as users and future beneficiaries or investors of buildings and cities. The city and its safety is the result of the activities and involvement of all its inhabitants and team work is essential..

„Without volunteers there would be no fullfilled goals, there would not be thousands of inspired children, there would be no appreciation of the parents of students and professional organizations in the field, there would not be De-a Arhitectura. The activity of the Association exists thanks to the hundreds of volunteers who joined us for a workshop, for a school year or more, in bad or good weather, with dedication and maximum seriousness.

„The involvement of volunteer architects in such a large number brings benefits to the profession as a whole, as advocated by the guild associations, the Architects Order of Romania (OAR) (2012-) and the Union of Architects in Romania (UAR) (2013-2017) supporting this process of transformation. Visibility. Awareness of the role of the architect by a broad audience (do not forget that we are talking about children and their families). We, as professionals, present ourselves to the most curious and open members of the community. We rediscover and rethink as we re-invent the basic concepts of architecture and the city in order to portray them to the children. We practice communicating with a careful, interested and clever «beneficiary».

„Without the knowledge, resources and energy our partners brought along with us, we could not have done much. That’s why we are glad everytime someone discovers us and wants to join us in this journey towards the education of little ones and big ones, towards the involvement of all inhabitants in the urban life. Support, at any given time, helps us continue and develop present and future projects. Along with our partners and sponsors, we provide access to De-a Arhitectura courses for many children in schools throughout the country, we provide them with the necessary teaching material (student’s notebook, DIY materials, materials for city expeditions, etc.). Partnerships help us continue organizing inspirational meetings of children with architects, continue and expand the training of architects and teachers for educational projects of the De-a Arhitectura programme.