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De-a Arhitectura

We build through education, as a community of built environment professionals and educators.

Our well-being is inextricably linked to the quality of the built environment around us. Sadly, there's a widespread lack of awareness in our society about this crucial aspect. As a community of creatives, built environment professionals and educators, we're dedicated to real-world education for all ages. Our mission: to cultivate a thriving built culture through Built Environment Education.

HundrED 2023


HundrED has selected this innovation to

HundrED Global Collection 2023

HundrED 2022

Web presence






Target group
May 2024
Our goal is to make built environment education accessible to all. By promoting awareness, we aim to empower citizens to improve their lives and the quality of their surroundings. We envision younger generations equipped with an understanding of the built environment's impact on the natural world, inspiring active participation in creating livable beautiful, inclusive and sustainable communities.

About the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

In Romania, improving living conditions means fighting ignorance. Children deserve to understand the world they live in and the complex processes that are changing it. Equipping them with tools to understand their surroundings empowers them to make informed decisions for the future, strengthens their role in society, and fosters a sense of responsibility and agency in shaping their environment.

What does your innovation look like in practice?

Since 2011, our interconnected programs have been tailored to cultivate skills rarely emphasized in traditional Romanian education. These include interpretation, abstract thinking, visual expression, spatial awareness, creativity, critical analysis of the built environment, and civic responsibility. Children are excited about these activities, parents appreciate the unique learning experiences, and teachers recognize the potential of a curriculum that seamlessly integrates different subjects. Led by built environment professionals who collaborate with educators, our experiential education approach provides students with a holistic preparation for the real world, bridging the gap between theory and practice.

How has it been spreading?

In recent years, we've diversified our content to include a slightly older audience (youth), community projects (fellowships), and peer-to-peer education that brings together teens and college students to explore the built environment. We've also advanced our digitization efforts and prioritized skill-building activities for our network, emphasizing communication, public speaking, and pedagogical techniques.

Looking ahead, we aim to further empower our educators and equip them to disseminate and expand built environment programs in an underdeveloped field. We're also committed to strengthening our participatory diagnosis project for school improvement, involving all stakeholders (community, local government, beneficiaries) for a more comprehensive and impactful approach.

If I want to try it, what should I do?

Our programs can already be used in different contexts, but we are happy to customize and adapt them to any specific situation (cultural, geographical, etc.). Most of the materials are in Romanian, while some are translated into other languages. In Romania, all teaching materials, workbooks and training courses are free of charge in public schools. Contact us at:

Impact & scalability

Impact & Scalability

This innovation empowers students to create to benefit their communities. Students are introduced to the concept of civic responsibility through hands-on experience and practical applications, while guiding teachers with architectural resources.

HundrED Academy Reviews

Innovation is scalable as the resources are freely available, translated and implemented across many schools.

This innovation helps the different stakeholders (parents, teachers and other adults) with a common platform from which education can serve its original intent of 'experiential learning' as well as grooming future citizens.

- Academy member
Academy review results
High Impact
Low Scalability
High Impact
High Scalability
Low Impact
Low Scalability
Low Impact
High Scalability
Read more about our selection process


In March 2024, we attended the Energy Forum, organized by Freedom House Romania. Our colleague, Arch. Urb. Vera Marin, founding member and vice president of De-a Arhitectura, contributed to the discussions with her expertise and experience in the field, speaking about energy in relation to built environment education. See here:
In November 2023, arch. Mina Sava, President of De-a Arhitectura, participated together with UNICEF and General Directorate of Social Assistance of the Municipality of Bucharest in the first orientation workshop for the Local Coordination Committee and the Local Coordination Unit of the “Child Friendly Cities Initiative” which aims to improve the respect of children's rights in Bucharest.
In November 2023, we attended FAST: Festival for Architecture Schools of Tomorrow in Timișoara. In the TALKS section - Alumni, arch. Eliza Yokina, founding member of De-a Arhitectura, was invited to talk. At the COHESION 2023 academic conference, Dr. Arch. Brîndușa Havași presented the paper “Heritage and water - workshops for children and architecture students”. See here:
In October 2023 we attended the international interdisciplinary conference “Re-imagining the city from my window” organized by Timisoara Polytechnic University in the context of Timisoara European Capital of Culture 2023. Our colleagues from De-a Arhitectura Vest dr. arch. Brîndușa Havași and prof. Felicia Popovici presented the activity of the association and the project: “Heritage and water”.
In August 2023, we participated in the 10th edition of the Urban Culture Days at the Suceava Waterworks, with the theme “Education through Heritage”. Our colleague, dr. arh. Brîndușa Havași, spoke online about the project “My School Can Be Cool” in a heritage building, one of our participatory design programs. Read here:
In July 2023, we were invited to the Connecting for Non-formal Education 2023 event organised by the eematico team which brought together several organisations developing non-formal education programmes/projects in Romania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Austria and the USA. Read here:
In the “Science Track - Design For Inclusivity”, our colleagues arch. Oana Pavăl, arch. Monica Mureșanu, arch. urb. Vera Marin and arch. Mina Sava presented in July 2023 the paper “Empowering teenagers through built environment education, while experimenting (in)the public space” describing the experience of the activities with young people in the “Urban Up!” program. See here: https://uia2023cph.
The conference paper: „Empowering Teenagers Through Built Environment Education While Experimenting (In)The Public Space” – authors: Oana Pavăl, Monica Mureșanu & Mina Sava, was publish in relation to the UIA World Congress of Architects Copenhagen 2023. See here:
Mina Sava, president of De-a Arhitectura, contributed to the content of the MOOC Built Environment and Architecture Education for Children and Youth – An International Perspective on Theory and Practice which showcases international expertise from practice and academia in the field of built environment and architecture education for children and young people. See here:
“De-a arhitectura in my city” on PROTV, one of the largest Romanian TV stations: “Optional architecture course in Cluj, for 4th grade pupils. The children showed their sketches.” Video:
“De-a arhitectura in my city” on PrimaTV: an exhibition open to the public with the results of the 4th grade pupils from the “Emil Racoviţă” National College in Cluj-Napoca who attended the “De-a arhitectura in my city” course. Video:
Brîndușa Havași, “My School Can Be Cool CNTRL” coordinator, together with the highschool students from the “Traian Lalescu” National College in Reșita, Caraș-Severin county, spoke with journalist Roxana Păsculescu about the project in its second year of implementation. The project marks the first partnership with a local town hall signed by the Association. Video:
At the end of October, the 2022 edition of the BETA – Timișoara Architecture Biennale ended. In the “Initiatives/Experiments/Visions” section, the “My School Can Be Cool CNTLR” project coordinated by our colleague Brîndușa Havași at the “Traian Lalescu” National College from Reșita, Caraș-Severin county, was awarded a mention.
In December 2022, Oana Pavăl and Viorica Popescu, architects, were invited to the show “Urban Experience” on Radio Seven, hosted by Maria Duda. They talked about the TU_act [Teens Urban Acupuncture] project and, respectively, about the extracurricular educational program “My School Can Be Cool”.
Oana Pavăl, architect, and Daria Coza, fifth-year student at the Faculty of Architecture of the “Ion Mincu” University of Architecture and Urbanism in Bucharest, were invited in November 2022 in the “In community” show hosted by Răzvan Ursuleanu at the Radio Romania BucurestiFM. They talked about the TU_act [Teens Urban Acupuncture] project. Video:
Mina Sava, president of De-a Arhitectura, spoke in September 2022 with Monica Tănase from for the series “Life Stories, Urban Stories” about how De-a Arhitectura was born and the changes brought about by it in the last 10 years. Article:
In October 2022, our colleague Brîndușa Havași was invited in Timișoara to the Round Table - the Arhitec'tool project, an online education platform for high school architecture classes, designed by a mixed team of architects, high school and university teachers and psychologists.
In September 2022, the “Tribuna Parc” project made by the students of the 6th grade from the “Dimitrie Anghel” Secondary School in the village of Cornești, Miroslava commune (Iași county) was inaugurated. Alexandra Berdan, guiding architect of the project, spoke with journalist Roxana Păsculescu in the show IClasa - Parenting Class from Radio Romania Cultural. Video:
The LOCUS Festival took place in October 2022 in Chile and was organized by Fundación Escala Común. De-a Arhitectura was present in the “Capsule” section. Our proposal, “Urban Seeds (for Future Growth)”, talks about the importance of opening children's eyes and minds to the built environment, giving as an example our course “De-a arhitectura in my city”. Video:
At the end of August 2022, De-a Arhitectura was invited to the Cultural Mediation Forum 2022 organized by the Cluj Cultural Center under the umbrella of the Change Academy program. Our colleague, Brîndușa Havași, spoke about the role of cultural mediator that the association, with the support of the Romanian Order of Architects, has been playing for more than 10 years in Romania.
In the fall of 2022, De-a Arhitectura was featured in the September/October 2022 issue of the US magazine “Childhood Education: Innovations”, with the article “Architecture and the Built Environment as Tools for Learning”. More:
In 2023, De-a Arhitectura, through our teacher Felicia Popovici, participated in Timișoara in the regional conference “Education through culture” organized by Initiative in Education.
The “My School Can Be Cool” educational program was featured in the “Present continuous” section on PressOne, an independent online publication in Romania. Article:
De-a Arhitectura on PROTV, one of the largest Romanian TV stations: “The story of the architects who decided to change the educational system. They teach children and raise awareness of the built environment.” Article and video:
De-a Arhitectura on TVR1, Romania’s state owned TV station: “Garantat 100%”. Video:
Between February and June 2020, De-a Arhitectura was invited at Radio Romania Cultural to talk about relevant subjects in the section titled “A city for people”. Check the radio shows on our YouTube channel:
We were invited to talk about De-a Arhitectura at the “Conversations ANIDAR 2021: Architecture and Childhood” facilitated by ARQA (Argentina) and Jorge Raedó (Colombia). Video:
De-a Arhitectura on the morning show of the Romanian public television TVR 1. Video:
One of our architects teaching the “My School Can Be Cool” course, Bianca Bărbieru, was invited at a local Romanian TV station to talk about the program and the pupils' activities. Video:
In January 2022 De-a Arhitectura was invited at Radio Romania Cultural to talk about its activity and about being selected amongst HundrED’s 2022 Global Collection of 100 leading innovations in K-12 education from around the world. Check the radio interview here:
In 2022 Mina Sava, president of De-a Arhitectura and Romania's representative from the Order of Architects at the “Architecture and Children - UIA Built Environment Education Network” work group, spoke alongside Emilia Munteanu, psychologist in the field of migration, at the “Reporting from the Front: Architecture and Children in Unsafe Times and Places” webinar.
The Romanian Order of Architects launched in 2022 OAR Young, a series of video materials that complement the information about the right of signature of architects in Romania. Mina Sava, president of De-a Arhitectura, spoke about volunteering in the association's programs. Video:
At the invitation of the Association for Community Relations (ARC), Mina Sava, president of De-a Arhitectura, answered a few questions for the 4th edition of the Chronicles of Philanthropy, which in the summer of 2022 had “heritage” as their main theme. Article:

Implementation steps

Assess Your Needs
Identify specific requirements or challenges in your context (cultural, geographical, etc.).
Contact Us
Reach out to our team to discuss customization options. We're experienced in tailoring programs to diverse settings, from simple adjustments to more complex adaptations.
Collaborate on Customization
Work closely with our experts to customize materials and resources to suit your needs.
Implement and Evaluate
Implement the adapted programs in your setting and evaluate their effectiveness.
Feedback and Support
Provide feedback on the program's performance and receive ongoing support from our team.
For inquiries and assistance, please contact us at We look forward to collaborating with you to bring our solution to your context.

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