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Ribbon HUNDRED 2022
A community of built environment professionals and teachers building the future through education.

De-a Arhitectura

location_on Romania
De-a Arhitectura is a community of built environment professionals and teachers shaping a better future through architecture education for children, youth and adults. Our programs foster creativity and innovation, and help children get ready for the real world. In almost a decade we’ve reached over 30.000 pupils in Romania, involving 1150 teachers and 950 volunteer architects.
Ioana Aldea, architect, Romania
“I enjoyed working with children, who taught me more about creativity, communication, hugs and joy than I taught them about proportions, techniques, teamwork and more.”

Ioana Aldea, architect, Romania


HundrED has selected this innovation to

HundrED 2022

Key figures

Innovation Overview

Target Group
30 000
Updated on August 9th, 2022
about the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

The Romanian battle for a better living environment is fought against ignorance! Every child has the right to know about the complex processes that transform the built environment he/she lives in. By providing resources & tools for understanding the environment we live in, children are better equipped to make choices in the future and the ideas that they are too part of the society are reinforced.

How does your innovation work in practice?

All the programs designed, starting with 2011, are meant to support children in developing a range of skills and abilities which are less used in the traditional educational process in Romania: interpretation and abstract thinking; representation and visual expression, sense of place and space; creativity; the ability to observe, to perceive and critically analyze the built environment, identifying its values; the civic sense and the responsibility towards both built and natural environment.
Children love it, parents appreciate the original activities, whilst teachers see the potential of a program which normally doesn’t take place in school as part of the regular curriculum, an intersection and coming to fruition of all other subjects taught which link together and give a bigger picture, helping children get ready for the real world. With the presence of a built environment professional alongside the teacher, pupils are being exposed to another kind of education, an experiential one.

How has it been spreading?

For us, as for many others, 2020 was a turning point, but also full of opportunities. We’ve adapted to the pandemic context and created new digital content, easily available on our channels with the hashtag #DeaArhitecturaAtHome, we’ve developed an online guide for the program “My School Can Be Cool” (participative design) and provided the tools for assessing the learning progress/learning skills of those involved, to be used by both teachers and students, we’ve partnered with a national radio station and curated “The city for people” radio show talking about relevant topics in our field during the pandemic.

The next years will be focused on consolidating our programs in the new reality and tackling a newer age group for us – high-school and university students, alongside adults.

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

To replicate the program in a different context you can contact us at The course materials are mainly in Romanian, but over the years we’ve translated part of it into Bulgarian, English, French, German, Hungarian and Ukrainian in 2022. In Romania, all De-a arhitectura teaching materials, workbooks and training courses are free for their users in the public schools.


HundrED Academy Review

Digital assets makes the program highly portable. Methods of engagement the Arts, Maths, Design Thinking and Project-based learning key elements of future-oriented learning that prioritize skills development globally relevant.

- HundrED Academy Member

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 Member
De-a Arhitectura focuses on the importance of building learning environments where children and adults can become active citizens in their local communities. Through games, experiments and a hands-on methodology, this innovation fosters skills such as creativity, collaboration and critical thinking.
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

See this innovation in action

“My School Can Be Cool”. A school just as we want it.
The “My School Can Be Cool” educational program was featured in the “Present continuous” section on PressOne, an independent online publication.
De-a Arhitectura at Radio Romania Cultural (IClasă - Clasa de părinți)
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 K12 education from around the world. Check the radio interview here: 
“My School Can Be Cool” on Ardeal TV - a local Romanian television station
One of the 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.
De-a Arhitectura on the morning show of the Romanian public television
De-a Arhitectura at Radio Romania Cultural
Between February and June 2020, De-a Arhitectura was invited at Radio Romania Cultural to talk about relevant subjects in the section named “A city for people”. Check the radio shows on our YouTube channel: 
Conversaciones ANIDAR: Mina Sava
We were invited to talk about De-a Arhitectura at the “Conversations ANIDAR 2021: Architecture and Childhood” facilitated by ARQA and Jorge Raedó. Video, here: 
Garantat 100%
De-a Arhitectura on TVR1, Romania’s state owned TV station: “Garantat 100%”. Video, here:
The story of the architects who decided to change the educational system
De-a Arhitectura on PROTV, one of the largest Romanian TV station: 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, here:


Achievements & Awards

August 2022
De-a Arhitectura was invited to the “Cultural Mediation Forum 2022” in Cluj-Napoca to talk about the association's role as a cultural mediator for architecture and built environment education and to define the participatory design methods used in the “My School Can Be Cool” educational program.
May 2022
De-a Arhitectura Association at UIA - Architecture and Children webinar, Reporting from the Front: Architecture and Children in Unsafe Times and Places
March 2022
De-a Arhitectura Association is honored to have been part, through its founding members, of the exhibition “Frau Architekt, 100 years of female creativity - women in the profession of architect”, which presented important female architects from Germany and Romania in an exhibition of the German Museum of Architecture in partnership with the Union of Romanian Architects, Stardust Architects and Atelier TERRApia.
February 2022
Reșița City Hall is the first in Romania to sign a partnership contract with the De-a Arhitectura Association for the development of the educational program “My School Can Be Cool” over two school years, 2021-2022 and 2022-2023. The support of the mayor's office allows increasing the relevance and sustainability of the interventions for personalizing the school spaces. The partnership marks a new stage in the “My School Can Be Cool” program.
November 2021
HundrED 2022
October 2021
De-a Arhitectura was presented in the “Romania New Nature” country trailer ( at the Expo 2020 Dubai.
September 2021
The “My School Can Be Cool” program was chosen among the 11 winning projects at Raiffeisen Communities 2021 (out of 129 participating projects) and will be funded with up to 50.000 lei (>10,000€), which will be used to run the program and implement the two projects winners of the internal competition between schools.
July 2021
Mina Sava, President of the De-a Arhitectura Association, talks to Jorge Raedó at “Conversaciónes ANIDAR 2021: Arquitectura y Niñez” (“ANIDAR 2021 Conversations: Architecture and Childhood”), a space for reflection and conversation about the connection between childhood and the practice of architecture.
May 2021
Innovation page created on
February 2021
De-a Arhitectura Association at UIA - Architecture and Children webinar, Built Environment Education (BEE) and School Planning for and with Children
November 2020
De-a Arhitectura Association at UIA - Architecture and Children webinar, Dealing with Children in Corona Time
June 2019
De-a Arhitectura Association, through its founding members: Mina Sava - president, Vera Marin - vice-president, Corina Croitoru, Miruna Grigorescu, Claudia Pamfil, Eliza Yokina, is honored to have taken part in the exhibition “19 Outstanding Women Architects From Romania in 2019” organized by the Union of Romanian Architects in collaboration with the Romanian Cultural Institute to pay homage to the 100th anniversary of the presence of women in Romanian architecture.
April 2019
The Romanian Ministry of Education invited De-a Arhitectura to present our programs in the Meeting of the Directors General for Schools, organized under the framework of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union (April 2019)
May 2018
De-a Arhitectura was a guest in the Romanian Pavilion as part of the “Mnemonics” project at the 16th edition of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2018
April 2017
The third edition of the “De-a arhitectura TALKS” Conference started on April 1st, 2017. Guests from Finland, Germany, Japan, and Romania presented their work experiences, examples of good practice in relation to Built Environment Education (BEE).
November 2016
The project “Architecture in my school! My dream class!” was awarded in the “Initiatives for quality architecture” category at the BETA - Timisoara Architecture Biennale (November 2016)
December 2015
Awarded “The most active supporter of design and architecture” at the ELLE Decoration Awards 2015 - Romania
November 2015
The second edition of the “De-a arhitectura TALKS” Conference started on November 7th, 2015, with examples of good practice from Austria, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Croatia, Egypt, France, Germany, Romania, Spain, Sweden, and Turkey.
July 2015
Awarded in the “Participatory Architecture and Civic Actions” category at the 13th edition of the Bucharest Architecture Annual (July 1st, 2015)
November 2014
The first edition of the “De-a arhitectura TALKS” Conference started on November 15th, 2014, with presentations and discussions, followed by half a day of workshops. The speakers came from: Austria, Hungary, Romania, and UK.
September 2014
The curriculum for the program addressing children of 9-11 years old was approved in 2014 as an elective course by the Romanian Ministry of Education.

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