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De-a Arhitectura

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

Our well-being depends on the quality of the built environment we live in and, sadly, our society lacks understanding about this. As a community of creatives, supported by built environment professionals and educators, we devise educational programs for children, youth and adults, anchored in reality. We aim to lay the foundations for a healthy Baukultur through Built Environment Education (BEE).

HundrED 2023


HundrED has selected this innovation to

HundrED Global Collection 2023

HundrED 2022

Web presence






Target group
April 2023
We endeavor for everyone to have access to Built Environment Education. We want to raise awareness about how, as citizens, we can improve our lives and the quality of the environment we live in. We hope for the young generations to be aware of the impact the built environment has on the natural one and the need to be involved in creating a beautiful, livable, inclusive and sustainable environment.

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 intricate processes that transform the built environment he/she lives in. By providing resources, tools for understanding the surrounding environment, children are better equipped to choose for the future and the ideas that they are, too, part of the society are reinforced.

How does your innovation work in practice?

The programs we’ve created since 2011, all linked together, are meant to support children in developing a range of skills and abilities hardly 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, 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 unique 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 tie together and give a bigger picture, helping children get ready for the real world. With a built environment professional alongside the educator, students are being exposed to another kind of education, an experiential one.

How has it been spreading?

Recently we’ve created new content and we’ve shifted the focus to a slightly older public (youth). We’ve acted as mediators and mentors, creating fellowship projects that brought together teenagers and university students in their exploration of the built environment. We’ve continued our process of digitizing our programs and we’ve prioritized activities aimed at growing the skill set of our network (communication, public speaking and pedagogical activities).

We will continue focusing on our educators, so they can become disseminators, multiplying the built environment programs, in a field that is underdeveloped. We aim to level up in our participative diagnosis project for better schools, by involving all the stakeholders (community, local administration, beneficiaries etc).

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.), some simpler, others more complex. Most materials are in Romanian, but over the years we’ve translated some in other languages. In Romania, all teaching materials, workbooks and training courses are free for their users in the public schools.

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


“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: https://tinyurl.com/nhf9hp9k
“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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=638ydUCNv6M
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: https://youtu.be/YH05R0aHK34
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: https://youtu.be/2Li-SfVQoiQ.
Mina Sava, president of De-a Arhitectura, spoke in September 2022 with Monica Tănase from Life.ro 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: https://tinyurl.com/3sxy8xv3.
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: https://youtu.be/cHNS46CIjZk.
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: https://youtu.be/noMtZsKkj2Y.
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: https://tinyurl.com/2vs29w64.
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: https://tinyurl.com/4jpcvzvu.
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: https://tinyurl.com/y9d9fu93.
De-a Arhitectura on TVR1, Romania’s state owned TV station: “Garantat 100%”. Video: https://youtu.be/wmjxmTiKDXM.
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: https://tinyurl.com/zzvcwrk9.
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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ez7GSzR42go.
De-a Arhitectura on the morning show of the Romanian public television TVR 1. Video: https://youtu.be/OJj4rSHifnQ.
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: https://tinyurl.com/4cvy945a.
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: https://youtu.be/Vl568Dcd-Io.
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. https://youtu.be/_8FQFnTIkyE
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: https://youtu.be/ouZDzOUlpuE.
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: https://tinyurl.com/4strvcya.

Implementation steps

General information
In order to put our innovation into practice first you need to get in contact and establish a partnership with us, be it that you are an organization or an individual. Think in terms of:
First step: define need
Clearly define your need – this will help the process and the next steps.
Second step: contact us
Get in contact with us at: office@de-a-arhitectura.ro.
Third step: partnership
If your program or activity is in line with our mission and focus we set-up a partnership.
Fourth step: resources
Clearly define what resources (time, money, human resources) you have at your disposal – the activity we provide can be free of charge or not, depending on the program you wish to implement, but there are always expenses to consider.
Fifth step: training
For individuals we provide training.
Sixth step: feedback
We do offer a post-implementation consultancy/debriefing/feedback.

Spread of the innovation

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