My school can be cool CNTLR - Beta Competition
Initiatives / Experiments / Visions, Initiatives / Experiments / Visions

My school can be cool CNTLR

Project description

“My school can be cool CNTLR“ is the project which marks the first partneship between local public administration, De-a arhitectura Association and the school. The aim of educational program “My school can be cool“ is to involve students in a participatory design project for improving and personalising school spaces. Started in 2015 under the name “De-a arhitectura in scoala mea” the program evolved and involved over 800 students from 41 schools around the country, together over 55 voluntary architects and 45 teachers. In the school year 2021-2022 there are 11 schools which participate in this program, two of them in the region DKMT. Resita city hall was interested in promoting architecture and built environment education of young citizens and wanted to support students’ involvement in changing their school environment. Guided by architects and teachers, the students started with a subjective analysis of existent school spaces and imagined how could these being improved. The representation of the school in a model offered them a new angle of perception. Working hands-on in team help them to know each other better. They are from different classes. The analysis was then extended to the needs of all users by a questionnaire addressed to their colleagues. The result was the students preferred the schoolyard, their classroom and the sports hall, and they preferred less the sanitary facilities and the corridors. The majority of respondents are aware of the influence that the built environment has on their state of wellness in school. They believe that this state of wellness will be improved if the classrooms, the corridors and the schoolyard will be improved. Among the main things students would mention were: a place for relaxation and socializing, technological equipment and more light and colour. A group of architecture students participated in their summer practice in Resita and students told them what they desired. A series of projects took shape: a classroom with flexible furniture and storing spaces for students, a SmartLab which would allow the use of technology in all disciplines and a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) approach, places for relaxation and socializing inside and outside the school building and an outdoor classroom, in a green space. Technical projects will follow and students will promote their project in a fundraising campaign. The last stage will be to involve students in building, then inaugurating and then in the upkeaping these spaces. It is an example of a complete process from an idea to reality. The school is a “common good” and is the first community that one meets after his or her family. The change must be learned in school.

Author's presentation text

Brîndușa Raluca Havași graduated from the Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning in Timișoara in 2002, since then she has been working as an assistant in the first-year design workshop. In 2020, she completed her doctoral thesis "Architecture and children. The space as a youth education environment". Volunteer De-a arhitectura since 2013, Brîndușa taught the optional course "Architecture in my city" to primary school classes. Since 2015, he has been participating in the design and ongoing adaptation of the national program "My school can be cool" (formerly "De-a arhitectura en scoola mea"), a participatory design program dedicated to middle school and high school students. Since 2018, Brîndușa has been coordinating the projects of the De-a arhitectura Association for the western part of the country. She is currently coordinating the first project in partnership with a town hall at the Traian Lalescu National College in Reșita.