Craftsmen and handcrafts - a necessity - project proposal-
Craftsmen and handcrafts - a necessity
- project proposalContact: Raluca Munteanu [email protected]
A building is part of the environment. The concept of a building, both the way is build and the
interaction with it during its entire life, transform the environment, in a good or in a bad way.
Today’s speed and the way we use buildings are mostly consume-based: we consume
substance, energy, time, etc , in a non-sustainable manner, endangering the future by
exhausting resources and
production an exaggerated amount of goods that cannot be
assimilated by the next generations (dysfunctional building, destroyed landscapes, etc).
Although most are drawn by certain ancestral patterns of living (the fireplace, the porch, the
clay house, etc), they suppress this need under the pressure of education and prejudices that
label such patterns as “poverty”, “out of fashion”, “archaic”, and so on. But these patterns have
also been distorted by having been turned into museum pieces, and thus excluded from the
normal evolution of the society. In order to provide comfortable and healthy living, we need to
understand the real, live core of the old patterns, with tradition as a tool of accomplishment.
Therefore the need of rediscovering, revaluing and learning ancient crafts is in fact a need of
defining and conserving personal identity. The need of craftsman and handcrafts is not merely
practical, but also cultural and spiritual.
Craftsman and handcrafts may help us to see beyond the consumerist items promote by
museums. Tradition is by definition a living notion, which transforms and evolves alongside
society and mirrors the relation with the environment under every aspect. The science behind
industrial production is itself rooted in empirical traditions, showing that modernity and
tradition not only can, but should and must cohabitate in harmony. Protection, restoration and
rehabilitation of heritage buildings, as well as a growing demand for healthy buildings require
the hands of skilled craftsmen: adobe brick makers, blacksmiths, reed roof makers, stove
The project has following steps:
1. Awareness through workshops and practical demonstrations. They will organized using
the database of the “Notebook for crafts and craftsmen” published by Arhiterra with the
support of the Chamber of Romanian Architects, as well as exchanges with partners
from areas with similar architecture and long cultural exchanges. Knowledgeable and
experienced craftsmen who are still working will be invited. The workshops and
demonstrations address young people in search of a profession, trying to stimulate
them to learn a traditional craft, workers who want to specialize, engineers and
architects who might use the crafts in their future projects.
2. Promoting crafts. The experience of old craftsmen needs to be gathered and
systematized in textbooks and compendiums. The practical demonstrations and the
partner exchanges (from phase 1) will be one tool for researching and editing the
information, as will be academic literature on the topic.
3. Professional education. The final aim of the project is to initiate a system of professional
education, so that students may learn a craft and obtain an officially recognized diploma
and a license to profess.
About the organisation
A 37_The end of 2008 saw our start-up as an NGO. We decided to gather together because of
our common values and motivations but especially because we had already worked as a team
before in fields like architecture, history of art, urban space. Our goals are to promote and
valorize the local and national heritage along with its protection and restoration. We also have
a major interest in sustainable education, development and environment.
Each of our topics has multiple sides ranging from documentary processes, educational
activities to scientific research or exhibition and publishing. All of them are interlinking to an
organic and self-conscious overview.
Patrimony_It is a current issue which captivated the attention of the entire civil society because
of the illegal demolitions on historical sites either in towns or villages. Having a solid
background in this field and a long lasting interest in the matter, we intend to raise awareness
not only by studies, research work and restoration, but by educational activities as well.
Environment_Protecting and preserving our natural environment is still a challenge. For a
sustainable future, we consider children’s education to be the first path to awake the
communities. Despite the lack of a coherent national policy for environment, little steps can be
taken by everyone. We know the way!
Educational tourism _ We are interested in random visits. No connection, no joint stories, just
general information guides. It is important to know what you see in order to appreciate it. Our
projects involve at the same time patrimony, natural sites, preserving communities’ traditions
and emerging tourism facilities.
Urban space_Everybody can see that something is missing in our city. Reclaiming it means
naming it urban public space with all its meanings: meeting point, street events, green grass
instead of grey bitumen, artistic display or urban furniture.
Luiza Zamora_cultural instigator_(born 1978) she studied Art History in Bucharest and she is
currently conducting her Ph.D. research in Medieval Art. She also studied Classic Archeology at
Cairo University and worked as an Archeologist at Centre des Etudes Alexandrines, Alexandria
under the supervision of well-known French researcher Jean-Yves Empereur (2000-2001). After
her return to Romania, she worked as an editor and editor-in-chief for the Romanian
Architecture and Design Review Igloo and its publications, such as the Journal of Architecture
and Igloo’s guides. She published Kule. Fortified boyar houses and she co-authored Ioanid
Garden and Saxons Fortified Churches from Transylvania, (CD-Rom). Luiza also made
contributions for Omagiu, Secolul XXI and TimeOut. Luiza Zamora is co-founder of Romanian
Group for an Alternative History and of A 37.
Mirela Duculescu_ vice-president_(b. 1972) lives and works in Bucharest. Holding a degree in
the Theory and History of Art, awarded by the National University of Art in Bucharest, she took
a Master of Arts Degree in the History of Art, Design and Visual Culture at Alberta University,
Canada, with a dissertation on democratic design in the Cold War Period. She has organized
cultural events for the Romanian Order of Architects (2003-2006), worked as editor-in-chief of
DeSIGN Bulletin (2002-2003), written design reviews for Igloo magazine (2003-2006), and
published numerous articles and essays in journals in her field. She was vice-commissioner of
the Romanian Pavilion at the 2008 Venice Architecture Biennale. Since 2006, Mirela has been
actively involved each year in Street Delivery. Currently, Mirela is an associate lecturer at the
Faculty of Interior Architecture at Ion Mincu University of Architecture, Bucharest, where she
teaches a course in concepts in design.
Raluca Munteanu_vice-president _(b. 1976) has studied architecture and graduated in 2000
from Ion Mincu University of Architecture and Urbanism Bucharest. In 1997 she got a 6-month
Tempus scholarship at Seconda Universita degli Studi di Napoli and in 1998 she worked for 3
months at the office for urban planning Zettler und Aalto in Augsburg. Raluca received a DAAD
scholarship for master studies Baudenkmalpflege (Preservation and restoration of monuments)
at Fachhochschule Köln (2001-2003). Since 2003 she has been working for the office Vlad
Simionescu & Asociatii Arhitecti in Bucharest. Given her interest in ecological and natural
architecture, she welcomed the idea of creating the workgroup Arhiterra (2005), whose
member she is, together with Mariana Celac, Mirela Duculescu and Serban Sturdza. In 2008 she
became member of the Scientific Council of National Reservation Piatra Craiului.
Iulian Soare_member_(1964) he has a Degree in Geology at the Faculty of Geology and
Geophysics in Bucharest. At present, Iulian is coordinator of tourist programs for children,
tourist guide and promoter of holiday centers. He has a rich experience in organizing tourist
activities in various schools simultaneously and he is also trainer for Romanian Venture Scout
and founder of Carpatic Alpin Club, Bucharest since 1985.
Serban Bonciocat_member_(born 1967), he is a militant Architecture and Patrimony
Photographer. Since 2001 he has worked for Igloo architecture magazine and has been involved
in many successful book-projects, such as Kule, Tara Hategului, Kastello, Stuf, etc.
Paul Danciu_member_(born 1977) he is a musician and historian. His main music project is
RuePavlov. He has a keen interest in patrimony and environment.
Conjoint activities_ We were a team long before we started as a NGO. The most fruitful
enterprises we were involved in are the exhibition Ioana Grigorescu, Architect and Artist,
(Mirela & Luiza, 2004), the urban event Street Delivery - the first urban culture event on Pictor
Verona Street in Bucharest (Mirela, Luiza, Raluca, Paul, Iulian, 2005-to present) and the ecogroup Arhiterra (Raluca, Mirela, Luiza).
Links_ www.streetdelivery.ro, www.arhiterra.ro, www.romania-trekking.ro, www.patzinakia.ro