About the Private in the Public and the Public in the Private

We are on the train. Already for many hours. We feel a bit like in a Wes Anderson's movie – blue, brown or orange elements on the train and the passing Romanian landscape. On the left side small towns by a river, on the right the Transylvanian Alps. We have prepared a lot. We have contacted local experts and prepared interview questions, we discussed and researched Bucharest from different sources. […]

From a Courtyard to the Biennale

After the first days impression of Bucharest, we arranged our first meeting with the local experts (on public space) for Saturday afternoon – with Romeo Cuc, the curator of the exhibition Mnemonics in the Rumanian pavilion at this year Venice Biennale, and Matei David with Alex Oprița, members of the Cișmigiu Civic Initiative Group, which is also part of the Mnemonics exhibition. We met in the Liric Garden, the first […]

Drumul Taberei

Bucharest is (in)famous for its vast number of large housing complexes around the city built during the communist era – between 1965 and 1989 approximately 450,000 new apartments were built. During less than 20 years, the city has dramatically changed, the number of inhabitants doubled, many of them coming from the rural areas, and the city area grew by almost eight times (studioBASAR 2010). Despite certain similarities with big social […]

From a Makerspace to a Community Center

We set up a meeting with a collective who revitalise a former cotton factory in the south of Bucharest. We took advantage of its location and decided to connect the meeting with visiting the Văcărești Natural Park. The Văcărești Natural Park is the first urban natural park in Romania, only 5 km away from the city centre, being the largest green space in Bucharest. In 1986 Communist regime built a hydro-technical […]

Sample Bucharest Community

One of the first communities in Bucharest is the Lacul Tei Initiative, we discussed their history and aims with its member Dorin Moldoveanu who we met in the Parcul Circului, a public park of which the neighbourhood community take care. They desribe themselves as “a group of ordinary citizens living in the Tei neighbourhood that decided to try to change the living in the area”. They established with the help […]

Community Architects

Alex Axinte and Cristi Borcan, two Romanian architects, set up the architecture office studioBASAR in 2006, shortly after their graduation. Since then, they managed to establish a strong position in the field of urban research (observation) and interventions in public space, they also refer to their working methods with the office’s subtitle “search and rescue”. The “search” dimension works across Bucharest, looking for overlooked urban conditions that people had come to […]

Back with Enthusiasm

Baza is “an urban initiative set to unleash Bucharest’s latent energies” and consists of five young professionals from the cultural field – two architects, two city planners and a film producer. Their joint aim is to move Bucharest forward, activate its citizens and share their experience (also from abroad). We met with Maria Duda, an architect who studied and worked in Switzerland before coming back to Bucharest, where she started […]

Information, Communication, Facilitation

One of the oldest and biggest NGO in Bucharest is the Association for Urban Transition (ATU) which engages with urban development and policy, urban culture and heritage, mobility and public space, collective housing and combating social exclusion for 17 years. We met with one of the founding member, architect Vera Marin, and her two colleagues who are involved in the URBOTECA project – urban researcher Gruia Badescu and anthropologist Alexandra […]