PROJECT DESCRIPTION – Erasmus K203 Strategic Partnership . 2019-1-RO01-KA203-063881

Present day architecture students, educators and consequently young professional architects, from Romania, Serbia, and Hugary are mostly unaware of each others common cultural ground and of the extent that their somewhat similar recent social, political, and economic history is affecting their work environment and design decisions. The transnational collaborations that tackle the complex territorial conditions of one such very specific possible meeting area, the Banat region (DKMT euro-region) – important cultural component resting on the border between Central and Eastern Europe, have yet to fully consider the relevance of architectural national policies.

The border phenomenon, validated 100 years ago though the partition of the Banat area between the countries of Romania, Serbia and Hugary, created a territorial division through the heart of a peaceful multi ethnic multicultural region, an act that was thus detrimental in strengthening each country’s own national political narrative. This phenomenon  is also observable, in the case of the local architecture schools in the euroregion, that were thus oblivious of each others intellectual and aesthetic quest in conjunction to this common ground. Unfortunately, the territorial and spatial connections observed through the lens of geographical studies, anthropology, journalism, political science, economics, have had insufficient penetration within the autonomous field of architectural research. Architects have yet to look at and analyze the edification policies, that each country has adopted in its recent history (socialist and postsocialist) and asses their transnational, convergent or divergent impact on both our common heritage as well as future regional development. Furthermore, there is an observable lack of applied experience, obtained through traditional academic training, in handling projects that result from a direct reading of this territory. This is manifested in the scarcity of tools required for this type of investigation as well as for working with local actors.

If this condition persists one might put into question regional relevance of the local higher education institutions. In the case of the DKMT euro-region, architecture schools might miss the opportunity to become valid transnational facilitators of regional development, by simply not channelling their knowledge and intellectual resources towards common goals. In a time marked by resurgent populism and nationalism, failure to understand each other and cooperate on this front, could deepen cultural divisions and transnational incoherency in each country’s  advocated spatial policies. In light of Timisoara’s( RO) and Novi Sad’s (SRB) selection as European capitals of culture for the year 2021, the inability to capitalise the strengths of this common ground, might lead to a potential failure of the ECC program in establishing a wider teritorial footprint, encompassing the whole area and not only its two titular cities. Furthermore the shortage of professionals willing to effectively communicate these common ground realities, coherent policies, as well as competences in tackling them, to unaware local actors, could  inhibit further regional development. This in its turn will lead to the perpetuation of a professional model of architect that acts as merely a service provider for private, speculative commissioned works rather than one with a real critical, constructive understanding of to the needs of the communities and groups affected by the process of spatial edification.

We will address the gaps and mismatches between each partner country’s spatial policies as well as educational trends by  acknowledging that difference is just as important as semblance. By designing and testing new comparative educational modules for architects related to the  fields of anthropology, political science, social geography, digital tools for interpretation of data we hope to increase the awareness of architects towards these common issues. These will be addressed to a group of 40 architecture educators and 30 students working together in two intensive training programs. The program will create opportunities for real, on site experiences for the target group of the project highlighting the theory and tools necessary for territorial exploration as well as project implementation through participatory tactics. On the long term we will create a framework for transnational partnerships between our neighboring countries – Romania, Serbia and Hugary, focused on competences of the set target group with the aim of approaching shared problems regarding both higher education and regional development. By increasing the awareness of our common heritage as a palpable, shared resource we hope to encourage our main target group to promote excellence within this field of spatial practice, with the direct involvement of local actors: volunteers, community leaders, elected officials, administrators, and various NGO’s.


The partnership will address the gaps and mismatches between each partner country’s spatial policies as well as educational trends by acknowledging that difference is just as important as semblance.


The main objective of the project is to create a curriculum for a master course in architectural higher education. In order to do so the partners will work on developing the theoretical backbone of the program and on testing several teaching methods. In this sense we believe that our project will cover certain skill gaps in existing curriculum and tackle mismatches between the current educational offer of architecture schools and what is required within the professional environment. The project will provide insight into how partner universities approach the issue of transnational spaces and the impact of national borders on the development of communities that exist in border areas.


By coming together, the architecture schools, seen here as principal promoters of the partnership, hope to tackle the curricular gaps and mismatches that, in spite of their national or international recognition, isolate them from one another when seen strictly at a regional or transnational level.


Both intensive learning programs (or summer schools) are thought as nodes, high density and high resolution key points in the overall program. They are built on the results of the preparation period / modules that precede them and in the same time set / calibrate the frame for the following activities to be developed.


UPT, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning as coordinator,Universitatea de Architectura si Urbanism Ion Mincu din Bucuresti (Romania), Univerzitet u Novom Sadu, Department of Architecture (Serbia), Sofiiski Universitet Sveti Kliment Ohridski, Faculty of Geography (Bulgaria), Debreceni Egyetem, department of Architecture (Hungary), Budapesti Muszaki es Gazdasagtudomanyi Egyetem, Departement of Public Building Design, Faculty of Architecture (Hungary), Universitatea Babes Bolyai, Department of Sociology (Romania).

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