Meet the Bucharest team

Architects, urban researchers, anthropologists, political scientist, geographer and sociologist working together.

Urban Education Live's Bucharest team is interdisciplinary, in true ATU spirit. We each have more than one professional hat and academic specialisation and have pooled our experience and knowledge into a team of passionate individuals, driven by the need to improve the way our city works for its residents. We will be focusing on developing and applying social mapping methods to document local patterns and track urban change, as we build a live-learning educational programme for graduates in professions related to space and urban living.

Meet the team.

Vera Marin is an architect (1999) with master’s degrees in Integrated Urban Development (2001) and in project management (2008). She holds a PhD (2009) in urban planning and housing policies and was a visiting researcher at Institut d’Urbanisme de Lyon with the support of a French Government Scholarship (2001–2005). Since 2000, she teaches at the Ion Mincu University of Architecture and Urban Planning in Bucharest. She is president and founding member of the Association for Urban Transition (ATU) since 2001, where she works as trainer, consultant and project manager. From 2013, she is vice-president of Playing Architecture, an association which promotes built environment education for children in schools.

Daniela Calciu is an architect (2007) and teaching assistant at the Ion Mincu University of Architecture and Urban Planning in Bucharest, where she obtained a PhD (2014) with a dissertation about the concept of urbanity and its role in the discourse formation of urban design after 1956. She holds master’s degrees in architecture from École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Paris La Villette (2007) and in Integrated Urban Development (2009). She is involved in applied research projects and initiatives for participatory local development as a member of the Association for Urban Transition. Since 2016, she is director of development of the National Museum of Contemporary Art Bucharest.

Răzvan Zamfira is an architect (2013) with a master’s degree in Urban Studies (2016). His thesis outlines the contemporary dynamics of urban governance structures by looking at the new role played by the private sector in “contemporary company towns”. His professional activity revolves around projects that promote public participation in the planning of neighbourhoods and the access to open urban data as a tool for understanding our urban environment.

Alexandra Ștef engages communities by researching, designing and facilitating processes that embed participation. She has researched emergent civic initiative groups in Bucharest, facilitated public consultations about cultural needs and opportunities in neighbourhoods, drafted a community outreach strategy, guided cultural outreach experiments and founded an online community engaging critically with the challenges of early adulthood. She holds a BA in International Affairs from Universidad Central de Venezuela (2007), a MA in the Politics of Central and Eastern Europe from University College London and Corvinus University of Budapest (2012) and is currently pursuing a MA in Anthropology at SNSPA (expected 2018).

Gruia Badescu’s urban research and practice relate interventions in urban space to societal processes of dealing with a difficult past. After a BA in Geography from Middlebury College (2007) and a MSc in City Design and Social Science from the LSE Cities Programme (2009), he worked on policy research, urban design and strategic planning in the USA, Romania, Moldova, Armenia and Georgia. He conducted his PhD research in Architecture at the University of Cambridge (2015) on architects and dealing with the past in the process of post-war reconstruction. He has taught geography at the University of Oxford and urban anthropology at the National School of Political and Administrative Studies in Bucharest.

Andra-Mitia Dumitru is a sociologist (2008) with a master’s degree in Social Anthropology and Community Development (2010). She develops cultural and visual studies as part of Vira Association, a cultural NGO in Bucharest (since 2004). Her most recent study (2016) regards current housing style in socialist blockhouses from Bucharest. She collaborated with numerous cultural and academic institutions in field studies related to urban environment, ethnomusicology, handicraft fairs and ethnic components of the urban environment. She took part in several interdisciplinary workshops on topics related to urban anthropology and urban development. Since 2008, she works as editor and reporter at the Romanian Radio Broadcasting Society.

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