The experimental space for art and well-being has been offered to the “Onisifor Ghibu” Theoretical High School students

The space is the result of a large participatory process that took place in several stages and actively involved the school community – teachers, students, parents – along with artists, designers, architects, landscapers, researchers in psychology and public health.

\”Art and involvement in creative activities play a significant role in the emotional and cognitive development of children, as shown by numerous studies. Our intention was to develop a model that supports the long-term presence of art in schools and contributes to shaping an educational environment that appreciates and cultivates the attention for well-being, as well as children’s collaboration skills and imagination. We hope that students in schools across the country will be able to benefit from this type of space in the future.\” Rarița Zbranca, program director, Clujean Cultural Center

The participatory process was facilitated, under the coordination of Cluj Cultural Centre, by a multidisciplinary team from Urban Scale Interventions (UK), specialized in urban innovation projects focused on community, culture and well-being.

\”We have an older collaboration with Cluj Cultural Centre through the Art’n’Play project, this is not our first attempt to bring culture and art to schools, so when they proposed this new project and the creation of this space I immediately and enthusiastically said \” yes ”, although I had not identified exactly where we could do it. First I said \”yes\” and then we started looking for options for this wonderful space. I am extremely proud and happy that we can do something more for children.” Monica Bereș, director, “Onisifor Ghibu” Theoretical High School.

The 40 square meters space was designed to stimulate the emotional and cognitive development of children through art, play and sensory exploration. The chosen design theme was \”the mysterious planet\”, inviting children to express their curiosity and creativity in interaction with a multisensory panel, an astronomical mini-observer, musical instruments and other interesting objects.

The space can be used for art or music classes and to teach other subjects in an experiential way, but also for extracurricular activities, as well as recreation and relaxation. In collaboration with the school, Cluj Cultural Centre will continue to support cultural and creative education workshops facilitated by artists through the Learning Qub project.

\”We chose to carry out this project together with ”Onisifor Ghibu\” Theoretical High School, as it is one of the schools in our Art’nPlay network, with which we have a very good collaboration through cultural education workshops, since 2019. Every year, an artist in residence came and facilitated workshops with children here, so this space represents an opportunity to move to another level and offer them the best place to do all these things in a funny and playful manner, in an environment that stimulates the imagination and is less rigid than the traditional school. It is also the largest school in the city, so a participatory process and a successful solution developed here will be even easier to replicate in smaller schools. We would like all students to benefit from such a space, just as much as we would like them to enjoy the benefits of cultural education.\” Cristina Rogoz, Art’n’Play project coordinator, Cluj Cultural Centre.

These solutions, such as the one implemented in the Ghibu space, with the intention to increase students’ and teachers’ well-being and to cultivate, through the space endowments and the cultural activities it will host, healthy habits of life and social interaction, can be reproduced in other schools in Cluj-Napoca, in future modernization processes.

\”We will launch over 10 international competitions in Cluj in order to find solutions for the modernization and expansion of some schools in the city through the schools investment program. We want to take this example and integrate it from the technical level and of course, we intend to involve children, parents and teachers in this process so that the implemented changes are as close as possible to their needs; after all, they are the ones who benefit from these spaces and from the modernization projects which involve the educational infrastructure”, Ovidiu Cîmpean, development director, Cluj-Napoca City Hall

60 students, 22 parents and a group of teachers from “Onisifor Ghibu” Theoretical High School were involved in the process – Monica Bereș | director, Mihaela Coța | Deputy Director, Raluca Popa | school counselor, Adina Câmpean | primary school teacher. The experts who contributed to the space creation and development are: Jak Spencer and Khadidja Konate | architects, Urban Scale Interventions; Eliza Jurca and Simona Or-Munteanu | architects; Alin Tănasă | artist / creator | Gentle; Maria Brudașcă | visual artist, Tamás Márkos | photographer, musician, educator; Monica Bartucz | psychologist, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences (BBU); Adela Hoble | Landscape architect and researcher, University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine in Cluj-Napoca; Teodora Morar | landscape architect and researcher, Romanian Landscape Association and Hanna Ugron | consultant. The process was coordinated by Cristina Rogoz and Claudia Cacovean and curated by Rarița Zbranca, from Cluj Cultural Centre.

Thanks to: Ștefan Teișanu, Ovidiu Cîmpean, Simona Baciu, Carmen Muntean, Adrian Balcău, Marius Mariș, Daniela Maier, Raluca Mășcășan, Paula Feșnic, Septimiu Cioara, Mihaela Orosan, Adela Nicoară.

The art and well-being space initiative developed by Cluj Cultural Centre is part of the Art & Well-being project and the Learning QUB program, co-financed by the European Union through the Creative Europe Programme, Botnar Foundation and Cluj-Napoca City Hall. It was also supported by Rondocarton.

📷 Vaczi Roland



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