Type-apartment Building Blocks’ Diaries


This project is proposed by Dr. Gentiana Dumitrascu, RYA member pertaining to the Technological Development and Health/ Quality of Life theme.

As Dr. Dumitrascu explains, neighborhood’s opening can provoke new connections between the members of the community we are living in, it can encourage future similar projects and also paves the way for a diverse range of experimental explorations. During the Corona lockdown, the spaces around our building blocks were intensively populated by the inhabitants, who ceased to gather there once the restrictions were relaxed. We returned to our habit of going straight from our car to our apartment door, without taking the time to visit the common areas at all. What would happen if we used, correctly and permanently, all the options offered by the spaces around our building blocks?

The opening of this dialogue, through a hybrid workshop of discussions, graphic exploration, collective exhibition, but also relaxation, at the shade of lime trees, could build a small archive of different experiences of a group of individuals using the same space, in one of the tensest periods of the recent years. Dr. Dumitrascu’s team decided to bring the art gallery experience to the community and to present its residents with their experience as users of its space, to give them courage to tell their story, as well.

This documentation exercise is the first phase of a 3 year project. Type-apartment building blocks’ Diaries is a platform which encourages the development of alternative ways of investigating, analysing and building architecture. This project aims to reconsider the hierarchical relationship between the architect and the user of the space, at the same time connecting civic actors, professionals, architects, architectural and design students and inhabitants of the socialist type-apartment building blocks, in a staged process, in order to impart knowledge.

Dr. Dumitrascu began the current investigation after finding a set of 49 years old letters, near the type-apartment socialist building block in which she had been living for the last 5 years.  The sweet sadness of the tumultuous love story and the evolution of one of the protagonist complicated disease, which was narrated by a fragile woman, Katerina, to her love interest, haunted her for a long time. While trying to find the owner of the letters, shhe became a “detective of the space” she inhabited and documented trough texts and illustrations all that she could observe. She combined my experience as a researcher, architect and personal user of the socialist type-apartment building.