We have been growing in the past 3 years…

KICK-off BY bringing people together (APRIL 2016)

We brought back key players who were involved in the 1990’s Fundatia Romana pentru Design (Romanian Design Foundation) to lift and shift any learnings. We also included latest new initiatives who are evolving design in Romania. Collaborative ideation, identifying meaningful initiatives.

Guests: Adrian Curaj (Minister of Education), Rodica Alamoreanu, Mara Ratiu (Deans, UAD Cluj), Dinu Dumbraviceanu (Director, UnArte), Andrei Bortun (Founder, Romanian Design Week), Catalin Nastasoiu (designer), Oana Radu (Romanian Cultural Institute New York).


What are our best capabilities, programs, curriculum? Can universities learn from each other? Guest speaker Tincuta Heinzel addressed developments in technology and education. Who are our best designers? How are they impacting the value of business? The two-part conference addressed i) design education bringing together all design universities in Bucharest. ii) design impact on business share-out by key design studios: Studio Kort (Bucharest), Firestarter (Brasov), Beniamin Pop (Cluj), Studio Electra (Iasi) and guest speaker Jeremy DiPaolo on the value and impact of design on business.

Sponsors: PepsiCo Romania, Banca Transylvania, CreaEst, Arcub.

Design Thinking - NATIONAL SPRINT WEEK (may 2017)

Goal: Build a Design Thinking Sprint Week, where each major city would tackle a local problem/ opportunity. It would i) enable us to begin collaborating at a country level ii) identify natural regional leaders and iii) educate community on design thinking methodology.

Cluj-Napoca May 25, 2017 - “Design Thinking to Improve Student Housing” - solutions across cleaning services, guidebook to living with your relatives, finding ideal room-mate and education. Facilitator: Emilian Cartis, RDC

Timisoara May 26, 2017 - “Prototyping using Digital Toolsets” - how will designers prototype in the new era of digital services? Facilitator: Dan Moga, UVT

Iasi May 27, 2017 - “Design is the Process” - guest speaker
Facilitator: Alexandra Ghioc, Univ Iasi

Bucharest May 27, 2017 - “Design Thinking to improve life conditions” - teach community to use design thinking methodologies and elevate life quality in old communist flats.
Facilitator: Andrei Carcea, Studio Kort.

Brasov May 28, 2017 - “Design Thinking to improve Public Transportation” - how can we elevate the experience for travelers, and locals alike? Facilitator: Razvan Patrascu, Firestarter, BVDC.

Bucharest May 28, 2017 - “Collaborating across the network” - reconnect of all leaders from the cities (sprint week) in Bucharest, for a share-out of week’s learnings and connect.

Design for Experience - Student Housing (2017)

Goal: Lift and shift learnings from National Design Sprint Week (May 2017) and provide UAD Cluj-Napoca students the opportunity to go in-depth on identifying Student Housing problems to solve and opportunities, and enable dialogue between academia, technology partners and design students. The results were three top students presenting their work at Liberty Technology Park, enabling one student to be hired immediately.

Cristina Pop‘Designing furniture for restricted spaces’ Cristina took a powerful approach to combine this program with her personal passion for designing solutions for disadvantaged rural areas (post-industrial). She conducted a full self-led design research with 12-15 families, enabling her to envision new models for defining solutions in similar restricted spaces and raising the opportunity for social innovation.

Sabina Stanescu‘Find your Ideal Room-mate’ Sabina self-led this design development in area of service design, an app to enable anyone in Cluj to find their ideal room-mate based on preference criteria, elevating co-living experience. Sabina was hired on the spot after her presentation to Liberty Technology Park by one of our tech partners.  

Paul Armand Georgescu‘Alternating States of Experience’ Paul led and documented an incredible research, providing an insightful perspective on student’s need to alternate their limited space based on various daily needs (rest, work, play). He then designed a modular furniture that would enable an easy transition. We are still looking for partners to create a prototype (one student housing room). If this inspires you, and can help/ partner, please get in touch.

Teaching Design Innovation (2017-2019)

Goal: Teach Design Innovation Fundamentals as means to enable and equip the new generation on problem definition, empathy and problem-solving in a transformative way. Program hosted by University of Art and Design Cluj-Napoca and composed of key modules: i) Design Thinking and Design Process ii) Design Research and Inspiration iii) Design and Technology and iv) Design Your Life – mindsets, emotional intelligence, planning and daily behaviors which enable our success. More than 150 students participated and engaged, with outstanding reviews on mindsets, motivation and opportunity creation. Also held on guest module (one day) hosted at University of Art George Enescu Iasi in Dec 2018.

Tutor: Emilian Dan Cartis Hosts: Rodica Alamoreanu (UAD Cluj), Alexandra Ghioc, Silviu Buraga, Magda Sficlea (UA Iasi)

‘Creative Leaders’ (SERIES pilot)

Goal: Highlight excellent and experienced designers (12+ years) to the community, and enable academia, design professionals, students and business to engage, learn and connect. Outcome: Hosted at Steelcase Cluj, it was an outstanding inspirational evening, connecting across generations (alumni come to share from their success, and be role models) where young design students can learn, and business discovers new designers (both presenters and students), and academia connects with potential business partners. Two of the students received internships, and the community was galvanized. We are currently running a follow-up, and plan to scale program nation-wide. Presenters: Couple Dan Dulau (Graphic Designer) and Eleonora Dulau (Architect) offered insight into creative process, their methodologies and balancing creative and family life. Next Event: Nov 15, 2019.

Vision and Program Lead: Romanian Design Council
Academic Partner: University of Art & Design Cluj-Napoca
Business Partner and Host: Steelcase

’Yearly Report’ (pilot 2019)

Yearly SUrvey + REPORT 2019

An outstanding response with 400+ answers received regarding wages, disciplines, and design opportunities.

Goal: Gather and analyze community-driven data to enable a more realistic and insightful perspective of the opportunities and challenges of design, innovation and creativity in Romania. Publish results and analytics in yearly report, to be distributed online.

Outcome: An outstanding response with more than 23k reached, 2,300 engagements and more than 450 responses across the country. Currently in progress to create our first report, to be published in Dec 2019.