|The Seventeenth Annual Berkeley Undergraduate Prize for Architectural Design Excellence 2015|
Andreea Movila Travel Fellowship Proposal
Architecture of alterity
,,The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?” (Captain Jack Sparrow)
I do not understand . I have been all day engrossed by this issue. If poor may have the chance to have a distant look at their situation would this change something? What if instad of offering a bread, a coat or a house we would offer guidance,education or information – would this change something? I decided that I need to deepen both the theoretical and empirical study of poverty theme, in order to find a right answer for my case study . My Travel Fellowship proposal is deeply related to the topic of my essay, beeing a natural sequel of the intentions to help the community in Rosia Montana. The main idea refered to the fact that sometimes the help could not be all about an actual intervention: building something - but maybe about helping them to help themselves. Poverty research is a realm where theory and praxis have to meet. In order to bring forth fruitful insights as well as effective actions that make a difference for people suffering from poverty and exclusion, poverty alleviation needs joint efforts. Turning academic expertise into impact requires not only individual commitment but also coalitions of knowledge, experience and visionary thinking. This is why my travel plan is structured in three parts, one of them referring to a volunteer stage while the others aims to deepen the problem of poverty in Europe. Subsequently, the knowledge acquired will be applied and transmitted to the community where I will actively volunteer during the summer. Phase I. Summer School on New Development Cooperation: Breaking the Chains of Poverty . July 4 - 11 , 2015, Prague (http://development.praguesummerschools.org/online-application ) With the help of domestic policies and international support, poor people can find resources to make their way to a better life. The Summer School aims to seek for innovative and workable solutions, in talks with proeminent academics and leading professionals. The opportunity will give me the chance to become a part of a team that discuss innovative resolutions for the development of local communities in need and to meet fellow students - future pioneers of inclusive, socially and environmentally sustainable globalization. The deadline of application is March 31, 2015 and the payment plans can be arranged but not later than May 10, 2015. 5% of the program fee will be directed for the construction of the self-sustaining kindergarten in Kibera slum, Nairobi, Kenya. Students of previous edition, Prague Summer Schools 2013 contributed with an amount of 1360 EUR to the construction of the x-ray suite -the only x-ray unit for over 300 000 inhabitants of wester rural Kenya. ’’Breaking the Chains of Poverty Summer School” will give me the opportunity to discuss facts of international development cooperation with Daniel Ogola, Kenya citizen , the founder of the Matibabu Foudation. Founded in 2006, Matibabu Foundation has offered health services to over 60,000 Kenyans. Having the opportunity to meet him would be a rare chance to be inspired by someone who succeeded from such a heavy background. The trip to Prague will also offer me the chance to study the way Czech Republic overcomed the Social Realism Comunist architectural influence, making their way to innovative architectural designs icons that resuscitated the country after 40 years of communism (eg. Dancing Towers by Frank Gehry). This colud be a lesson of how changing the attitude about the problem can be the engine of change. This experience would be significant for someone whose country still faces poverty in a challenging modern context. Phase II. I considered that the theoretical discourse asssimilated from the Prague must be doubled by an empirical experinece hence I settled to take part as a volunteer for Adopt a House in Rosia Montana Programme, which struggle to help the community from Rosia Montana to rehabilitate and recondition their deeply affected dwellings that they can not properly maintain. This will be held between July 14-26 ,2015 (http://www.adoptaocasa.ro/noutati/voluntariat-in-luna-iulie-adopta-o-casa-la-rosia-montana ). My deepest intention is that the social and economical strategies learned from Prague Summer School to be shared with the community in order to find new solution that will help them overcoming their situation. Along with providing meaningful, hands-on help through nature-friendly traditional approaches to construction for their houses, I will be part of the team assisting them find out alternatives for their situation.
Phase III This final step intends to conclude my activities related to the topic and to promote the cause of Rosia Montana to a wider international audience. Hence , I have already submitted a paper (which at the moment is in review) for Absolute Poverty in Europe Conference in Salzburg between August 27 and 28, 2015. ((http://www.uni-salzburg.at/index.php?id=67291&L=1 ) However, if my paper will not be accepted for oral presentation I will participate as a listener. This experience would be very important for me considering that Keynote Speakers are David Hulme (Director of the Brooks World Poverty Institute and CEO of the Effective States and Inclusive Development Research Centre) and Robert Walker ( Oxford Institute of Social Policy, author of many book about poverty in Europe). I will be very honoured to discuss with Robert Walker about’’the 'shame' of being poor” a major theme of his studies, and to what extend this ’’shame” can be deducted from architecture or influenced by it. Improving the built environment in a community will help to increase the people self-esteem? These are the topics that I would like to approach. I will take advantage from beeing in Austria to learn from the dialogue between old and new and the way the modern architecture is integrated in the valuable historical background of Vienna. Viennese post-war architecture has set important accents in the city in the first decade of the 21st century, and numerous architectural landmarks marked Vienna skyline as those from Friedrich Hundertwasser, Coop Himmelb(l)au, Wilhelm Holzbauer, Hans Hollein etc. I strongly believe that my Travel Proposal substantiate how important this opportunity could be for my future development as an architect that must be profoundly concerned about the problems of society in which one lives. ITINERARY Phase I July 3 , 2015 – flight from Bucharest to Prague • (209 EUR, Tarom Airline, round-trip) July 4-11, 2015 - Breaking the Chains of Poverty Summer School, Prague • program fee for students : 750 EUR (Tuition including complete course reading materials, student’s handbook, maps, accommodation and two meals per day (breakfast and dinner), and cultural and special events) • 30 EUR * 8 days for lunch and other expenses= 240 EUR July 13, 14, 2015 – Visiting Prague • 940 Czech koruny = 35 EUR (Prague card for two days + free public transport) – (http://www.marys.cz/sightseeing/prague-card/ ) • 2 days meals and accomodation in Prague = 150 EUR
TOTAL Phase I: 1384 EUR Phase II July 14 – 26, 2015 – volunteering for Adopt a House in Rosia Montana Programme • Travelling expeses: 85 EUR round-trip train ticket from Bucharest to Rosia Montana Village • no participation and accomodation fees (lodging in tents or people houses). • 12 days* 30 EUR for daily meals and other expenses = 360 EUR TOTAL Phase II : 445 EUR
Phase III August 26 - 2015 : flight from Bucharest to Salzburg • 262 EUR, Air Berlin August, 27-28 , 2015 : Absolute Poverty in Europe Conference in Salzburg • 75 EUR Conference Fee for Students • 2 days meals and accomodation in Salzburg = 150 EUR
August 29 -31, 2015 – visiting Vienna • Salzburg to Wien train - 47 EUR (http://www.oebb.at/) • 3 days living expenses in Vienna : 290 EUR September 1, 2015 – flight from Vienna to Bucharest • 232 EUR, Tarom Airlines TOTAL Phase III : 1056 EUR Phase I+Phase II+ Phase III = 2885 EUR = 3069 $
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