Home » Kick off meeting: Prototyping co-designed spaces for arts and well-being in schools

Art & Well-being pilot project
23rd November 2020
Online – Zoom Platform

Cluj Cultural Centre initiated the first consultative session for imagining and prototyping an experimental space for art and well-being within the “Onisifor Ghibu” high school, from Cluj-Napoca, Romania. 

Art and its contribution to the well-being of students and teachers 

The intention is to contribute to the increase of the well-being of students and teachers and to cultivate, through the facilities of the arranged space and the cultural activities that it will host, healthy habits of life and interaction. 

Finding the best solutions together, through a participatory process

This meeting is a first step in a participatory process, aiming to be the basis of a working model that can be replicated in other schools in Cluj. More than 20 participants, specialists and researchers in the various fields such as psychology, public health, landscape and architects, artists and photographers and the “Onisifor Ghibu” high school representatives were invited to be part of a long term working group for this initiative. For one hour and a half, on a Monday day of November, we all joined together to introduce the aim of this activity: to co-create with teachers, students and experts from different fields a space for well-being and art within the school and to see how everyone is eager to be involved in the process.

Double Diamond Design Process

The entire participatory process is facilitated by the Urban Scale Interventions (UK), a multidisciplinary team of researchers and designers that works on city challenges by creating public value. The USI team is specialized in urban innovation projects focused on community, culture and well-being. To deliver an inclusive project, they use the established Double-Diamond Design methodology: Discover, Define, Develop and Deliver.

The stages of the process include:

  1. Needs assessment and prioritization
  2. Selection of the intervention theme
  3. Design of the intervention prototype, validation of the intervention project
  4. Implementation / arrangement, commissioning and evaluation of the intervention. 

The timeline of the process is envisioned from November 2020 – June 2021

The community is giving back to school

“Onisifor Ghibu” is the largest school in Cluj-Napoca, with almost 2000 students, including primary school, secondary school and also high school, with different social backgrounds. A lack of space for community projects, art projects or other extracurricular activities and initiatives was identified. A lot of projects were coming from inside-out, like many festivals, activities, organized by the school for the community, and now this project is designed to change this trajectory – from outside to inside, stakeholders, community are giving back to the school. Considering the complex needs to be addressed, students should be involved in the co-creation process. Even due to the pandemic context, schools are closed, and the educational activities are mainly online, new ways of data collection should be developed.

Long term thoughts

As it was mentioned, the aim of the process is to come up with a solution that uses art to improve well-being at school and to develop a model that can be replicated in other schools from Cluj-Napoca. 

Art & Well-being space activity is initiated and coordinated by Cluj Cultural Centre within the interdisciplinary approach of Art & Well-being project, co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of European Union, and Learning QUB program, financed by Botnar Foundation.