Hi. I am Diana Culescu
I am a citizen, a landscape architect and an occasional blogger trying to change the world one day at a time. In what I do I’m often confused with a horticulturist. But, in the meantime, I understood that it could be even worse: people could still have the impression that I own an easel and that I have great talent for painting … landscapes.
I am shaping the space
Together with my associates from RPR Birou de studii contemporane and our collaborators, I work on shaping the Romanian landscape. Our projects range from small design interventions to urban or territorial scale studies or planning strategies. However, most of our work is bound by confidentiality clauses and, therefore, can only be glimpsed from time to time mostly on our clients’ websites, within their products presentation or directly on site.
I work on pioneering projects
Just to be clear: I am not looking on inventing a new wheel in landscape architecture. For now, I am concentrating more on studying wheels that were already invented in other parts of the world, rather astonishing wheels for the much too young landscape architecture domain from my country. And I also focus on adapting some of those wheels to the Romanian socio-cultural, institutional and legal context. In this respect, among my favorite adaptations that I’ve worked on until now are the first landscape atlas for Romanian territory, inspired by French examples, and the first crowdsourcing campaign on gathering data for tree inventory, based on the TreePlotter app create by a team of U.S. arborists.
I promote my profession
When I graduated from university, in 2006, I understood that my profession doesn’t exist in the collective mind. Soon after, I joined forces other colleagues within the Romanian Landscape Architects Association (AsoP Romania) and, together, we manage to introduce our profession on the classification list of occupation in Romania (correspondent of ISCO-08). We also tackled the legal framework, spearheaded changes so that, now, landscape architects are regarded as peers for architects and urbanists – historically well recognised professions in Romania. We are developing various projects and we are continuously working on promoting our profession at local level, via AsoP Romania’s territorial branches, as well as at national level and also in the international context, through the International Federation of Landscape Architects, European Region (IFLA Europe). In this respect, we organized several professional events, among these being the 28th Conference & General Assembly of IFLA Europe and the first annual conference of AsoP Romania, occasioned by the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Landscape Architecture specialization in Romania and 15 years since the first alumni of this professional field.
I speak some Legalese
It turns out that I can understand and use to some extent the legal parlance. I don’t think that I have some special skills, but I am one of the rather few landscape architects that do not shy away easily when confronted to the legal framework. Thus, in time, I got involved in several legislative projects tackling Romanian laws and regulations. Among my first interactions there was Bucharest’s regulation regarding the decision-making process for the interventions made in existing green spaces (into force from 2016). Through AsoP Romania, I got the chance to participate in developing a legislative project for the modification of Law no. 24/2007 regarding the green spaces with urban environment which is one of the laws that have a tremendous impact on landscape architect profession in my country. This legislative project is now on its way on the legislative process in the Deputy Chamber of the Romanian Parliament (chamber with decisional role) and it is expected to be enforced in spring 2020. My latest activity regarding Romania’s legal framework is related to the Cultural Heritage Code. In this context, I am coordinating the development of the cultural landscape chapter. The deadline for the completion of this legislative project is the middle of 2020, and, afterwards, the project will enter the legislative process in order for it to become a national law.
I write about what I know
Occasionally I take the time to write about what I’ve learned, about my findings or about my experiences. My weapon of choice is my Facebook page Diana Culescu peisagista. This is a communication channel addressed to the general public in Romania. The main topic around which I revolve here is targeting trees in urban environment because this is a very sensitive issue here. This sensitivity is generated mainly by the inability of the local public administration in relation with landscape maintenance process in general and tree care demarch in particular. This inability sometimes results in important damage or losses as it is the case for one of the most important trees of Cismigiu historic garden – the most iconic cultural landscape features of my country. On my facebook page I also post about my involvement in different events, I present some of my work, I take a stand on different controversial topics, and I introduce other concepts related to the field of landscape architecture. Within the online environment I am also developing my web page www.dianaculescu.ro, but for now I am concentrating mostly in generating through it a reference info storage for professionals and others interested in landscape architecture and arboriculture related topics. When the opportunity arises, I am also writing in a more formal manner. So far, my favorite materials in this respect are: the good practice guide for green space management – addressed mainly to the public administration workers, which aims to explain what green infrastructure consists of and how it should be approached, revealing also key management tools – and the textbook on cultural heritage – dedicated to high school students where I’ve tackled the built space versus natural environment chapter.
my intent regarding my portfolio is not to present translated snippets of my work, but rather to offer a glimpse on how the results of my day to day activity really look like
… for more details on my activity …