Alexandra FloreaPhD candidate, Deakin University

Alexandra Florea is a PhD candidate at Deakin University, studying the viability of villages in Romania in the 21st century, with a focus on the Transylvanian rural landscape. She has done extensive research on the topic of vernacular architecture and discusses the concept of invented tradition in the context of Rosia Montana, showing the role of the built environment in legitimizing the power of tradition. Her research is also interrogating the role of the rural houses built during the communist regime in the vernacular discourse, conclusions which will be presented in June 2017 at the Society of Architectural Historians conference.

Before coming to Australia, she studied at the Technical University in Cluj-Napoca, obtaining a Master from the Architecture and Urban Planning Faculty. During university, Alexandra participated as a volunteer in the summer school held at Rosia Montana (2011), which together with other school projects, built her interest in villages.

She believes that a holistic approach is required in order to assure the success of villages in the 21st century, that is an approach considering both the city and the village. She hopes that the local knowledge of the Romanian landscape corroborated with skills gained in an international environment will lead to the realization of sustainable projects in the Romanian rural context.

Alexandra has also completed the Pedagogic Module in the School of Architecture and Urban Planning and has volunteered in a program of socialization and learning for pre-school children in an orphanage in Cluj for a short period before coming to Australia.

She thinks that cultural events have the power to bring people together in a creative and stimulating environment and she organised a socio-cultural event for the HDR students and staff members in the School of Architecture and Built Environment, Deakin University.

Alexandra worked in architectural offices in Romania and Australia, participating mainly in residential projects.