"All we wanted was to create a playground for our projects and our friends projects... and... or anyone's creative projects"
How do you identify with the term City Makers?
Alma: We are City Makers because we are changing the (exterior) shape of the city and the energy of the place in a physical and emotional way.
Dragos: Also, in the way people ‘report’ themselves.
What do you think of the term?
Alma: I like the name! The english combination of words makes it easy to use.
Dragos: It’s helpful because you see all these different people from different associations and you can’t always realize whats common about them. The term is good for making it clear.
You guys have a name in English too!
Alma: It took us a long time to find it: a lot of brainstorming. But I think it’s very common in this moment in history where English is widely used.
Dragos: Our name, Make a Point, is part of our identity because it clarifies what we are. Depending on the different projects we have, sometimes they lean more towards urbanism, social interventions, or arts and culture. From one project to the other, we were (and are) something else and this is a more generic term that helps us keep our identity among our different projects.
Alma: You can be a City Maker through many ways, even if you are an architect, event creator, entrepreneur, or business person.
What inspires you to do what you do? How did you start?
Dragos: For me it was easy because Alma and the others were already doing interesting things. I just wrote them an email and expressing there was a lot of potential of generating value by collaborating. So the idea that you can contribute somehow by improving a situation you don’t agree with, namely having a huge derelict area in the city, and turning it around. That is my motivation.
Alma: To add to what Dragos said, he was already interested in urban studies and sociology. He came with a lot of input and creative ideas, and related our projects and collaborations. He helped us develop a vision.
Dragos: It’s great to have the possibility to see your ideas, theories, and studies become a reality.
Alma: It started when the other co-founder, Madalina, and I returned from our study abroad in London. When we came back we decided we had to do something, to not waste our experiences and what we learned. We (most of us) have a background in film, not architecture or sociology. We wanted to change the place we live in.
Dragos: What’s amazing about Alma and Madalina is that they started absolutely from scratch and they had the energy to keep going.
Alma: When we came back in 2008 from London; in 2009 we were already working on Make a Point. There was nothing like that in Bucharest at the time. All we wanted was to create a playground for our projects and our friend’s projects… and… or anyone’s creative projects. We didn’t want to do that in the center of the city. Everything was concentrated in the center and still is. However, it’s slowly changing, that’s why we choose to pick a place on the outskirts in an industrial space.
Any examples of other happenings that are inspiring to you?
Alma: In Łódź, Poland there is a huge industrial stock of buildings left over and they have been transformed to cultural places where various events, exhibitions and festivals take place.
Dragos: It’s impressive how the industrial heritage (in Łódź, Poland) is set into value through temporary events, such as the Photo Festival. We also found inspirational the dedication of the people organizing the festival.