spectrum of knowledge
Bucharest, RO

vinklu is a collaborative project started by Ștefan Păvăluță. It embodies the creative process in different fields: architecture, interior/exhibition design and object design. From a small town in northern Romania, since 2017, Ștefan aims to export good architecture to the rest of Europe.

The founding

Even before starting to do competitions, things started to get a bit serious after finishing my 3rd year in University. By the 4th and 5th year, studios and professors changed; so I kept close to Justin, one of the former studio assistants. He proposed that I start working on small-scale projects in his office. During my first years, it was a mentorship; I was learning by doing, and doing by learning. Also I was trying to find the right people to fit a larger team; in two years’ time we were a team of 5, working on exhibitions, competitions and residential projects. I think interests faded away after things didn’t go quite our way so we split up and everyone went their way. Since 2017,  I am actively collaborating with another local office and working on personal projects under the name vinklu.


Assembling our first ever project

The way I started with Justin was very hands on; from small scale to big, from object to interior to built. I think it was about control, dimension, structure, precision and nonetheless, ideas. It was about developing a language by first understanding how everything works or doesn’t; a tectonic collage. We were building our own objects, structural knots for different kinds of furniture or lighting installations.

During the weekends, there was a seasonal market in front of the architecture department in university along the façade of a neoclassical building. It was a profile section with a lot of details, sills, casings, etc. First project we ever did was a market stand with a section that fit the exact profile of the building, built in 2 or 3 pieces. It started with a personal idea, all the regular stands were pretty much DIY and invasive. We built some mockups and then the final prototype. The plan was to go during a vacation, build it and take some photos to see the final result; a more guerilla architecture attempt. The day came, it was me, Justin and the driver; we pulled up in front of the faculty. Justin and I were carrying the large pieces to the spot while the driver was waiting for us with the engine on. So there we were, two guys mounting a stand in downtown Bucharest, minding our business and at the end taking the photos of the end result. Soon after, we disassembled the object and took off.


Maintaining healthy habits

I am trying to manage my time as best as I can. My work is a bit divided, as I am in the office at least 4 days/week and the rest of my time is spent developing personal projects. I don't think it's the kind of profession where you can hit the "stop" button as you leave the office, but do the best by mediating the both private and professional. In the end, getting the best sleep (and not forgetting to drink water) keeps me focused.


Different typologies

I already expected that working in Romania wouldn't actually be smooth sailing. It's an environment where the market dictates most of the projects, as almost 90-95% of the clients are private. So, my initial thoughts were to try and build more. I turned to object design, competitions and interiors and to more micro-architecture without much compromise. I realised I had to learn as much as I could from it. Eventually, it gave me a different spectrum of knowledge and control on space, scale, materials and use. In time, building a network out of this, it gradually progressed into the built. I try to keep myself involved in different typologies of projects, but always small-medium scale. Fast forward to present time, the range of projects differ from object design to rural housing restoration.


Working towards representing southeastern Europe

Being from a small town in the northern part of the country, these past years offered me a few opportunities that made me return to the rural or countryside. Also ironically, right now we are facing a new economic crisis; but for me, positivity works better. Quick rewind: I am trying to develop in the future more small scale projects in different parts of the country rather than a big city. Also, keeping object design, interiors and competitions as a more active part of the studio activities that I collaborate with. Looking at some good practice examples from here, I have the same drive of "exporting" good architecture from this part of Europe.

IMG 1482 Stefan Pavaluta

IMG 5076 Stefan Pavaluta

IMG 0848 Stefan Pavaluta

1 Stefan Pavaluta

IMG 9259 Stefan Pavaluta

Photography courtesy of vinklu

a project powered by Itinerant Office

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