Last September, the EU launched the New European Bauhaus, an initiative designed to transform the built environment into a more sustainable one with higher social value. The project, shaped through an unprecedented co-design process, is now calling for architects, students, specialists, and citizens to share ideas, examples and challenges to help define the movement's concrete steps.
An interdisciplinary movement in the making, the initiative calls on Europeans to imagine a sustainable, accessible and inclusive future, where the built environment provides enriching experiences. The new Bauhaus aims to coagulate design, arts, science and technology to unfold the European Green Deal, EU's set of policies for reaching carbon neutrality by 2050.
Catering to a green transition for Europe, The New European Bauhaus is at the same time an environmental, economic and cultural project. Taking its name from the influential school founded by Walter Gropius, the initiative aims to emulate its cultural significance and widespread influence, as it strives to "facilitate a profound, collaborative, and multidisciplinary societal transformation". The project is also part of the EU's coronavirus recovery plan and a step towards making the Union a circular economy leader.
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"The New European Bauhaus movement is intended to be a bridge between the world of science and technology and the world of art and culture… it is about a new European Green Deal aesthetic combining good design with sustainability." — President of the European Commission Ursula Von der Leyen.
The first step of the project is the co-design phase, which involves collecting concrete contemporary examples showcasing the Newe Bauhaus values. These ideas will help shape a support framework, and special prizes will be awarded in Summer 2021 to models that best embody the initiative's aspirations. Serving as a soundboard for ideas, a high-level roundtable has been established, consisting of experts from various fields, from architecture and urbanism to climate science and biology. Among these eighteen specialists are architects Bjarke Ingels and Shigeru Ban, as well as artist Olafur Eliasson.
The initiative is expected to enter the delivery phase in September 2021 with the implementation of pilot projects across Europe. These will be closely monitored, and the ideas and actions emerging will be amplified during the finals stage of the project, the dissemination phase starting in 2023. Europeans can contribute to the project by suggesting a concrete path for the project, listing examples, or sharing studies or papers on the initiative's website.