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The New European Bauhaus – creating longevity for a new movement

The New European Bauhaus – creating longevity for a new movement

The European Commission announced a host of new initiatives to support the growing movement, striving for a more sustainable and inclusive Europe

Today, the European Commission announced the launch of a wave of new initiatives, supporting the New Bauhaus movement. The initiatives will be presented during the New European Bauhaus Prize ceremony on 16 September and are intended to create a snowball effect, catapulting the aesthetic movement to the forefront of Europe’s cultural and political scene.

These include a festival promoting new projects and a new funding plan to ensure the continuation of the New Bauhaus movement. The Commission also announced the New Bauhaus Lab – a think tank that will research and test new methods of creating more sustainable design and infrastructure.

Style and Function

The basic idea behind New European Bauhaus is to use culture, architecture and design to incorporate the European Green Deal into everyday life. The movement examines a trifecta of values and how they can change the way we do things.

Like the original Bauhaus movement that emerged in 1919 out of a period of deep transformation centred on functionality and the use of new materials – steel and concrete – the New European Bauhaus aims to do the same with low-carbon solutions.

Furthermore, the new movement wants to present ecologically sustainable solutions in a myriad of different fields, like architecture, urban planning, interior design, transport and energy. The Green Deal is set to shape our collective future on the continent and the new movement wants to help that process.

The three main principles of New European Bauhaus are sustainability, inclusivity and aesthetics:

  • Inclusivity means accessible spaces where dialogue between diverse cultures, disciplines, genders and ages can enrich society. It also means a more inclusive economy, where wealth is distributed and spaces are affordable.
  • Sustainability means solutions that link our built environment and the planet's ecosystems. It means to create regenerative approaches inspired by natural cycles that replenish resources and protect biodiversity.
  • Aesthetic means enriching lives through culture and using diversity as an opportunity to learn from each other. It also means that the driving principle behind all projects is an equal distribution between style and functionality.

Creating longevity

The EU Commission wants to ensure the longevity and vibrance of the movement after the long-awaited New European Bauhaus Awards, bringing a cultural and creative dimension to the European Green Deal. 

The Commission will dedicate a total of 85 million euros of funding for New European Bauhaus Projects, as part of the programmes Horizon Europe (or research and innovation), the LIFE Programme (environmental and climate action) and the European Regional Development Fund.

Furthermore, inspired by the European community’s interest in the project, the Commission will establish a New European Bauhaus Lab – a think tank to create, prototype and test new tools, solutions and policy recommendations. The idea behind The Lab is to grow the movement through a spirit of collaboration between people from different cultural, economic and professional backgrounds.

At the same time, the Commission wants to push the New Bauhaus approach on a regional level and they will invite Member States to incorporate the values of the movement into their Covid-recovery strategies.

They also announced a New European Bauhaus Festival, to increase the visibility and Pan-European nature of the movement. Brussels will host the first edition in spring 2022 with the Commission announcing plans to make it a yearly event.

The Festival will include three components:

  • The Forum will trigger policy and action-oriented debates to help shape the trajectory of the project;
  • The Fair will offer a space to showcase projects, prototypes, products and methodologies, as contributing to New European Bauhaus;
  • The Fest will propose a cultural programme for the general public combining physical and virtual exhibitions, performances or talks, exploring and celebrating the core values of New European Bauhaus.

The New European Bauhaus is a shared vision of European Institutions and it wants to foster a set of governing principles, that can underline the future development of the EU. Because, the cause of a new way of conceptualising the shared European culture, the New Bauhaus Prizes will be announced after President Ursula von der Leyen’s State of the European Union Address.

They will be handed out by Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel and Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira.

President von der Leyen was quoted in a press release, saying that New European Bauhaus would combine the overarching vision of the European Green Deal with tangible change on the ground. This change, in turn, would improve the daily lives of Europeans - in buildings, public spaces, but also in fashion or furniture. According to her, New European Bauhaus will create a new lifestyle that matches sustainability with good design, needs less carbon and is inclusive and affordable for all.

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