The New European Bauhaus Initiative, with Ruth Reichstein, I.D.E.A.

The New European Bauhaus Initiative, with Ruth Reichstein, I.D.E.A.

On 20 April 2021, UnILiON members organised an Open Talk on the New European Bauhaus initiative, a new interdisciplinary project launched in January by the European Commission, that is currently in its co-design phase and aims at implementing the European Green Deal.

UnILiON Open Talks are dialogues with high-level speakers, mostly from EU institutions, through which our network aims to deepen topics of interest in the context of European research and innovation policies. The talk was open to participants outside the network, in particular to researchers and academics from member universities, who responded enthusiastically to the invitation, reaching over 140 participants.

This dialogue with Ms. Ruth Reichstein, I.D.E.A. Advisory Board to the President, focused on the New European Bauhaus initiative proposed by the President Ursula von der Leyen as a project to match sustainability with style. It was organised by the UnILiON “Horizon Europe & Future policy” working group and hosted online by the representative of the Berlin University Alliance.

Ms. Reichstein introduced attendees to the concept of the New European Bauhaus, a creative and interdisciplinary movement with the purpose of matching sustainability goals with style and urban design. She highlighted the broad scope and the intention to develop new ways of living together in European urban and non-urban spaces, and of creating a vision of how we want to live together in the future.

One prominent feature of this project, as emphasized by the speaker, is its interdisciplinary nature, which tries to combine architects, designers and engineers’ points of view with for example sociologist, urbanists, psychologists and civil society expertise and perspectives to create affordable sustainable living environments.

The project is organised into three phases: the current co-design phase, in which ideas, challenges and best practices should be identified and shared by whoever wants to give their contribution. In this co-design, bottom-up approach, Universities have an opportunity to contribute to the shaping of the guidelines, on which the calls for proposals of the delivery phase, starting in the summer, will build. The results of the calls for proposals and the winner projects of the New European Bauhaus Prize will pave the way for and be part of the dissemination phase, aimed at creating a real cultural movement throughout Europe.

Ms. Reichstein placed particular emphasis on the role universities can play in this process, being irreplaceable actors in exploring the needs and strengths of their local communities, having access to next generation stakeholders and being capable of contributing through research and innovation activities and expertise.

Following suggestions on how to pull their weight in the realisation of the project, UnILiON has planned to arrange a follow-up on this discussion, in order to put into practice the useful advice and clarifications received:

  • The network will promote contact among participants to the Open talk helping them to establish networks with other attendees by simply establishing email contacts that participants will follow up in case interest arises.
  • In addition, if the interest arises among participants, UnILiON will organize online conversations in groups of 5 to 10 people using the guidelines suggested by the European Commission

We hope that these exercises will lead to collecting inputs that emerged among the different groups and share significant ideas and challenges with the Commission.


Carolina Apicella

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