Written by Ivana Katsarova.
From 9 to 12 June the New European Bauhaus Festival takes place in Brussels and all over Europe.
The New European Bauhaus initiative is an innovative cooperation project combining sustainability and wellbeing goals. Inspired by the eponymous arts school founded in Germany by Walter Gropius in 1919, the European Commission initiative aims at addressing contemporary and future ecological, economic and societal concerns. Launched by the Commission to help deliver the European Green Deal – geared towards achieving a sustainable economy and eliminating net greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 – the project envisages the participation of a wide range of actors in a vast effort of cooperation between science, technology, the arts and culture.
This first edition of the Festival will thus gather citizens, politicians and professionals to debate and shape ideas for the future landscape of the European Union. On the agenda: exhibitions, artistic performances, conferences, seminars and other gatherings combining a ‘live’ onsite event and a ‘virtual’ online component.
The European Parliament will also dedicate an exhibition, the Sustainability Space (9‑11 June, Gare Maritime Brussels), showcasing a selection of efforts to improve sustainability. Visitors will have an opportunity to hear about environmental activities taking place within the European Parliament and see the ‘Interactive Environmental Dashboard’ used to monitor and assess Parliament’s environmental performance in its own premises. There will also be messages from Members of Parliament and a photo exhibition of ‘Solar Portraits‘ by Rubén Salgado Escudero, depicting the lives of people who accessed electricity for the first time through the power of solar energy.
A new exploratory study on the possibilities offered by the New European Bauhaus, commissioned by STOA – Parliament’s Panel for the Future of Science and Technology – will be officially presented during a workshop, taking place on 13 June at 11:00 am on Parliament’s premises. The aim of the study, entitled ‘The Green Deal ambition: Technology, creativity and the arts for environmental sustainability‘ (by Emanuele Bompan and Elisabetta Tola), is to help inform the debate on the New European Bauhaus within the European Parliament and beyond. It brings together insights from a number of scientific research papers and reports on current experiences of cross-pollination between the cultural and creative and the tech sector. The authors have also gathered the ideas, contributions and perspectives of a selected number of European players with key expertise in design, arts, architecture, new materials, and science and technology. Taken together, this collection of contributions offers a more nuanced view on how the New European Bauhaus could contribute to achieving the goals of the European Green Deal.
Importantly, the authors argue that a prominent role must be given to young people, so that European spaces are defined by those who will live there in the future. Consequently, the vision of the New European Bauhaus must not be just another path set up by ‘those who have an already established position’, but instead become a ‘place of intergenerational confrontation’.
To summarise, these are some of the ideas on offer for what already looks like a very busy weekend …
- EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture / Mies van der Rohe Award: A tribute to Bauhaus, At a glance, Magdalena Pasikowska-Schnass, 2021.
- The Bauhaus movement: Where are the women?, Briefing, Ivana Katsarova, 2021.
- Education and the New European Bauhaus, At a glance, Denise Chircop, 2021.
- Cohesion policy contribution to New European Bauhaus, At a glance, Agnieszka Widuto, 2021.
- What if technology and culture combined to boost a green recovery?, At a glance, Vadim Kononenko, 2020.