Authors: Gayle Kimberley & Nina Fauser
By now, you’ve heard us speak a lot about the EU’s overarching aim of making Europe climate neutral by 2050. You’ve read about the Green Deal, the Innovation Fund, the twin green and digital transition, energy efficiency, carbon neutrality, as well as tech opportunities such as 5G, AI and drones. While these terms convey a sense of ethical duty, they are often not viewed as being ‘sexy’.
This is where the new ‘European Bauhaus’ movement comes in. It injects new aspects into the EU Green Deal by calling for a focus on the aesthetic, beauty and artistic aspects, whilst bringing in a cultural debate to make sustainable development more humane and beautiful.
The European Commission (‘EC’) wants to see a new renovation wave, encouraging us to rethink how we live. To do this, we need imagination and creativity and so, the EU Bauhaus movement was created to act as a bridge between science and technology on the one hand, and art and culture on the other hand.
The New European Bauhaus is essentially a green architecture project which aims to bring art and science together, to improve energy efficiency in Europe’s buildings. It is an EU project modelled after the German grassroots art and crafts movement and has plans to create a forum where architects, artists, scientists, and entrepreneurs can collaborate. Its goal is to turn Europe’s proposed green building renovation programme into a cultural movement.
The call is simple: Let’s make sustainability look nicer; let’s make sustainable living beautiful.
How are we going to do this?
The Bauhaus movement will be developed in 3 stages:
- Design phase: everyone is invited to explore ideas and shape the movement. In this phase, the engagement of designers, architects, artists, digital experts, scientists, entrepreneurs, engineers and students will be necessary;
- Delivery phase: implementing 5 new Bauhaus projects in different EU Member States, all committed to sustainability, combined with art and culture, and with specific focus on sectors such as natural building materials, energy efficiency, demographics, and resource-efficient digital innovation; and
- Diffusion phase: spreading the ideas, with the aim of reaching beyond Europe’s borders.
The EC plans to ask designers, architects, artists, digital experts, scientists, entrepreneurs, engineers, students and innovators to identify what kinds of projects should be part of the movement by Summer 2021. In the second half of 2021, the EC will launch a call for projects. As from 2022, the European Bauhaus will be disseminated across Europe, starting with five founding Bauhauses working on different topics, such as social cohesion or energy efficiency.
The renovation wave
The New European Bauhaus is the cultural component of the European building renovation strategy, which is set to improve energy efficiency in Europe’s buildings and double the rate of renovation in the next ten years.
Buildings are responsible for about 40% of the EU’s energy consumption, and 36% of greenhouse gas emissions from energy. But with only 1% of buildings undergoing energy efficient renovation every year, action is crucial in making Europe climate neutral by 2050.
The strategy, announced by the Commission, lists several research avenues, including a public-private partnership, ‘Built4People’, covering all aspects of construction.
The EC will also launch separate research calls under Horizon Europe and the Climate-neutral Cities mission. Researchers will be required to show how their work can be applied in different environments by setting up demonstration projects in all different climate areas in Europe. All of this will be funded mainly by the Horizon Europe budget, and also by the recovery fund. The planning for the Bauhaus initiative is currently in the hands of the Commission’s Joint Research Centre.
Shout out to all artists, designers, architects, students and interested people: what kinds of projects do you think should be part of this Bauhaus movement? How can we make Malta’s existing and future buildings sustainable, yet beautiful?
Contact us if you want to make a difference, if you would like to be part of this new renovation wave, or if you have any ideas on how to make sustainability beautiful and want to bring a project to Malta or the EU.
Make sure to keep checking EWROPA’s website, LinkedIn and Facebook pages for further announcements on this movement and how you can be part of it, as well as to find out about any available funding opportunities under the new European Bauhaus movement.
If you already have a project which you think can contribute to this movement, contact us now on firstname.lastname@example.org and we will help you identify the right funding opportunity for your project!