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ID Joins New European Bauhaus Initiative as Only North American Partner

By Kristin Gecan

April 19, 2021

New European Bauhaus
First articulation of global sustainability partnership takes place at New European Bauhaus Conference April 22–23

ID announces a new and ongoing partnership with the New European Bauhaus, the first manifestation of which happens at the New European Bauhaus Conference in Brussels April 22–23.

The New European Bauhaus is a groundbreaking interdisciplinary initiative developed to help the EU achieve the goals set forth in its Europe Green Deal, namely to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050.

We are beyond pleased to find a committed partner in IIT Institute of Design, an authority in systems design and participatory processes, both of which are critical to propelling the New European Bauhaus movement forward. A beautiful, sustainable future will only happen if we make systemic change—and we must start now, together.
—Ruth Reichstein, Advisor at I.D.E.A., the European Commission’s Presidential Advisory Board on the New European Bauhaus

ID is the only North American partner involved in the New European Bauhaus initiative.

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, made remarks about building a New European Bauhaus that would take on the environmental, economic, and cultural project of making systemic change through design in her State of the Union Address. She stated: “This is our opportunity to make change happen by design.”

We at ID are aligned with President von der Leyen’s expectations for design to build the world we want to live in—a project that will require designers, architects, engineers, and others, across borders, to all work together like never before.

Decades ago, when Bauhaus master and ID founder Moholy-Nagy remarked, “We accept the challenge of technical progress with its recognition of social responsibility,” we faced a surfeit of challenges and opportunities, including overcoming the last great pandemic as well as a host of incredible crimes against humanity—much as we do now. In the interim, design’s focus evolved from making to thinking. Today we are certain that the best role for design is in doing—equitably, justly, sustainably, and with clear purpose.

As the direct descendant of the original Bauhaus, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to give back. Bauhaus master László Moholy-Nagy founded ID as The New Bauhaus more than 80 years ago, bringing the Bauhaus ethos of ‘technical progress with social responsibility’ to the US. Now our transatlantic cross-pollination comes full circle as we return to our European partners an update on Bauhaus-inspired methodology in pursuit of building a sustainable and inclusive future.
—Denis Weil, Dean, IIT Institute of Design

Charles L. Owen Professor in Design Carlos Teixeira will work with European Union officials at the conference. Teixeira will facilitate a workshop, “Co-Designing the New European Bauhaus,” in which participants will leverage best practices in design to realize the New European Bauhaus’s ambitious objectives.

I am honored to share ID’s expertise in applied design to help this group of international leaders tackle critical sustainability challenges on a truly global scale. As the New European Bauhaus has recognized, we must apply new ways of working together in order to realize the future we want.
—Carlos Teixeira, Faculty Director, Action Lab, and Charles L. Owen Professor in Design

Teixeira leads ID’s Action Lab, which is a vehicle for the type of interdisciplinary problem solving central to the New European Bauhaus Initiative. The Action Lab extends ID’s expertise in systems and human-centered design to specific industry challenges. By creating a consortium that works cooperatively to produce actionable knowledge, the Action Lab addresses challenges of sustainability, equity, and justice in the realms of health, food, cities, technology, education, finance, and mobility.

Five New European Bauhaus projects will be created in EU countries over the next two years. Each will commit to sustainability with different focus areas, from natural building materials and energy efficiency, to demographics, future-oriented mobility, and resource-efficient digital innovation.

The New European Bauhaus conference is open to the public. View the program and register.

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