Today, the European Union is facing simultaneously two pressing challenges: The Covid crisis and climate change. As the European Commission launches its Renovation Wave initiative, we call on you to use the best of the Bauhaus spirit at the service of the citizens and our planet.
Tackling the first one, we daily realize our interdependence and the importance of standing united. Faced with a sanitary threat, the EU has demonstrated that it can rapidly act to protect our fundamental rights and values by using an interdisciplinary approach to deal with an event of unprecedented complexity.
Tackling the second challenge, climate change, is by no means less important nor less urgent: on the contrary. Climate change could follow a course similar to the coronavirus outbreak, its escalation and exponential consequences will be out of political control regardless of national borders. As there will be no vaccine for the environmental degradation and the number of victims will be far greater, there is a pressing need to face this multifaceted threat, even faster and more drastically than the Covid crisis. This situation calls up on us to initiate a global paradigm shift.
In the speech the President Von der Leyen delivered on the State of the Union in front of the European Parliament, she called for a new European Bauhaus, so as to “give our systemic change its own distinct aesthetic, to match style with sustainability.” In addition to a new style, Bauhaus offered a conceptual change to adapt design to the social, economic, technical, and political realities of the time.
Now, humans belonging to different generations and social backgrounds must come together to shape a beautiful future for Europeans. If we don’t design it, we will then lose the battle.
What is at stake today is design.
The sustainable/regenerative design of our cities, of our habitats, of the 21st century skills and of our way of life. For this paradigm shift to take place: Yes, we dare to design our future.
Yes, we dare to question the outdated models.
Yes, we dare to gather minds from different disciplines and origins. Yes, we dare to accept being led by the youngest through this journey. And yes, we stand ready.
To support us, our request to the European Commission is simple: please push forward a new European Bauhaus that fosters sustainable design through a multidisciplinary approach, acting as a stepping stone to achieving the European Green deal.
Today, we call on you to go one step further and create not one, but several new European Bauhaus in the EU. These should foster a bottom-up, interdisciplinary approach which would bring together architects, artists, craftsmen, artisans, urbanists, developers, construction workers, engineers, gardeners, students, and citizens to co-create the design that will underpin the EU’s climate neutral future. The new European Bauhaus should create a space where forward-thinking ideas in the arts, architecture, craftsmanship, design, and green technology can be promoted and scaled-up across the EU.
Those signing this collective open letter underline the importance to equip Europe with emblematic projects fostering our greatest strengths: our diversity and our common ecosystem.
List of signatories:
Alexandra Mitsotaki, Co-founder & President of the World Human Forum, World Human Forum
Bjarke Ingels, Architect, BIG
Claire Roumet, CEO, Energy Cities
Denis Montel, Architect, RDAI
Eric Scotto, President, Sunstyle International
Erik Orsenna, Economist and writer, Member of the Académie française
François Gemenne, FNRS Senior Research Associate, Director of The Hugo Observatory, Member of the IPPC
Jacques Rougerie, Architect and founder of The Jacques Rougerie Foundation, Member of the Institute de France
Jochen Sandig, Artistic Director and General Director Ludwigsburg Festival, Co-Founder of World Human Forum Delphi and Radialsystem Berlin
Julia Capp, Architect and agency director, RDAI
Kristiaan Borret, Bouwmeester Maître, Architecte of Brussels Capital Region
Maja Göpel, Scientific Director The New Institute, Scientists for Future, Former Secretary-General of the German Advisory Council on Global Change
Marlis Petersen, Soprano
Philippe Chiambaretta, Founder architect PCA-STREAM, Pca-Stream
Sasha Waltz, Choreographer and Opera Director, Founder of Sasha Waltz & Guests
Thomas Coldefy, Architecte, Coldefy
Walburga Hemetsberger, CEO, SolarPower Europe