The new European Bauhaus: recognising the opportunity | Cyrus Engerer

We can match the way in which the ecosystems around us live, with the way that we live and find a way to have our society complement the ecosystem around us

It has been over 250 years since the industrial revolution. That is 250 years of different ideas, different visions and different ways of design
It has been over 250 years since the industrial revolution. That is 250 years of different ideas, different visions and different ways of design

The COVID-19 pandemic has given many of us time to stop and think about our lives, and the world around us at a deeper level. The way we live our everyday lives, the people we spend time with and the space in which we inhabit has always been important, however, during the COVID-19 pandemic many of us had the opportunity to take a step back and think harder about the way we do things. It has given us time to think about the organisation of society at a more introspective way. But that time of reflection is hopefully nearing its end. We are on the edge of a new dawn. And as the Covid 19 pandemic comes to a closer end, we have in front of us the prospect of a new day.

The pandemic has given us time to reflect and think. Having our lives shifted to confinement, it made us reflect more on the importance of surrounding ourselves with nature and how important the natural world around us is. While many of us were already preoccupied with the state of the environment for clear scientific reasons, the COVID-19 pandemic gave us the opportunity to realise just how important the environment, nature and biodiversity is to our own intrapersonal wellbeing and the wellbeing of our loved ones.

Speaking for myself, this time made me think that we need to figure out a new way of doing this in order to protect our environment and ultimately protect future generations. But to do this, at the rate we need to be able to mitigate the effects of climate change, pollution and the destruction of nature, requires radical change. This is where I believe  a New European Bauhaus can come in.

The Bauhaus movement was a movement founded in 1919 which aimed at creating a progressive future. The Movement, founded by Walter Gropius looked to change the foundations of how art, design and architecture came together with science and sustainability. It was not just a movement of artists, engineers and thinkers, but a political ideology that design can be future looking and sustainable.

The movement served as a manifesto for the future which I believe is more relevant today than ever before. These ideals can be adopted in the principles we bring forward to the design of our future society – one which is forward looking, progressive and helps us walk forward into a society which is sustainable and looks towards the wellbeing of all.

The ideas of the Bauhaus sought to go back to the fundamental aspects of art and design to redefine the way things work and how we engineer the society around us. If such a mentality can be adopted in the way that we design our houses, we build our cities and connect our regions then this could radically change the effect we are having on our planet connecting citizens back to nature.

We have the opportunity to address some of the major flaws in the way we have organised society. We can rectify the effect our buildings and infrastructure have on climate change and the quality of our air by choosing to design buildings in a way which mitigate the effect of Co2. We can create smart, carbon neutral transport solutions featuring green urban planning in order to reorganise the way we commute from place to place and decrease our dependency on private transportation.

We can match the way in which the ecosystems around us live, with the way that we live and find a way to have our society complement the ecosystem around us, rather than solely benefit from the living planet around us. It has been over 250 years since the industrial revolution. That is 250 years of different ideas, different visions and different ways of design. And yet, the design which has been adopted by governments and decision makers has largely failed. It is therefore clear that we must shift our thinking into one which looks beyond what we have always known about regional planning, transportation, building design and the organisation of society.

So as we exit this pandemic and head on to a new horizon, I believe that it is important to recognise what an opportunity we have in front of us.

As the pandemic has brought us to a halt, it has also allowed us the opportunity to reflect upon our past and plan for our future. We have the possibility to create a future which brings form and function together in order to create urban sustainable solutions to everyday problems. By inducting sustainable and inclusive planning into our planning process, we could be able to head into future which embraces this new way of thinking and together head towards a new dawn.

It is for these reasons that I will be actively supporting the European Commission’s initiative fora a new European Bauhaus.

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