January 2021

Like the Bauhaus movement, the European Green Deal calls for new ways of thinking

A preface by the President of the European Commission, Dr. Ursula von der Leyen

On the occasion of the publication of “Designing Design Education: A White Book on the Future of Design Education,” the President of the European Commission, Dr. Ursula von der Leyen, talks about the importance of the Bauhaus – and about her idea of a new European Bauhaus movement. The movement’s goal must be that form follows not only function, but also the health of our planet. In her welcome note, she also speaks about the role the European educational landscape plays in this context.

We all know how good design can be impactful. It introduces beautiful shapes, colors, and light into our everyday lives. It brings joy and often also improves the functionality of the things we use each day."

Dr. Ursula von der Leyen
President of the European Commission

The historical Bauhaus movement blazed the trail, and its traces are to be found to this day all over the world. Be it in Dessau, Ascona or Tel Aviv, be it fabrics and textiles or the countless artworks and paintings that adorn our museums. Founded in 1919, the Bauhaus movement decisively helped define the social and economic transition to industrial society and the 21st century.

The European Green Deal calls for a similarly comprehensive rethink – 2050 years later. Climate change, digitization, a mushrooming world population of as many as ten billion people by XNUMX all constitute immense challenges. If we are to have a more sustainable economy, a more sustainable way of living we must above all plan differently from the outset. This is why we have set a new European Bauhaus movement in motion. Back then, the historical Bauhaus prioritized innovative materials and construction methods in order to square up to the challenges of industrialization. The idea was to make housing nicer and afford- able. Here, form followed function. Today we must go a step further. The form of the New European Bauhaus follows the functionality and health of our planet. We want to create a habitat for the growing number of people that is enjoy- able to live in and at the same time protects the climate and the environment.

We also want to create a space for joint design work and creativity, where architects, artists, students, systems specialists and climate scientists, engineers and designers work together to realize our goal of ensuring a climate-neutral continent by 2050. The New European Bauhaus will be a driving force that takes an innovative and citizen-focused approach to tackling the Green Deal – and this will go beyond the borders of Europe, too.

The project will also involve asking how teaching, research and science should be conducted. How should courses of study be structured in order to not only keep pace with changes in the economy, nature, and society, but also to effectively help shape and define such changes?

This publication makes an important contribution in the field of design. The world of European education provides an ideal seedbed for a broad range of different, daring and experimental answers to these questions.

I wish the Whitebook on »Designing Design Education« many committed and creative readers who draw inspiration from it when pursuing our shared goals with courage, curiosity and innovation.

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