IIT Institute of Design Joins New European Bauhaus Initiative as only North American Partner

First articulation of global sustainability partnership to take place this week at the European Commission’s historic New European Bauhaus Conference in Belgium

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By Howard J. Lee

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The IIT Institute of Design (ID) at Illinois Institute of Technology announces a new and ongoing partnership with the New European Bauhaus. ID will join the European Commission 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,” said Ruth Reichstein, Advisor at I.D.E.A., the European Commission’s Presidential Advisory Board on the New European Bauhaus. “A beautiful, sustainable future will only happen if we make systemic change—and we must start now, together.”

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

“As the direct descendant of the original Bauhaus, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to give back,” said Denis Weil, dean at IIT Institute of Design. “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.”

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,” said Teixeira. “As the New European Bauhaus has recognized, we must apply new ways of working together in order to realize the future we want.”

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.