IKEM has been named an official partner of the New European Bauhaus (NEB) and will provide its expertise in sustainability to support the goals of the new programme. ‘We’re thrilled to be a part of the NEB,’ said Simon Schäfer-Stradowky, managing director of IKEM. ‘Building a sustainable and equitable future will require broad networks – and that’s exactly what we’d like to help accomplish.’ The NEB is an initiative of the European Commission that aims to bring people from all disciplines together to rethink what it means to live sustainably
The NEB motto, ‘form follows planet’, updates the central tenet of the original Bauhaus movement – ‘form follows function’ – for a modern world experiencing the effects of climate change. The goal of the NEB initiative is to establish sustainable, affordable and aesthetically pleasing solutions to the challenges of climate change and to facilitate the implementation of the European Green Deal.
‘For over a decade, our work has linked interdisciplinary research with societal debate and political decision-making,’ said Mr Schäfer-Stradowsky. ‘In this sense, IKEM’s approach builds on the principles behind the original Bauhaus movement, which aimed to develop a symbiotic relationship between analytical methods in culture and art, on the one hand, and concrete applications in everyday life on the other.’
Over 60% of the world’s population now lives in cities, which makes it more important than ever to create urban spaces that are both livable and sustainable. ‘As climate change accelerates, we need to ask ourselves the question that was the focus of this year’s Venice Biennale of Architecture: how do we want to live together in the future?’ said Schäfer-Stradowsky. ‘In the summer, people who live in urban areas like to spend their time at lakes and in parks – but instead of integrating elements of the natural environment into urban spaces, modern buildings are still being constructed from steel and concrete.’ How cities can be successfully transformed is ‘ultimately also a legal question, as well as a question of urban planning,’ Schäfer-Stradowsky observed. ‘For example, it often makes more sense to plant trees than to rely on air conditioning. We want to contribute to the NEB by offering our experience and our knowledge in translating ideas from artistic, cultural, economic and social spheres into options for political action.’
To this end, in the coming months and years, IKEM will exchange ideas with citizens, business and representatives of various disciplines – for example at COP26 – to formulate new solutions, develop inspiring projects and contribute to projects that are already underway.