Skip to content

Students who have not changed their password since 7 May cannot log in to the student web. Read about how to change your password.

Main menu hidden.
Published: 2024-04-19

Umeå School of Architecture joins New European Bauhaus Initiative

NEWS Living spaces that are beautiful, sustainable, and inclusive are the value words of the EU initiative New European Bauhaus. During 2023, Umeå University, represented by Umeå School of Architecture and the Department for Applied Physics, became an official partner in the New European Bauhaus.

Text: Erik Persson

The New European Bauhaus initiative (NEB) aspires to connect the European Green Deal to the daily lives and living spaces of European citizens. Launched by Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission in 2020, the idea of NEB was to become a bridge between science and technology, and art and culture, adding social, creative, and cultural dimensions to the work with the European Green Deal. This idea later developed into three core value words, aiming for living spaces to be Beautiful, sustainable, and inclusive. In 2021, the Swedish government assigned Boverket the task to coordinate the New Europe Bauhaus Initiative in Sweden. 

During 2023, Umeå University became an official partner of NEB, represented by Umeå School of Architecture and The Department of Applied Physics. 

“Taking part in the New European Bauhaus Initiative is highly relevant for Umeå School of Architecture. We are situated and anchored in northern Sweden, currently undergoing a new industrial revolution related to the processes of climate change adaption. Further, our education, research and cooperation efforts are aimed precisely towards the values designed for the NEB. Therefore, joining the initiative was a natural step to further develop and to contribute with our competence related to these aims”, says Cornelia Redeker, Professor and Head of Department at Umeå School of Architecture.

National NEB network meeting in Umeå and Skellefteå

In the middle of September 2023, a national New European Bauhaus network meeting took place in Umeå and Skellefteå. The meeting, taking place partly at Umeå School of Architecture, was arranged jointly by all NEB-partners in Västerbotten – Umeå University, Skellefteå Kommun, Umeå Kommun, Region Västerbotten, Länsstyrelsen Västerbotten, SLU and RISE. The discussions during the network meeting focused on local and regional cross-sectorial collaborations, as well as ongoing work across Sweden relating to circular processes, innovative timber construction and other measures to develop the ecosystem of the construction industry.

The NEB Academy

Another focus during the NEB network meeting in Umeå and Skellefteå was the new NEB Academy for sustainable construction program. The European Union has initially invested 100 million Swedish kronor to educate people within and attract new competence to the building sector. The workshop during the network meeting was the first to take place related to the mission. Boverket (the Swedish National Board of Housing, Building and Planning) has given the assignment to lead the work with NEB Academy in Sweden to RISE (Research Institute of Sweden). Together with Swedish actors, among them Umeå School of Architecture, RISE aims to develop educational material for competence building in the construction and architecture sectors with a focus on wooden construction and circular construction.

Student Design Competition

Another part of the NEB Initiative is the NEB Design Challenge, organized by the Nordic Council of Ministers, Nordic Carbon Neutral Bauhaus, Finnish Ministry of Environment and Research Institute of Sweden in collaboration with Architects Sweden. It’s a design challenge for architecture students to form transdisciplinary teams with students from different fields and together design new innovative and creative solutions for adaptive reuse of buildings and sites to inspire the construction sector to be better at using what has already been built. The task is to ideate on the re-design (Reuse and Readapt) of four sites in the Nordic region (Umeå, Stavanger, Kuopio & Høje-Taastrup) and one of the launching events took place late February 2024 at Umeå School of Architecture. The final winner for each site will too be announced at an award ceremony at UMA during the End of Year festivities on 30 May.