We are very proud to announce that Mad’in Europe is one of the official Partners of the New European Bauhaus. Launched in September 2020, the New European Bauhaus is a creative and interdisciplinary initiative, convening a space of encounter to design future ways of living, situated at the crossroads between art, culture, social inclusion, science and technology. Crafts professions intrinsically boast the core principles championed by the New European Bauhaus; so, in our partnership, we wish to valorise craft trades as we believe that they are in the nexus of sustainability, aesthetics and inclusivity.
Though they often use traditional methods, crafts are not antithetical to innovation. Craftsmen have a deep acquaintance with the raw materials they work with, as well as with short supply chain practices. This allows them to choose resources wisely, and they produce less waste than industrial processes. Mindfulness prevails in every step of the production- not just in the handiwork. Local materials are often favoured, so dedication to the land is not just an abstract value, but has an environmental resonance. Overall, crafts professions can add much value and offer immense knowledge to the practices of sustainable development. It is our belief that these indispensable trades can pave the way for a more responsible construction and restoration sector.
With this in mind, as Mad’in Europe, we have been arranging a series of video conferences, tutorials and round tables around the topic of sustainability that encourage a cross-fertilisation of ideas and methods between craftsmen, associations and other organisations. Relatedly, we offer advice on cross-sectoral activities through the Madineurope portal to better promote the expertise of craftsmen in restoration and traditional construction, and provide tips on sustainable alternatives for production and consumption habits.
Craft professions are also instrumental in creating aesthetically rich spaces that put diverse cultures and disciplines into dialogue. Particularly in building crafts, craftsmen rarely work alone, and there is always great potential for fertile exchanges between professionals and with customers. This also entails the blooming of a more inclusive and circular economy. Imagining better spaces and environments becomes a collective practice and human interactions flourish in the process. To support these exchanges, Mad’in Europe has been organising tutorials to help craftsmen make the relevant digital transition, so they may communicate about their rich and diverse practices more effectively and with wider audiences.
The New European Bauhaus advocates “enriching experiences that respond to needs beyond our material dimension, inspired by creativity, art and culture”. The promotion of local crafts can empower local cultures and identities. Preserving the know-how of material heritage also makes it possible to retain the knowledge of intangible heritage. Craftspeople are often imperative members of their localities, as they hold the generational knowledge native to regions. They can consolidate a community identity and thus facilitate social cohesion. Furthermore, restorers can reinvigorate spaces and objects in disuse, render them usable and relevant to contemporary times, and help communities recuperate valuable cultural resources. For these reasons, Mad’in Europe is greatly concerned for the persistence of know-how, and facilitates craftsmen in arranging an effective transmission strategy.
The New European Bauhaus aims to “make the ‘Green Deal’ a cultural, human-centered and positive, tangible experience. It intends to bring about a green transformation of the built environment and the construction sector and at the same time trigger a broad discussion about future ways of living together, at the crossroads between art, culture, social inclusion, science and innovation.” As the scope of the New European Bauhaus initiative recognises, the stakes are many and they are high. Crafts play a great role in addressing these stakes, as they are concerned with the environments we inhabit and how to enhance them through sustainable practices, while also bolstering local cultures, identities, and economies.
So, as Mad’in Europe, we would like to issue an incentive on preserving and revaluing know-how by finding local craftsmen, promoting their work, creating a network to facilitate communication and collaborations, and proliferating channels for the transmission of knowledge onto the next generations to meet the needs of tomorrow.