Algarve has already started to create “its” New European Bauhaus

Regional actors from different areas came together to jointly design projects that fit the philosophy of this European Union initiative

Photo: Jorge Mestre Simão, Faro2027

They want to «create things in the Algarve that are beautiful, sustainable and accessible», accepting the challenge made by the European Union through the New European Bauhaus initiative. For this, actors from different areas gathered at the Costume Museum of São Brás de Alportel, on July 21, to participate in a collaborative and co-design session – and there are already ideas for future projects.

The New European Bauhaus is a creative and interdisciplinary movement with a European scope “which provides a meeting space for conceiving future ways of life, situated at the crossroads between art, culture, social inclusion, science and technology”, according to European Commission.

Its objective is “to bring the Ecological Pact closer to the places where we live and mobilize a collective effort to imagine and build a sustainable, inclusive and beautiful future for all”.

Last week, over the course of a day, two dozen representatives of entities and projects in the Algarve region gathered to accept this challenge, starting from a series of questions: What are the beautiful, sustainable and for everyone projects that exist in the Algarve? What ideas and initiatives New European Bauhaus exist in other European countries and which can be implemented in the Algarve? How can the Algarve entities cooperate and co-create in order to actively participate in this great European movement?

And there are already those who want to answer them.


Photo: Jorge Mestre Simão, Faro2027


“This was the first and only in-person session, so far, because we started the project at a time of pandemic. Some of the actors did not know each other, so it was an opportunity to get to know each other, to present what they are doing and what they would like to start doing together», he explained, speaking to Sul Informação, Sofia Martins, from the candidacy of Faro the European Capital of Culture 2027 (Faro2027), one of the project partners.

«In this way, it was already possible to think of some joint projects. There were six ideas that came from there, which are, from now on, under the responsibility of different actors, who will try to leverage them. The ball is on the side of the one who co-created it,” he added.

Revitalization of urban space and roof terraces, new models of artistic residencies, socially based entrepreneurship, renewal and (re)adaptation of traditional knowledge, food education and sustainable consumption habits were some of the topics discussed and about which the creative agents present in the event showed willingness to invest and co-develop.

The participants in this session, all of them representatives of entities and projects in the Algarve and with «diverse and complementary profiles of the areas addressed by the New Bauhaus», were chosen for their «great innovative and transformative contribution to the region».

«We realized that, in order to have a space for co-design, for collaborative design, it would not make much sense to make an open call to all people, but rather to identify those who already had projects that are either beautiful or sustainable or for everyone, for them give them an opportunity to meet and merge», explained Sofia Martins.

«We can never make a match Perfect. We never know very well, because it depends on the people, who accepts or not and the expectations they have. But we tried to identify some actors that already had projects in these areas and that had the potential to work together», he reinforced.


Photo: Jorge Mestre Simão, Faro2027


In this way, «the sharing and collaborative design session allowed exploring new articulations and synergies, between professionals and projects developed and ambitious for the Algarve region, crossing the areas of sustainability, accessibility, technology, art and culture».

This is just one of the lines of action of the group of entities that are driving the New European Bauhaus in the Algarve, made up of the Southern Designers Association, the Al Mouatamid Ibn Abbad Association, the Europe Direct Algarve, the CCDR Algarve, the Sul Informação and Faro2027.

The other is the creation of a “Digital Gallery of Inspiring Projects”, which will include existing initiatives, which are now in progress or which have already been implemented.

"Sometimes we hear about this or that project that is nice, but there is no place where we can find the initiatives that fit into this philosophy of the New European Bauhaus, know where they exist and where to get more information about them", said Sofia Martins .

Because they thought “it didn't make sense at the time” to organize an event “where there were a number of people to exhibit”, the movement's promoters decided to “do this digitally”.

“This way, anyone can access information whenever they want. Stay online a gallery of the things that exist in the region. It's almost like making a map of what is happening in the Algarve, in this area», he summed up.

Here, «the idea is not only to identify the projects, but also to leave contacts, to enhance synergies».


Sofia Martins – Photo: Jorge Mestre Simão, Faro2027


For the future, the idea is to publish the gallery, which will soon be available the site Faro2027.

In September, the New European Bauhaus will enter a new phase, in which “a call document, to finance five projects in as many cities at European level».

“We still don't know how much money it will be, nor the rules of the game. But who knows if there won't be such an initiative that we co-designed in this session that you can apply for?”, left Sofia Martins on the air.

The organizers of the initiative also highlighted the availability of the Costume Museum of São Brás de Alportel to host this session.


Entities present at the Co-Design Session of future projects within the scope of the New European Bauhaus movement

Alexandra Teodósio (Vice-Dean of the University of Algarve, representing UALG and the Hippocampus project)
Anabela Santos, Almargem Association and Via Algarviana
André Pacheco, Culatra 2030 project – Sustainable Energy Community
Andreia Pintassilgo, Loulé Design Lab and Loulé Criativo
Artur Gregório, In Loco Association;
Carla Barreto, Qrer – Cooperative for the Development of Low Density Territories
Carla Martins, Martins Arguello Project Studio and Project
Catarina Ramos, ADS – Southern Designer Association
Cristina Veiga Pires, Algarve Living Science Center and Algarvences Geopark
Joana Carmo and João Vargas, Zero Museum
João Ministro, Proactivetur and Tasa project
Maria João Cabrita, Recreational Republic 14
Marlis Weissenborn, Costume Museum/ Friends of the São Brás de Alportel Museum
Nelson Horta, Associação Poeta Aleixo e Casulo – Social Innovation Incubator Loulé and Algarve
Nicolas Blanc, Sciaena and Marmotto project
Raquel Ponte, Geek Girls Portugal
Ruth Gago, Municipality of Faro and Açoteia Rooftop festival and Living Street projects
Silvia Palma, Pinheiro e Rosa School Group and MI.MOMO project.FARO


Photos: Jorge Master Simon, Faro2027