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nieuws  28-04-2024 

KABK Master graduate wins New European Bauhaus Prize


Lina Hülsmann developed ‘Cultivating Companionship’ as her Master’s graduation project at the Royal Academy of Art Den Haag (KABK) in the Interior Architecture Department (INSIDE). The research and project are based in Bersenbrück, a small town in northwest Germany. The project is a proposal for a research residency within a cornfield, uniting a diverse group of people from various professions, ages, and viewpoints, including farmers, biologists, artists, and more. It aims to initiate a conversation about our relationship with the natural world amidst the corn plants and local ecosystems. Bersenbrück’s agriculture serves as a case study for the global shift from self-sufficiency to market orientation since the 1950s, leading to biodiversity loss due to monoculture and chemical use. Notably, modern corn monoculture, covering 205,000 hectares worldwide, has contributed to a 75% decline in Germany’s insect population over the past 30 years. The project’s goal is to counter the Anthropocene mindset by reconnecting with nature and adopting a sustainable approach, employing multispecies thinking and interdisciplinary design to tackle challenges and pave the way for a more harmonious future.


The residency’s design draws inspiration from local half-timbered farmhouses, utilizing natural materials and community-driven construction. Material research and multi-cropping within the cornfield focus on promoting biodiversity, enhancing soil health, and fostering creativity in design. For instance, the idea of the Mushroom House is to combine leftover materials from corn-biogas production with oyster mushrooms, to encourage care and support rituals like inviting the local community for mushroom dinners, discussions, and exchanges. The project introduces diversity and nature-inclusive farming and building methods to the cornfield, raising questions and highlighting opportunities. By gathering within the cornfield, it promotes life-centred design thinking for architects, farmers, and all those engaged with the project in any capacity.



About The New European Bauhaus (NEB)


The New European Bauhaus (NEB) is an initiative launched by the European Commission in 2020 under the leadership of Ursula von der Leyen. It aims to promote projects that embody the NEB’s core principles of beauty, sustainability, and inclusivity. Each year, the NEB Prizes recognize outstanding initiatives that align with these principles. In the latest edition, over 500 submissions were received. These submissions undergo a thorough review by a commission, considering various texts and documents provided by the applicants. Finalists are selected based on their demonstration of these principles and are invited to participate in the New European Bauhaus Festival.(*1) At the NEB festival, Lina got the opportunity to get to know the 50 finalists and to engage with a diverse range of initiatives and individuals who share their commitment to the NEB’s ideals. The NEB Prizes encompass four categories:

  • Reconnecting with nature
  • Regaining a sense of belonging
  • Prioritising the places and people that need it the most
  • Shaping a circular industrial ecosystem and supporting life-cycle thinking

Each category has a winner and a runner-up in Stand A: Professional and Stand B Rising Stars. Cultivating Companionship by Lina Hülsmann won the first prize in her category Reconnecting with Nature in Stand B.



Lina, with a background in Interior Architecture from HS Mainz, Germany (Bachelor) and a Master’s in Interior Architecture in Den Haag (KABK), is currently part of the Exist-Women Start-up scholarship by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, Germany. She is passionate about creating spaces that bring people together and transcend traditional boundaries. She’s eager to explore multidisciplinary projects that embrace a holistic approach to design. In the coming year, Lina plans to expand her Graduation project with an exhibition and workshops in Bersenbrück, aiming to spark conversations about the societal impact of design. Additionally, she is currently teaming up with a natural scientist to explore innovative materials like mycelium, fostering sustainable design solutions and creative participatory workshops in this field. Her involvement in initiatives like NEB and Exist-Women demonstrates her proactive mindset, always seeking opportunities for collaboration and growth. If you’re interested in partnering with Lina or exploring new design ventures, she welcomes your message.


Watch this video for more information about the project



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