Educating the public at large about Baukultur is becoming ever more important in view of the desire and the demand to involve the population in building projects. However, citizen participation in planning their environment requires an understanding of planning and building processes together with an awareness both of the design aspects and the framework conditions that influence this.
Bearing this in mind, it is becoming increasingly important to teach the skills required for an awareness of Baukultur in schools and childcare facilities, but also at universities. Relevant projects like, for example, the “Architecture Catches On” initiative, which was set up by twelve chambers of architecture in the German federal states as well as the Federal Chamber of Architects, work thanks to the dedication of interested educators, the federations, and relevant associations. Activities range from school projects with architects to developing teaching materials, providing further training for teachers and carrying out political initiatives. In addition to the chambers, foundations like Wüstenrot, Siemens, Mercator, the Montag Stiftung (Montag Foundation), or the Deutsche Kinder- und Jugendstiftung (German Children and Youth Foundation) are developing transferable mentor models and learning materials, and forging links between the planning of school buildings and educational issues in and around Baukultur.
The Federal Foundation of Baukultur carried out the network campaign bauTraum in cooperation with the Friends’ Association, the German Foundation for Monument Protection, and the Federal Chamber of Architects. The campaign aimed to raise the awareness of children and young people for their built environment and to awaken their interest in Baukultur. With more than 500 stakeholders and over 350 activities the campaign, which ran from 1 February to 12 September 2010, contributed towards the future of education about Baukultur.
In its Baukultur Report, the Baukultur Foundation makes recommendations for action aimed at all stakeholders involved in the building process. They are asked, among other things, to act as role models and to exhibit and make decision-making processes and valuable results public, which was done in the German federal government’s Art in Architecture programmes, for example, which visibly presented Germany’s commitment to art and culture to the outside world.
Communicating the identity of public spaces in terms of their Baukultur can also be promoted by exhibitions, city walking tours, and city models. The public authorities, that is, the federal government, the federal states, and the municipalities, should encourage and improve the teaching of Baukultur by communicating, in school education, a sensitivity for and an ability to perceive our built environment. To achieve this, an educational concept for teaching Baukultur should be established as part of general teaching contents. The Baukultur Foundation also appeals to universities to interlink their technical, art-related, and real-estate-related courses of study in an interdisciplinary manner and to provide training and further training in Baukultur as part of project-based studies, for example.