Can you still hear the Bauhaus?
As an architect and photographer, I aim to render as a studio delivering ideas and projects which influence each other in both fields. The most influential idea behind the original Bauhaus movement is that it had developed a fusion of fine arts and fostered charismatic and creative exchange between artists, all varied in their artistic styles and preferences but united in their idealism and interest in a “total” work of art across different practices and media.
I always knew this unity and harmony remains to this day, but being a part of 100 Years of Bauhaus gave me the chance to re-live it. This experience revealed once more that mutuality and oneness is right around the corner, when given the opportunity to sprout. And also that this essence of unison is timeless, which beyond any doubt will live on in times ahead. For this, I would like to share a work of mine which plays to the clustering and collaboration of numerous artistry, and reflects my enthusiasm and gratitude for all the disciplines that nurture each other.
Can Dağarslanı is a Turkish photographer. He became interested in retro-style photography while studying architecture at Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts in Istanbul. His series “Serenity” at the Bauhaus Dessau put him in the international spotlight.
Over the past three years while working on the edited book, Bauhaus Futures
, for the centennial year, I have learned a great deal about the multiplicity of the people, places, institutions and philosophies that animated the Bauhaus school of design and its global diaspora. In fact, the Bauhaus was much more than its itinerant, fragmented history suggests. It was – in short – a way of being in the world that embraced experimentation – both artistic and scientific – with concepts, materials and technologies.
As we journey to the multiple possible futures of the Bauhaus, it is essential to design ways of being that are explicitly tied to principles of equity and justice in order to create pluriversal worlds for people of all genders, ethnicities, races, classes, abilities and sexualities as well as for our non-human and multispecies companions.
Laura Forlano, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Design at the Institute of Design and Affiliated Faculty in the College of Architecture at Illinois Institute of Technology where she is Director of the Critical Futures Lab. She received her Ph.D. from Columbia University.
Fernando Imas Brügmann
Santiago de Chile
From our discipline I had studied the Bauhaus only from the architectural field, but this commemoration opened my eyes to the world of design in general. This year I visited the Weimar and Dessau museums, and the most important thing I could see is that the Bauhaus is still alive and producing new elements, objects, architecture, etc. that improve our daily lives.
I think I’ve also learned a lot about the importance of the Bauhaus in Chile. The earthquakes (which completely destroyed our cities in the 1930s), allowed the adoption of modern architecture as a rapid form of reconstruction, and the Bauhaus had an essential role because German teachers and students arrived in Chile to spread their postulates. In this way, the imaginary Bauhaus merged with our cities, became part of our own idiosyncrasy, and became such an everyday element, that we ourselves stop seeing it as a foreign influence.
This centenary serves us to clear up doubts about its origin, educate about its importance and teach Chilean citizens that we have impressive buildings and design works, with the obligation to care and value as part of an international heritage.
Fernando Imas Brügmann is graduate in conservation and restauration of cultural museum goods. The co-founder of www.brugmann.cl is considered an outstanding expert in the field of cultural promotion, focusing mainly on the distribution of art and cultural heritage.
I learned about the Bauhaus from my husband Harry who was taught and later collaborated with three Bauhaus masters, Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer and Josef Albers when they were teaching in the US in the 1940’s.
When Harry later came to Australia and established his architectural practice he carried their philosophy and methodology with him. The teaching in Australia at that time was primarily English based and the Bauhaus was not mentioned when I was a student in the early 1960’s; it has surprised and delighted me that in this centenary year there has been so much discussion and publicity and increasing interest regarding the Bauhaus legacy in Australia; the recent publication ‘Bauhaus diaspora and beyond’ examined the legacy of Bauhaus teachers and student emigres to Australia and their significant contribution to our culture.
Ludwig Hirschfield Mack, a Bauhaus teacher was transported to Australia from England during WW2, he became a teacher at a prestigious school and influenced a generation of creative leaders; Harry was also transported by the British but to Canada, he was fortunate to have had Bauhaus teachers which he always credited to his success.
I find it interesting that the Bauhaus is frequently used in advertising, mostly incorrectly but it is proves that it is now favourably cemented in our culture!
Penelope Schneider is the wife of Australia's best-known Modernist architect, Harry Seidler (1923–2006), a student of Walter Gropius and Josef Albers. As well as being an architect, she has also been Commissioner of the Australian pavilion of the Biennale of Venice and Director of the Biennale of Sydney.
The centenary of the Bauhaus in Germany occurred together with the 20th anniversary of Bauhaus Center Tel Aviv. During this year of jubilees we felt an increase of public interest concerning the subject of Bauhaus in general and Bauhaus architecture in Tel Aviv more specifically.
Dozens of newspaper articles, TV and radio reports, online blogs etc. mentioned both events. We have been touched by the impressive program held during this year in Germany. The huge variety of events and happenings which took place all over the country reflect in our view the democratic ideas of the Bauhaus. Furthermore, we think that the festivities included not only very different geographical parts of Germany, but they evolved a large number of citizens.
Our Center has been contacted during this year by professors for history and architecture, artists, clerks, industrial workers, elderly persons, students, pupils, men and women – all of them interested in Bauhaus. In our view the preparations and the programing of this year were exceptionally good and reached surely their aim. Congratulations!
Dr. Micha Gross is co-founder and director of the Bauhaus Center in Tel Aviv, expert on Bauhaus, in particular on the restoration and renewal process in Tel Aviv. He received his doctorate in 1990 at the Technion Haifa in Israel.
Meltem Eti Proto
I find it very valuable to remember Bauhaus, which has influenced and guided the design world with the requirements of the era. I have been a student and then, Professor since 28 years at the Marmara University, Faculty of Fine Arts in Istanbul which was founded on the educational approach of Bauhaus school in 1957. I believe in the educational contribution of producing together is a strong reflection of the Bauhaus school in the Interior Architecture Department’s program in the Faculty of Fine Arts of Marmara University.
The centenary of Bauhaus and its programs around the world reinforces my thoughts on learning by doing based on Bauhaus's innovative principles, in an era where the young generation is tech natives and spending nearly their entire lives immersed in digital technologies, where mobility are crucial to living and learning. I think that the issue of hand and thought coordination that we have always emphasized in design education is triggered by making is much more important today.
Prof. Meltem Eti Proto is Professor at the Faculty of Fine Arts Interior Design Department at the Marmara University in Istanbul. She was director of the department between 2006-2019. She is working on relation between art and design.
More articles on this topic
The bauhaus100 newsletter will be circulated from time to time with news about the Bauhaus Centenary 2019.
Utopia and disappointment
The keynote lecture by Prof. em. Dr. Lucian Hölscher was a highlight of this year’s “Weimar Controversies”. The former teacher at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum impressed with his profound and entertaining thoughts on “Utopia and disappointment. 100 years of the Bauhaus”. Reason enough for us to publish his lecture.
Is there a piece of a future state in every sliding window?
Everything used to be better in the past, even the future. The much-quoted phrase attributed to Karl Valentin, a Bauhaus contemporary, but not a Bauhaus protagonist, could also apply to the legendary design school’s “horizons of expectation”. A conference in Weimar in late November 2019 investigated the visions of Modernity – and 100 Years of Bauhaus joined in.