The Bauhaus Dessau Foundation today
The Bauhaus, founded in Weimar 1919 by Walter Gropius, was Germany's most famous and most avant-garde art and design school. The Bauhaus Building in Dessau was constructed based on designs by Walter Gropius in 1925/26 when the political situation in Weimar forced the school to move to Dessau. It was this building's architecture as well as the Bauhaus' significance for architecture and design in the 20th century that motivated the UNESCO to add the Bauhaus Building and the Master Houses close by to their World Heritage List in December 1996.
The Bauhaus Dessau Foundation is a centre of research, teaching and experimental design. In addition to conserving, researching into and passing on the Bauhaus heritage the Foundation focuses on cities – their contradictions and cultural strength in the face of demographic developments, globalisation and the technological revolution. The new Bauhaus consequently addresses contemporary urban challenges, examines options for the future and elaborates drafts and models in architecture, design and the performing and plastic arts.Indoing so, the Foundation sees itself as a workshop in which participants from different disciplines devise and develop projects from theory through to practice. In all the work carried out at the Foundation research, teaching and design mesh together, build on and complement each other in the different projects and project phases –just as craftsmen work hand in hand in a workshop until the final product is complete. The Foundation’s staff includes architects, town planners, sociologists, cultural scientists, artists and art historians.
Research work is based on a critical examination of Modernism, i.e. a reflective consideration and evaluation of its relevance for the contemporary era. Corresponding to the Foundation’s main fields of activity, the priority research areas are the history of the Bauhaus, the history of architecture and art and design and an analysis of current urban issues and developments. The Foundation presents the outcome of its work in the form of pilot schemes, exhibitions, publications, conferences and a variety of educational courses. Experimental stage performances, events and festivals support the work carried out by the Foundation and generate a lively and creative atmosphere. The Foundation’s projects aim to set an example both nationally and internationally and to propose solutions that point the way to the future in the design of urban spaces.