Topic: Urbanism – designing in an urban context

The Bauhaus Dessau Foundation has set out to develop designs for the future of our cities, drawing on an analysis of urban organisms in all their facets. 

Economic, political and cultural instruments are now being developed and tested to solve present-day social problems in an urban context. The transformations underway in cities around the world call on designers to link different dimensions and levels of action. Urban planning, architecture, visual and performing art, design and the social sciences and humanities form the disciplinary foundations for this complex challenge.

Design work at the Bauhaus in the 1920s targeted buildings, modern houses and their interior design to be precise, and estates on the edge of town. The need at that time was to provide healthy housing for a growing urban population under difficult economic conditions. The responses by the Neues Bauen movement were visionary and practical at the same time; they sought take advantage of new technologies, to achieve a breakthrough for rationality and to rise even to social challenges through a functional form.

If the focus of its work today is on the urban scene, the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation also has to confront the consequences of its own history. We can witness phenomena associated with what are commonly labeled globalization, virtual and theme worlds, periphery and Americanization of cities, information society and individualization in all cities around the world. Housing developments and public buildings, factories and public spaces, their interrelationships, their use by locals and outsiders, the power of deposal and right of design over urban space must be analyzed to move on to new blueprints.