20 – 24 March 2019
Bauhaus Building

On a derelict, windswept territory of grass and sand near the Chilean port of Valparaiso, a group of itinerant artists and poets founded the Ciudad Abierta (Open City) in the 1960s. It is a commune, a pedagogical experiment and near-practice architectural laboratory in one. Its inhabitants combine living, working and studying. In the festival School Fundamental, this educational experiment will be guest in the “Parliament of Schools”, discussing with 15 international initiatives of alternative design pedagogics what a Bauhaus school could be today.   

The Festival:

Historically the Bauhaus was mainly a school. Against the background of the experience of the existential breaks after World War I, its founders fundamentally dealt with issues of the shaping of human existence in modern times. The festival School Fundamental returns to these origins and thinks ahead. The Bauhaus Building, where the Bauhäusler taught and learned, becomes a temporary school, a “testing location” of design learning experiments.

The Bauhaus Building is still a manifest of the Bauhaus pedagogics curriculum. The Bauhaus school is the conviction, built in glass and stone, that schools are the basic units for the shaping of cohabitation in the future, not so much an educational institution, rather a space for experiments by creative people. The historical Bauhaus could work as a school in Dessau for six years only. However, its visible and invisible connections with the modern training of artists and designers have lasted to the present and set precedents all over the world.

The festival School Fundamental will study these connections and search for answers to the following questions: What would a Bauhaus school be today? How would it deal with the shaping of everyday environments of a globalized society? Which experiments would it dare to make, how would it organize learning in the community? And how would it, in the microcosmos of a campus, model new policies of a social design?  

In the festival School Fundamental, the historical learning environment will be combined with the worldwide searching movements after an adequate design training for the social, ecological and technological challenges of the present. In the course of the festival programme with studying situations and learning experiments, scientists, specialists in pedagogics, students of design disciplines, curators, cultural scholars and the interested public enter into a dialog with the iconic school building.

The programme:

Learning Environment Bauhaus takes up three thematic fields of learning reflected in the organization of the Bauhaus Building: The Workshops deal with the pedagogics of the material-oriented learning of crafts and the didactics of objects from the present point-of-view. The Pre-Course Room presents past and present experiments that shatter conventions of traditional teaching. In the Festive Area with Stage and Canteen, the focus is on the project of the “New Human Being”, a priority issue of the Bauhaus.

The Parliament of Schools provides a platform for exchange and the cross-linking of new and alternative models of design pedagogics. Guests are international school experiments, initiatives, learning locations and temporary campuses that test design-pedagogical concepts beyond the hegemonial science and teaching canon. Policies and institutions, formats and spaces of a socially responsible everyday design are discussed and practically experienced in exemplary projects.

The symposium Bauhaus Translated deals with the worldwide translation of the Bauhaus school model. The focus is on international examples of art and design schools in the 20th century, which also connected the critical realization of aspects of the Bauhaus school with the redefinition of their own educational agenda.

Participants are: Dennis Atkinson (London), Alison Clarke (Vienna) Clare Butcher (Amsterdam), Sepake Angiama (Kassel), Deniz Ova (Istanbul), Jan Boelen (Eindhoven), Lisi Zeininger (Vienna), Stefani Bardin (New York), Mike Anusas (Edinburgh), Maurizio Montalti (Amsterdam), Clemens Winkler (Zurich), Tim Ingold (Aberdeen), Judith Winter (Manchester), Carolyn Butterworth and Leo Care (Sheffield), Nina Paim and Corinne Gisel (Basel/Zurich), Friedrich von Borries (Hamburg), Albena Yaneva (Manchester), Suchitra Balasubrahmanyan (New Delhi), Otto von Busch (New York), Wolfgang Schäffner (Berlin), Sofia Olascoaga (Mexico), and others.

The Bauhaus Dessau Foundation is a non-profit foundation ­under public law. It is institutionally funded by the German­ ­Federal Commissioner for Culture and the Media, the State of Saxony-Anhalt, and the City of Dessau-Roßlau. The Festival School FUNDAMENTAL is generously funded by: