Under the title Schools of Departure, the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation has developed a digital atlas that brings together research on the global interrelationships of Bauhaus pedagogy with reform projects in design teaching in the 20th century. Initial case studies on universities in Brazil, Albania, Sweden, Great Britain and the former Yugoslavia were developed in the course of a one-year project funded by the Ministry for Infrastructure and Digital Affairs of the State of Saxony-Anhalt. With funding from the Federal Cultural Foundation, this digital atlas will be expanded with new modules and functions in 2022 under the title Travelling Concepts: Art and Design Education Beyond the Bauhaus.
In a series of essays, interviews with contemporary witnesses, photographic and film documentation of archive materials, international school experiments are presented and mapped in the network. Modern mapping techniques create a dynamic spatial visualisation of data sets on art and design schools after the Bauhaus. They illustrate to users in which way, in which institutional forms and in which particular local or geopolitical context aspects of Bauhaus pedagogy were translated and thereby further developed. The design and programming of the platform was the responsibility of the “Offshore Studio” from Zurich. A graphic user interface was developed that is characterised by an experimental, at the same time memorable and intuitive design.
Consequently, the project can open up entirely new narratives on the cultural impact of the Bauhaus as a pedagogical model. Instead of assuming the “influence” of the Bauhaus and the Bauhaus as a “centre” with movement to the non-European “periphery”, the digital atlas makes the manifold interconnections visible.
Schools of Departure is aimed at students, teachers, academics, curators and Bauhaus researchers from Germany and abroad as well as at a general audience interested in culture. In addition to the open application on the online platform, the atlas will also be used in the educational programmes of the Academy of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation (Bauhaus Open Studios, Bauhaus Master Programme Coop Design Research, Bauhaus Lab). Within the framework of existing and future project collaborations, external young academics and students can also be invited on an ad hoc basis to edit content, supplement their own research and curate data material using the visualisation tool in order to generate thematic online presentations for the digital atlas. Thanks to funding from the German Federal Cultural Foundation, the digital atlas will be supplemented by two editions of an e-journal as well as further educational modules.
The project Schools of Departure was funded by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Digital Affairs of Saxony-Anhalt as part of the Digital Agenda for the State of Saxony-Anhalt. Travelling Concepts: Art and Design Education Beyond the Bauhaus is being developed as part of “dive in. Programm für digitale Interaktionen” of the German Federal Cultural Foundation, funded by the Minister of State for Culture and the Media (BKM) in the NEUSTART KULTUR programme.