Research

As well as preserving, maintaining, and educating, the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation is also tasked with conducting research on its historical heritage. As a research institution, the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation is linked with Bauhaus research worldwide, to which it makes a major contribution with its own projects and publications.

As well as the processing of new additions to the collection, research in Dessau focuses on themes such as Bauhaus and Migration, Bauhaus Written Heritage, and the recent history of the Bauhaus Dessau and its progression from the German Democratic Republic era to the Foundation as it is today.

 

Further, work is in progress on making knowledge accessible via digital platforms. There are also regular publications on Bauhaus themes, including the Bauhaus Edition and the Bauhaus Pocketbooks series.

Schools of Departure

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.

 

Publications

Contact

Katja Klaus
Project managers
klaus@bauhaus-dessau.de

 

Philipp Sack
Research associate
sack@bauhaus-dessau.de

sponsored by:

Bauhaus im Text

The project Bauhaus im Texts is concerned with the textual legacy of the historic Bauhaus, which has recently become the focus of research for the first time. Up until now, no complete overview of the texts written by the Bauhauslers from 1919 to 1933 has existed. Although the book Das Bauhaus: Weimar, Dessau, Berlin 1919 – 1933, published in1962 by Hans Maria Wingler, contains a collection of literary texts written at the Bauhaus, it only presents a selection of authors and specific areas. It was thus decided to narrow this gap in Bauhaus research, and make the texts digitally accessible to scholars all over the world.

 

In addition to this annotated index of all writings and sources, the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation has been working on two digital sample editions. The academic staff first investigated political life and work at the Bauhaus on the basis of the magazine Bauhaus. Sprachrohr der Studierenden. Organ der Kostufra, which was published by communist students. The second project was a critical examination of the theoretical work of the urban planner, architect, and Bauhaus teacher Ludwig Hilberseimer. Researchers focused on his book The New City: Principles of Planning and on Hilberseimer’s early writings, which began at the Bauhaus in Dessau in 1928/29.

 

The two-year project, funded by the Saxony-Anhalt Ministry of Economics, Science, and Digitisation with a total of EUR 620,000.00, is available online from the website of the Thuringian University and State Library Jena (ThULB).

Collecting Bauhaus

For the centenary of the Bauhaus three new Bauhaus museums open their doors to the public in Germany. The museums in Weimar, Dessau and Berlin are connected to the transnational history of Bauhaus exhibits that has grown over one hundred years of global acquisition and collection. For the canonical representation of modern art and design in the twentieth century the Bauhaus is a constant. Produced in the brief but enormously productive period between 1919 and 1933, the work of the Bauhaus is inextricably linked to its dramatic history in the twentieth century, from closure to expulsion and exile.

From its inception, the Bauhaus served as an international platform for a wide-ranging European and international avant-garde movement in architecture, art and design. As such, the school itself formed a vital, global network. In recent years historians have tried, by way of a synthesis of global perspectives, to move away from restrictive, nationally based ideas of identity. The Bauhaus Dessau Foundation too subscribes to this new approach to historiography.

 

The conference Collecting Bauhaus brought together international experts from public and private institutions with Bauhaus collections. The aim was to discuss the globally dispersed objects and collection histories of the Bauhaus, revisit exhibition and communication strategies and consider how museums in the twenty-first century might benefit from these global interconnections. The initial idea for the conference concept was developed by Regina Bittner. The conference focused on the provenance, relocation and changing ownership of Bauhaus objects concluded the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation’s centenary year while inaugurating a range of cooperative projects.