Bauhaus Lab
Global Modernism Studies

The aim of the Bauhaus Lab is to create an interdisciplinary research community which addresses a topic from the field of global modernism over a three-month period. International career entrants and postgraduates from the fields of architecture and design as well as young curators and design researchers can apply. The eight participants are selected by an international jury.

Each Bauhaus Lab focuses on a modern design object that simultaneously serves as a thematic anchor and starting point for the collective mission of research. The programme is held in English and is free of charge. At the end of the three-month period the findings will be presented in the framework of a joint exhibition at the Bauhaus Dessau.

The Penguin Pool at London Zoo. Photo: Frederick William Bond, 1934, UK. © ZSL
The Penguin Pool at London Zoo. Photo: Frederick William Bond, 1934, UK. © ZSL

Bauhaus Lab 2023
Concrete Antarctic: Enacting Non­-Humans
24 Apr – 21 July 2023

In the summer of 1934, the London Zoo opened its new Penguin Pool. Designed by Berthold Lubetkin and the Tecton Company, and in collaboration with Ove Arup, the elegant, interlocking concrete spiral ramp on which the penguins "showcase their social talents" was met with universal acclaim.

The 2023 edition of the Bauhaus Lab takes the London Penguin Pool as the starting point for a multidisciplinary investigation of the international ecological discourses in which the project and its reception were situated. Through archival research and excursions, the eight international participants will explore the epistemologies and materialities of modernist zoo design. What are the conceptions of human-nonhuman relations structuring the display culture of the Penguin Pool? What are the notions of environment and habitat accompanying the design discourses around the London Zoo? The collective research to be conducted in the framework of the Bauhaus Lab thus critically reflects on the far-reaching constellations, conceptual instrumentalities, geographical imaginaries, design discourses, and material entanglements of this multispecies environment, while at the same time proposing alternatives of contemporary gestures of co-habitation.