Towards a Bauhaus School Europe:
Workshops for the whole earth

// European forum on education-oriented design making
4 + 5 June 2021
Bauhaus Dessau

What can we still learn from the Bauhaus today in view of the almost planetary challenges of designing our living environment? This is the question addressed by the Workshops for the whole earth, to which the Bauhaus Kooperation Berlin Dessau Weimar invites you into the Bauhaus Building in Dessau on 4 and 5 June 2021. This European forum of design education is the starting point for a European initiative that develops building blocks for workshops of post-fossil, post-disciplinary design for schools, educational projects and universities.

The institutions working together in the Bauhaus Kooperation Berlin Dessau Weimar – the Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin, the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation and the Klassik Stiftung Weimar – are more than mere places for collecting, communicating and preserving the Bauhaus heritage. For these institutions, the comprehensive material legacies of the avant-garde school are an ideal basis for contemporary education, learning and information programmes, in which making and searching, tinkering and experimenting, researching and designing intertwine.

Just as the Bauhaus responded to the challenges of industrial modernity by founding a radical educational institution for design, with the workshop model being its basis, so today nuclei for alternative models of a socially and ecologically responsible production, fabrication and design are developing in Europe’s design, art and architecture schools. The urgent change in design thinking, which no longer understands nature as an exploitable silent resource, begins in educational institutions. The starting point for many programmes and initiatives in Europe that face up to design responsibility in view of the threats to our planet is often their own practice of making, of material-based shaping, the handicraft: after all, this is associated with the appreciation of local resources and cultural practices as well as with ethical and ecological aspects of design activity and collective production.

The Workshops for the whole earth forum is an invitation to discussion and to exchange between a wide variety of transcultural educational initiatives, schools, programmes and projects, which associate the legacy of the European art school reform movements – which also included the Bauhaus – with a mission for alternative forms of design education in the 21st century. While their workshops were historically incorporated in the national competition for European and global dominance in the industrial age, the material-based educational experiments, which meet in the Workshops for the whole earth and which are oriented towards local resources and methods of making for the common good, present approaches to transnational ecological cultures of making.

Pluriverse post-disciplinary cultures of making and movements searching for the design of a different culture of nature will meet in five workshop clusters.

1) Taking up the thread
2) The workshop as a biotope: designing material cycles and material flows
3) Prototypes: new materials, open source and critical things
4) Do it yourself: making as collective self-empowerment
5) Botanizing on asphalt

The Workshops for the whole earth invite to a Europe-wide networking of these educational initiatives in the spirit of the workshop. For this purpose, the Bauhaus Building in Dessau, a built manifestation of this educational programme, provides a perfect genius loci.

A contribution to the initiative New European Bauhaus of the European Commission.

Bauhaus Kooperation