Infrastructures of the New City
28 Oct 2021 – 6 March 2022
Bauhaus Museum Dessau, Black Box
After the 4th CIAM Congress, held in Athens in 1933, had put the functional city at the centre of urban planning discussions, Ludwig Hilberseimer published the book The New City (1944) in his Chicago exile. In it he went far beyond the demands of his colleagues. Based on studies at the Dessau Bauhaus, Hilberseimer developed a kind of ecological urbanism that envisaged an interrelation of city and landscape: the New City. With Lafayette Park (1956-63) in Detroit, Hilberseimer was able to realise his theories only once and only in sections. The exhibition shows this built example as well as the development of his theory – as results of theresearch project “Bauhaus im Text” at work on a critical edition of Ludwig Hilberseimer’s The New City.
The intermezzo uses selected objects from the estate to show the development Hilberseimer’s urban planning theory took in the 1930s and 1940s. Items from the collection of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation provide insights into Hilberseimer’s teaching at the Bauhaus and show how he developed his urban design theory out of the classroom and in exchange with students and colleagues. A model created especially for the exhibition, a series of design drawings and documents from the Art Institute of Chicago provide information about the creation of Lafayette Park. A short film by Ryan Clancy and diagrams by Charles Waldheim make the present and past of the district of Detroit recognizable.