Bauhaus Magazine
issue 1 – Artist

The first issue of the bauhaus magazine was published in December 1926 to coincide with the opening of the Bauhaus building in Dessau. Every three months (with interruptions), it reported on events in Dessau and important modern trends. Walter Gropius, László Moholy-Nagy, Ernst Kallai and Hannes Meyer contributed to the magazine as editors. The authors included Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, Marcel Breuer, Ludwig Hilberseimer and many others. The last issue was published in 1931.

80 years after the discontinuation of this periodical, we, as the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation, are publishing a new magazine under the old name. In doing so, we by no means presume to replicate an interrupted tradition. The Bauhaus Dessau Foundation is not resuming the unique historical experiment of the “Bauhaus”. Nonetheless, it does work at the same place – the Bauhaus building in Dessau – and its remit is to cultivate the legacy of the historic Bauhaus and, “given the ideas and approaches of the historic Bauhaus, to address issues of design in the present-day environment” (the Foundation’s statute). The biannual magazine aims to report and comment on the activities of the Foundation and its partners. It will thereby not only focus on activities in Dessau, but also on those of an international network exploring issues of design. This issue of the magazine will delve into the history of modernity and its relevance to us today.

The editors will select a main theme for each issue, which refers to one of the Foundation’s bigger projects. The first issue is dedicated to the artist Kurt Kranz and marks the exhibition “Kurt Kranz: Programming Beauty”, which is one of the Foundation’s biggest art exhibitions in ten years. The main theme facilitates the presentation of diverse projects in a contentual context. In the process, we will always endeavour to forge a link between historical positions and contemporary issues. Modernity itself became history long ago, and only by reflecting critically on one’s own history can this be seminally updated. The thematic spectrum is a broad as the Foundation’s own work and encompasses all design disciplines – from the visual and performing arts, graphic design and product design, to architecture and urban development.

The magazine itself aspires to provide a platform for contemporary graphic design. Every year, the Foundation, together with external jurors, will choose a new graphic designer for the year, each of whom will design two issues of the magazine (as well as additional products). The first will be the Novamondo agency of Berlin. Our aim thereby is to carry the diversity of the Bauhaus legacy forward into the present day in a new form. Each time, after two issues, the magazine will appear in a completely new guise, thus in itself becoming part of the research into current positions in design.

Philipp Oswalt, editor

C O V E R   S T O R Y : The artist at the Bauhaus

  • The artist as generalist: „WE MUST APPROACH THIS GENERALLY“ - Why artists make the best teachers of architecture and what generalism means to the Bauhaus is revealed by TORSTEN BLUME
  • The artist as programmer: KURT KRANZ: ALPHABET - CHRISTIAN HILLER spells out the visionary oeuvre of the Bauhaus student, advertising designer and pioneer of serial art, Kurt Kranz
  • The artist as researcher: BLURRING STRUCTURES - With his preliminary course, Josef Albers set the foundations for a parameter-governed design, which today is more topical than ever. By ANDREAS KÜHNLEIN
  • The artist as pedagogue: (online) EXPERIMENTATION, NOT REPLICATION - OLIVER BARKER about the teacher Josef Albers and the concept of his preliminary course – a case sui generis
  • The artist as teacher: THE IMPOSSIBILITY To TEACH ART - In Bern, researchers CHRISTINE HOPFENGART and MICHAEL BAUMGARTNER are analysing Paul Klee’s lecture notes
  • The artist as curator: EXHIBITION AS ARTWORK - Spaces as artistic project – KAI-UWE HEMKEN looks at avant-garde exhibition spaces and shows what turns an artist into a curator
  • The artist as aesthetician: THE COMMUNICATING VESSELS - Aesthetics within perception, art and politics. Artist OLAF NICOLAI on the Bauhaus myth and a lasting impact on his worldview

T H E   B A U H A U S   C I T Y

  • From Dessau into the World: Between local engagement and international presence: Why the Bauhaus really belongs to Dessau, explains PHILIPP OSWALT
  • Who needs the Gropius Operetta?: 17 years after the inception of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation, REGINA BITTNER, ROLF KUHN and PHILIPP OSWALT debate the right approach to the Bauhaus legacy
  • Nobody can ignore the Bauhaus: The Bauhaus makes the identity of the city, where it resides, says REGINA BITTNER – and analyzes what Dessau-Roßlaus makes out of its legacy

I N S E R T :   U N I V E R C I T I E S

  • Bauhaus Kolleg XI on the scent of the modern campus. How education shapes cities – and what this can teach us about the urban centre of education of the future. REGINA BITTNER, WILFRIED HACKENBROICH and STEFAN RETTICH figured this out with the Bauhaus Kolleg’s students


  • The future of the Dessau Masters' Houses, bad design in the iPhone, the legacy of HfG Ulm – themes from the Bauhaus world (in German only)
  • The Alpha and Omega of the Bauhaus: PHILIPP OSWALT explains the concept of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation's new graphic design defining all of the Foundation's new print products