Creative Playgrounds of Yesterday and Tomorrow – financed through the Bauhaus Today Fund

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The desire to be creative in today’s society has evolved into a veritable “creativity imperative” (Reckwitz 2012). The deep-seated belief in human creativity as the ultimate cultural and economic resource has led companies and public institutions everywhere to look into ways to facilitate or even enhance creativity and innovation. By installing flexible and preferably inspiring creative spaces, innovation workshops and future laboratories, these organisations have taken steps to playfully generate ideas in a systematically optimised fashion.

The exhibition “BAU [ SPIEL ] HAUS” unfolded along the argument that the significant driver behind many of these creative spaces and methods worldwide was the playful culture of the Bauhaus. Today the Bauhaus is unsurpassed for its modern notions on education and production, and ultimately for envisioning a new form of coexistence. A productive and certainly innovative element of Bauhaus instruction was its playful approach to the artistic process. Playing as an artistic strategy remains essential for meeting our deeply anchored need for creative expression.

The Bauhaus school used our innate inclination to play as a motor for development and design. Even such Bauhaus masters as Walter Gropius and Johannes Itten recognised the far-reaching social and design-related potential of playing which the Bauhaus student Alma Siedhoff-Buscher, for example, presented in her polyfunctional playroom. The extensive exhibition “BAU [ PLAY ] HAUS” explored this Bauhaus-inspired, modern notion of tying game concepts and play rooms into design development. The exhibition highlighted the precursors which led to this innovation, showed how it has developed over time and what trends we can look forward to in the future. It contrasted progressive teaching methods of the 19th century with contemporary theories on education and compared Friedrich Fröbel’s toy gifts with LEGO architecture and the creative laboratories of Silicon Valley. The exhibition featured more than 100 works produced over 100 years, from historical positions to recent contemporary artworks.

Artistic directors / Curators: Robert Eikmeyer, Thomas Hensel, Eva Kraus
Curators: Thomas Hensel and Robert Eikmeyer with conceptual assistance from Olaf Nicolai and Liam Gillick
Works by: Friedrich Fröbel, Maria Montessori, Gustav and Otto Lilienthal, Lyonel Feininger, Hermann Finsterlin, Johannes Itten, Oscar Schlemmer, Anni Albers, Ludwig Hirschfeld Mack, Alma Siedhoff-Buscher, Georg Weidenbacher, Max Bill, Hans Gugelot, Hans Brockhage, Renate Müller, Laurie Simmons, Liam Gillick, Olaf Nicolai, Yto Barrada, Goshka Macuga and Eva Grubinger.

Bauhaus Today Fund - Bauhaus 2019 Commemorative Year Funding Programme

The Federal Cultural Foundation launched the Bauhaus Today Fund to emphasise the contemporary relevance of the ideas and methods advanced by the historical school of architecture, art and design. We invited institutions in all artistic areas to explore the significance of the Bauhaus today.


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Previous events

  • 22 March, 2019 to 16 June, 2019: Exhibition

    Neues Museum - Staatliches Museum für Kunst und Design, Nürnberg


Neues Museum Nürnberg

Luitpoldstraße 5
90402 Nürnberg (external link, opens in a new window)