This project critically examines Bauhaus ideas and assesses their utopian potential for the present and future. Based on selected current case studies, the two-year programme will address the theoretical implications of the Bauhaus and the classical avant-garde – knowledge, technology and progress – and highlight the central thematic complexes with practical design experiments.
The programme begins with a critical inventory of Bauhaus ideas in four steps, each of which is oriented to historical Bauhaus formats:
1. Preliminary course “From the Bauhaus to Silicon Valley”: How do we design knowledge? What knowledge requires designing? What types of knowledge generates design? What can we regard as a productive social place of learning nowadays? How is knowledge changing on account of global digitalisation and social networks? How can we achieve knowledge synthesis today?
2. Workshop I: How do we design technology?
While the Bauhaus sought design-oriented solutions to industrialisation and mechanisation, society now finds itself completing the transition from analogue to digital, and from consumption to coproduction. How does technology design our modern world, and how can we design technology?
The project has announced an open call for proposals, targeted at design studios at international universities. Applicants are invited to submit concept proposals for case studies. The winners selected by the jury will collaborate in a network academy. They will present and discuss their design experiments at a work camp in May 2018. This part of the project will be supplemented by three artist-in-residence scholarships.
3. Workshop II: How do we design progress?
Does the classical alliance between technical-scientific progress and social emancipation still exist? Or is the utopian vision one of deceleration and preservation? Can progress still be liberating, or does design have to aspire to emancipation by way of criticism and deviance?
The results of the network academy will form the starting point for a one-week autumn academy on the subject of “progress”. Four teams will develop positions on the issue of progress today. They will create communicative interventions and designs in the tradition of the printing and advertising workshop of the historical Bauhaus.
4. Festival: The funeral
In the final step, the participants will critically review their findings and lay the Bauhaus to rest as part of the Bauhaus anniversary festivities which will both pay tribute to and liberate it from its legacy.
Artistic directors: Anh-Linh Ngo, Jesko Fezer
Curators: Armen Avanessian (AU), Chris Dercon (BE), Karin Harrasser (AU), Claudia Mareis (CH), Philipp Oswalt, Marietta Piekenbrock
Artists: Christian Benimana (RA), Arno Brandlhuber, Brave New Alps, Amica Dall (GB), Nikolaus Kuhnert, Fiona Raby (GB), Jan Wenzel