From 6 to 8 July, 2017 scientists, artists and curators from Germany and elsewhere met to exchange ideas in the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) in Berlin. They were brought together by an internal workshop as part of the project bauhaus imaginista, a co-production of the Bauhaus Association 2019, the Goethe-Institut and the Haus der Kulturen der Welt.
Occasioned by the anniversary ‘100 Years of Bauhaus’ in 2019, the project bauhaus imaginista, which is curated by Marion von Osten and Grant Watson, investigates the history of the global interconnections of the Bauhaus. To this end, it works with local arts and cultural institutions in Africa, Asia, North and South America and Europe.
In the three exhibition chapters ‘Correspondence’, ‘Designing Life’ and ‘Vernacular Modernism’, in 2018 ‘Migrant Bauhaus’ will investigate the international impact and reception history of the praxis and educational theory of the Bauhaus in India, Japan, China, Russia and Brazil in light of the radical geopolitical shifts of the 20th century. In the course of this, events in Morocco, Nigeria and the USA will build on various thematic threads or reveal new perspectives. In the centenary year 2019 these will all be brought together for the first time and, augmented by a fourth main theme entitled ‘Undead’, shown in a large general exhibition in the Haus der Kulturen der Welt.
The content and the practical implementation of the exhibition chapter ‘Designing Life’ were developed in the three-day workshop in the HKW. ‘Designing Life’ examines how the design debates of the Bauhaus have continued in the 20th century and explores their contemporary relevance. The participants presented their individual ideas in a range of lectures, group projects and discussions with various focal points. The thematic spectrum ranged from the campus of the Chinese Academy of Arts (CAA) in Hangzhou (China) and the contribution made by the ‘Red Bauhaus Brigade’ to the collective development of public architecture in Moscow (Russia) to the University of Ife in Ile-Ife (Nigeria) constructed by Arieh Sharon in 1962.
[AW 2017, Translation: RW]