The year 2019 will mark the centenary of the foundation of the Bauhaus. To celebrate this occasion, a transdisciplinary, international group of experts working to a five-year plan initiated project bauhaus, the aim being to take critical stock of the ideas of the Bauhaus and to render the utopian surplus of the Bauhaus productive for the present. In the five years leading up to the centenary, from 2015 to 2019, “Project Bauhaus” offers a new question to debate every year and invites everyone to join the experimental inquiry into a renewal of art, design and architecture in relation to contemporary society. The focus is thereby on the Bauhaus idea, on overcoming the limits of the disciplines and the fragmentation of modernism and on changing society and everyday life through design.
The historic Bauhaus, founded in 1914, was more project than institution in its 14-year existence: thrice closed and re-opened with changing backers and structures, educators and directors, it was in a constant state of flux. In a 5-year process leading up to the centenary year 2019, “Project Bauhaus” addresses this project character and, by means of five different focal points, collaborations in various combinations and different ways of working, investigates the relevance of Bauhaus ideas.
Inquiry means experimentation, also in the practical sense of trying out. Search likewise rejects the idea of certainty and totality. “Project Bauhaus” thereby refers to a utopian moment that is aspired to, but never achieved.
Much of what the Bauhaus aspired to was not achieved; nonetheless, its concept yielded a utopian abundance, the impact of which extends to the present day. Over 80 years after the institution’s closure, the desire that the Bauhaus project is carried forward into the present remains. The Bauhaus ideas must therefore be critically assessed, because a critique of design is essential to re-thinking its potential as a force for emancipation. “Project Bauhaus” does not merely carry forward the historic “unfinished project of modernity”, but develops the idea dynamically in relation to the present situation in society.
“The Bauhaus was an idea, and I believe that the huge influence that the Bauhaus had in the world may be due to the very fact that it was an idea.” Mies van der Rohe (1953)
Discussion in Venice: "Can the Universal Be Specific?"
Palazzo Contarini Polignac, 874 Dorsoduro, 30123 Venice
“Can Design Change Society?”
Goethe-Institut China, Agora
ARCH+ features 39: „Wohnungsfrage“
HKW Haus der Kulturen der Welt, John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10, 10557 Berlin
ARCH+ features and Talks
ARCH+ features 47: Assemble & “Project Bauhaus” 2016
KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Auguststr. 69, D 10117 Berlin
“Can Design Change Society?”
Talks and Discussions, Friday 2–10PM and Saturday 11AM–8.30PM
Haus der Kulturen der Welt, John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10, 10557 Berlin