Conference Program and Video Documentation

A New School

11/12 May 2019

University of Ife in Ile-Ife, Nigeria, architects: Arieh Sharon, Eldar Sharon.
Photo: © Arieh Sharon digital archive.

The conference A New School places the Bauhaus in the context of art and design schools in China, India, Morocco, Nigeria and the United States. Practitioners and theorists from academia, architecture and art discuss the influence of the school on experimental educational theory from a contemporary perspective. What kind of art and design training is needed today?

Accompanying the exhibition bauhaus imaginista at HKW, the conference A New School will reflect on radical art and design schools, pedagogical reforms and sites of learning in Brazil, China, Germany, Great Britain, India, Nigeria, Rwanda and the USA, examining their relevance for contemporary art and design education. The perceived need to radicalize and reform arts education was a current which ran through the twentieth century, and the historical Bauhaus constituted one of the primary models upon which successive efforts to reimagine arts pedagogy was based. Established in Weimar in 1919 as a new model of “Gestaltungsschule” (design school), the Bauhaus created, in the immediate aftermath of the First World War and the German Revolution, a radical template for new forms of learning and unlearning, praxis and knowledges—reorganizing received divisions between the arts and crafts and recalibrating existing institutional models.

A New School reimagines the production of culture as a political project, asking what kind of institutions or para-institutional practices are necessary today. In order to rethink contemporary art and design education, panels and workshops will explore forms of collective learning and micro-organization as well as diverse forms of knowledges and practice. The conference will also foreground manual and practical knowledge, epistemological modes that are often overshadowed by the prevalence of a cognitive approach.

11 May 2019


11 am
Marion von Osten and Grant Watson, curators bauhaus imaginista

Panel 1: The Creation of New Art Schools and Their Social Conditions

11.30 am–1.30 pm

Moving Away from Bauhaus and Ulm: The Evolution of the Foundation Program at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad
Suchitra Balasubrahmanyan

A Virtual Cosmopolis: The Bauhaus and Khala Bhavan
Partha Mitter

Muriel Cooper at MIT and the Persistence of the Bauhaus
Robert Wiesenberger

“Form-giving is movement, action. Form-giving is life” (Paul Klee) – Towards a Tangible Pedagogy
Regina Bittner

The Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weißensee as the East-German successor to Bauhaus
Simone Hain

moderated by Tom Holert

Panel 2: The Creation of New Learning Spaces

On Misunderstandings and Translations: Copies from the Past or Inspiration for the Future?
Eduard Kögel

The Legacy of Arieh Sharon’s Modernist Architecture at the Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife Nigeria
Bayo Amole

A Postcolonial Learning Space: The New Culture Studios in Ibadan, Nigeria
Demas Nwoko

The Experience of Lina Bo Bardi´s Museum of Popular Art and Her School of Industrial Design and Crafts in Bahia, Brazil
Anna Carolina Bierrenbach

moderated by Kathrin Peters

Panel 3: Beyond The Curricula

5 pm–7 pm

The African Design Centre, Rwanda
Christian Benimana

Post-Architectural Circuit Diagrams
Mark Wigley

Collapsing New People: Self-fashioning in the Leeds Art Experiment
Gavin Butt

Tembiapo porã rã, ma nhema’e rãta arandu re (In order for the result of our work to be good, a concentrated gaze on our knowledges is necessary)
Sandra Benites

moderated by Olga von Schubert

Wrap up

7 pm
With the contributors, moderated by Grant Watson and Marion von Osten, curators bauhaus imaginista

12 May 2019


2 pm–4 pm
Marion von Osten and Grant Watson, curators bauhaus imaginista

Workshop 1: On Bodily Knowledge

Hosts: Yael Davids
Respondent: Regina Bittner, Head of Academy, Deputy Director Bauhaus Dessau

The workshop will reflect the writings of Bauhaus textile artist and designer Otti Berger, in particular her essay Stoffe im Raum (Material in Space) . Berger draws attention to the Haltbarkeit (hold-ability) of textiles, thus enunciating the sensual terms of engagement that textiles evoke. By combing a Feldenkrais lesson with a choreography of textile elements, the workshop will guide the session’s participants through a dialog between the body and materials.

Workshop 2: From the Educational Turn to the Institutional Analysis: Drafting an Art School Curriculum

Host: Janna Graham, Susan Kelly

This workshop will critically engage with genealogies of radical education that have been called up in the recent years of the so-called Educational Turn in the art world: histories of emancipatory education; art and theory programs; arte útil, libertarian education and so on. Can the activation of these histories contend with the conditions of the neoliberal in art school today, where radical curricula are detached from radical institution making? The workshop draws on histories and practices of institutional analysis in radical psychiatry as well as case studies from campuses in the UK and elsewhere today, to see how new protagonisms might be possible, and together write a new institutional curriculum.

Workshop 3: In and In and In Institutional Lives

Hosts: Annette Krauss, Ferdiansyah Thajib
Respondent: Benjamin Foerster-Baldenius, raumlabor/ Floating University Berlin

How can one inhabit different institutional lives at the same time? This workshop is dedicated to the experiences of having one foot in an institutional context, and the other foot in another, e.g. self-organized collectives. When do these different workings intersect or support each other? How can they open up ways for sustaining, subverting and transforming these very institutions? How could the boundaries between admin-orga-institutional practices and learning practices in art schools be traversed and reconfigured?

Wrap up

4.30 pm
with hosts, respondents and workshop participants

Due to limited capacities we ask that you register for the preferred workshop with a brief explanation of your interest in the subject matter (approx. 50 words): anewschool [​at​]

Audio files in English, German and Portuguese can be found here.

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