Marcel Breuer, Collage ein bauhaus-film. fünf jahre lang, 1926
in: bauhaus. zeitschrift für gestaltung, Nr. 1, 1926
Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin, © Thomas Breuer.
MP Ranjan, Bamboo Cube, no date, NID, FID storage + KMC Prototype.
Unknown Photographer, Photo of a Chinese woman
with tubular steel chair, ca. 1930s–40s
China Design Museum of CAA, Hangzhou.
Schweizer Staedtebauer bei den Sowjets, magazine cover
Hannes Meyer Estate, gta Archiv / eth Zürich.
Construyamos escuelas, 1947, magazine cover
Hannes Meyer Estate, Archiv der Moderne, Weimar.
Miguel Lawner, Esquema de relaciones – esquema de circulación,
student exercise by Miguel Lawner for a class of Tibor Weiner at the University of Chile, 1946
© Miguel Lawner Archive.
Shanghai urban planning and design institute, The Explanatory Drawing
of "urban plan" made by Shanghai Urban Planning Commission Secretariat,
1940s, Private collection, © unknown.
Konrad Püschel, Site plan of Hamhung, 1956
© Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau.
University of Ife in Ile-Ife, Nigeria by architects Arieh Sharon and Eldar Sharon
© Yael Aloni Collection.
Lotte Stam-Beese, Studies for the region Rotterdam-Capelle aan den Ijssel, no date.
© Het Nieuwe Instituut StaB t79–1.
The starting point of the exhibition chapter Moving Away is Marcel Breuer’s collage ein bauhaus-film. fünf jahre lang (a bauhaus film. five years long), published in 1926 in the first issue of the bauhaus journal. Breuer’s “filmstrip” presents the development of his chair design, from handcrafted object to industrial prototype, toward a future in which the designed object has become obsolete. Moving Away examines how Bauhaus debates on design evolved during the first half of the 20th century and how they changed subsequently in relation to different social and geographic contexts. Featuring case studies from the Soviet Union, India, China, Taiwan, North Korea and Nigeria, Moving Away explores through archival research and commissioned artworks how the Bauhaus evolved through its entanglement with social, cultural and political exigencies.
Early in the 1930s, the growing power of the National Socialist Party in Germany led numerous Bauhaus teachers and students to emigrate. Moving Away looks at how Bauhaus design concepts and standards (and the social presuppositions which informed them) were received and altered in the course of being applied to other societies. Due to his solidarity with the communist student union, the second Bauhaus director Hannes Meyer was dismissed from his post in August of 1930—through the machinations of right-wing political forces in Dessau. Having applied to the Soviet embassy for a visa to Moscow, Meyer departed for the Soviet Union in the fall of 1930, followed by seven of his former students: many of them would subsequently fall victim to Stalin’s “War Communism.” The possibility of realizing avant-garde cities on a previously unimagined scale in the rapidly industrializing Soviet state soon came into conflict with the official doctrine of socialist realism. The geopolitical storms generated by Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini’s seizure of power, also became evident at the fourth meeting of the Congrès Internationaux d’Architecture Moderne (CIAM) in 1933, where Walter Gropius, Le Corbusier and other CIAM members debated urban planning and the formation of “The Functional City.”
In the United States, where Gropius emigrated in 1937, the Bauhaus would come to stand for freedom and democracy. Gropius taught many international students at Harvard, including Chinese architects Henry Huang and Ieoh Ming Pei. Through these contacts he began to question modernism’s universal principles. Confronted by ideas about Asian landscape architecture which he initially rejected in the course of a collaboration with Pei, Gropius came to understand how Asian spatial concepts and vernacular traditions might greatly improve modernist architecture.
The ideas of the Bauhaus were also formative to the curriculum of India’s National Institute of Design (NID), whose founding was based in large part on Indian designers and educators’ interactions with teachers from the Hochschule für Gestaltung (HfG, School of Design) in Ulm. Founded in 1961 as part of the Indian government’s strategy to improve the nation’s standard of living, its curriculum was oriented around the idea that industrial design could act as a development tool and catalyst for economic growth, with designers utilizing the technical knowledge accumulated on the subcontinent over millennia in order to serve the needs of a non-affluent, mostly rural population. The end of the Second World War, the emergence of independence movements agitating to end colonial rule and the subsequent emergence of a counter-hegemonic block through the formation of the Non-Aligned Movement during the Cold War influenced design policy, including campus architecture. This is apparent in the architecture of University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU), designed on behalf of Western Nigeria’s first post-independence national government by a team led by the Israeli Bauhaus-educated architect Arieh Sharon between the early 1960s and 1980s. Today, the OAU still occupies the same physical plant originally designed for it by Sharon and his colleagues. Between 2018 and 2019
Moving Away was realized with the China Design Museum (Hangzhou), the Garage-Museum for Contemporary Art (Moscow) and the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin), in cooperation with Suchitra Balasubrahmanyan (New Dehli), Tatiana Efrussi (Moscow), Thomas Flierl (Berlin), Anja Guttenberger (Berlin), Eduard Kögel (Berlin), Daniel Talesnik (Santiago de Chile/Munich), Gao Yuan and Zoe Zhang (Hangzhou).
Three articles from: New Culture, Nigeria:
1. „Creativity and Self-Reliance“, in: New Culture, Vol. 1, No. 1, Nov. 1978, pp. 7–11.
2. „The Aesthetics of African Art and Culture: The African Concept of Beauty : The Concept of Ugliness“, in: New Culture, Vol. 1, No. 7, June 1979, pp. 4–6.
3. „Planning and Design of the Environment: The Failure of Government-Sponsored Projects“, in: New Culture, Vol. 1, No. 10, Sep. 1979, pp. 35–37.
From: Shanay Jhaveri (ed.): Western Artists and India: Creative Inspirations in Art and Design, The Shoestring Publisher, 2013.
Courtesy Shanay Jhaveri and The Shoestring Publisher.
from: GHI Bulletin Supplement 2.
In: R E D Sonderheft „bauhaus“, Nr. 5/1930.
from: S. Balaram: Thinking Design, National Institute of Design (NID), 1998.
from: International Journal of Architectural Research, Archnet-IJAR, Vol. 10, No. 3, November 2016, © Archnet-IJAR, International Journal of Architectural Research.
Preparation and Failure (1928–1933)
Courtesy Thomas Flierl.
In: bauhaus. zeitschrift für gestaltung, No. 2, 1931.
"The Development of the Bauhaus Weaving Workshop", translation of an excerpted version.
from: Architektúra & Urbanizmus, Vol. LI, No. 1–2, 2017, p. 94–105.
from: Haus der Kulturen der Welt: Wohnungsfrage. Hannes Meyer Co-op Interieur, Spector Books, Leipzig 2015, p. 1–5.
from: Haus der Kulturen der Welt: Wohnungsfrage. Hannes Meyer Co-op Interieur, Spector Books, Leipzig 2015, p. 27–32.
in: Wissenschaftliche Zeitschrift der Hochschule für Architektur und Bauwesen Weimar, 32. Jg., 1986, Reihe: A, No. 4.
first published in Seminar Magazine, July 2014. Courtesy of Nancy Adajania.