bauhaus
imaginista
Edition 3

Moving Away

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.

●Edition Concept

The starting point of the chapter Moving Away is Marcel Breuer’s collage ein bauhaus-film. fünf jahre lang (a bauhaus film: five years long), published in the first issue of the magazine bauhaus in 1926. Breuer’s “filmstrip” presents the development of his chair design from handcrafted object, to industrial prototype, towards a future in which the designed object becomes obsolete. The growing influence of the National Socialist Party in Germany in the 1930s led to numerous Bauhaus teachers and students emigrating. Moving Away examines how Bauhaus debates on design evolved during the first half of the twentieth century through this diaspora, and subsequently how they changed in relation to different societal conditions and geographies.

 

Dismissed from his post in 1930 by right-wing political forces in Dessau due to his solidarity with the communist student union, the second Bauhaus director Hannes Meyer applied to the Soviet embassy for a transfer to Moscow; in 1931 seven of his former students followed him, many of whom would fall victim to Stalin’s “War Communism.” The opportunity to realize avant-garde cities on a previously unimagined scale in this newly industrializing state soon came into conflict with the official doctrine of socialist realism. 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 others led discussions on international urbanism.

 

In the United States, where Gropius immigrated in 1937, the Bauhaus would stand for freedom and democracy. Gropius taught international students at Harvard, including the Chinese architects Henry Huang and Ieoh Ming Pei, and through these contacts, began to question modernism’s universal principles. Confronted through a collaboration with I. M. Pei with ideas about Asian landscape architecture that he initially rejected, Gropius came to understand how Asian spatial concepts and vernacular traditions could greatly improve modernist architecture.

 

The end of European colonial rule, the Cold War and the emergence of newly independent states exerted an international influence on design policy including campus architecture. This is apparent in the university building in Ile-Ife, which the Israeli Bauhaus graduate and architect Arieh Sharon designed on behalf of Nigeria’s first post-independence national government between the early 1960s and 1980s. Today, the Obafemi Awolowo University still functions in its original form as a learning environment.

 

Based on interactions with teachers from the Hochschule für Gestaltung (HfG, School of Design), Ulm, the ideas of the Bauhaus can be traced to the curriculum of India’s National Institute of Design (NID), founded in 1961 as part of the Indian government’s strategy to improve the nation’s standard of living. At NID, the intention was for industrial design to act as a development tool and catalyst for economic growth to serve the needs of a non-affluent, mostly rural population, with designers also utilizing the technical knowledge accumulated by the subcontinent over millennia.

 

With case studies in the Soviet Union, India, China, Taiwan, North Korea, and Nigeria, through archival and film research and commissioned artworks, Moving Away explores how the Bauhaus evolved through entanglement with social, cultural, and political exigencies.

●Related Articles
●Article
Beyond Cement and Iron — Contextualizing Israeli Architecture in Africa

My focus on construction and planning is not incidental. These fields played a crucial role in space-shaping processes during the first decades of the Israeli state, as well as in the construction of the territorial identity of its new citizens. Simultaneously, during the 1960s, the modernist construction projects undertaken in African countries post-independence were also evidence of a desire amongst newly independent African nations for postcolonial national unity. → more

●Article
Moving Away from Bauhaus and Ulm — The Development of an Environmental Focus in the Foundation Programme at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad

The National Institute of Design (NID) came into existence at the intersection of postcolonial aspirations to design a new nation and the new citizen and Cold War cultural diplomacy. It was located in Ahmedabad, a medieval western Indian city on the banks of the river Sabarmati, famous for its textile mills and as the place where Gandhi began his anti-British campaigns. Initially it was housed, perhaps quite appropriately, in a museum building designed by Le Corbusier where discussions began on the appropriate educational philosophy and pedagogy: Who would produce new lotas for the new nation? Who would teach them and how? → more

●Article
Tropical Architecture / Building Skin

Like the modernist architecture that preceded it, tropical architecture was co-defined with modern bodies and the bodies of the tropics: initially those of colonizers but soon colonized bodies as well. The technologies of tropical architecture, based on a modernist rationalism adapted to tropical climatic conditions, were, in turn, offered as a developmental asset to colonized subjects, especially young people. → more

●Article
Moving Away to the Other End of the World — Reflections on the Letters Between Tibor Weiner and Hannes Meyer from the DAM Archive

This article examines the correspondence between a teacher (Hannes Meyer) and his former student (Tibor Weiner), who met at the Bauhaus in Dessau, going on to live for a period in the Soviet Union. Each migrated to Latin America shortly before the outbreak of World War Two, and returned to Europe in the late 1940s. The surviving letters between Meyer and Weiner, preserved in the DAM Archive in Frankfurt am Main, are not only a testimony of comradeship but also a window into some key moments in the first half of the twentieth century. → more

●Photo Essay
Abraham & Thakore — NID Fashion

Like most designer start-ups, A&T started as a very small design studio. We began by designing and manufacturing modest batches of textile and fashion items, manufactured mostly on handlooms and tiny printing and embroidery sheds in India’s still pervasive small-scale industrial sector. And indeed, 25 years on, our supply chain is still reliant on and supportive of many of these small enterprises. → more

●Article
Diagonal. Pointé. Carré — Goodbye Bauhaus? Otti Berger's Designs for Wohnbedarf AG Zurich

Gunta Stölzl. Anni Albers. These are the most prominent names today when one thinks of actors in the Bauhaus textile workshop. Both had been involved in the textile workshop since Weimar times, shaping it through their understanding of textiles and their teaching. Otti Berger did not join the workshop until Dessau. Stölzl and Albers succeeded in leaving Germany in 1931–32. And they succeeded in continuing to work as textile designers and artists. Berger succeeded in doing this, too, but accompanied by an ongoing struggle for recognition and fair remuneration. → more

●Exhibition Film Stills
Scenes from the Most Beautiful Campus in Africa — A Film about the Ife Campus

Zvi Efrat, 2019, Film stills from the Exhibition video projection, 25 min, color, sound,

English, Courtesy of the artist. → more

●Article
Nation Building through Campus Architecture — Israeli Architects Arieh Sharon and Eldar Sharon’s Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Campus in Ile-Ife, Nigeria, 1962–1976

The campus of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Nigeria, the first phase of which was built between 1962 and 1972, is a fascinating example of modernist architecture in Africa. As a case study of Africa’s assimilation of the modern style, its design is intriguing also due to the fact that it was built by Israeli architect Arieh Sharon (1900–1984), aided by his son, Eldar Sharon (1933–1994). → more

●Article
Colonial Architecture in Ile-Ife

The architectural heritage credited to the colonial intervention of the British in Nigeria is a blend of features imported by Europeans accustomed to a temperate climate, mixed with adaptations derived from the principles of modern architecture and concessions to the region’s tropical climate. As such, colonial buildings of this era can be regarded as a hybrid architectural style. → more

●Article
Bauhaus and the Origin of Design Education in India

This article is an example of “writing by being,” because the author had the privilege of being part of the pilot “batch” of Indian design teachers. These students, many from an engineering background, were to be India’s future design educators, and their first exposure to design education took place at the newly-founded National Institute of Design, India’s first design institute, established in 1961 and inspired to a large measure by Bauhaus ideology. → more

●Artists Work
Bauhaus in Russia — Haunted Houses

The following material was produced during the photographic workshop Bauhaus in Russia: Haunted houses, which took place in the framework of the exhibition bauhaus imaginista. Moving Away: The Internationalist Architect at the museum of contemporary art “Garage” in Moscow. Through an open-call we invited participants from several Russian cities to take part in the visual research on both the visible and invisible legacies of the “bauhauslers”. → more

●Article
On behalf of Progressive Design — Two Modern Campuses in Transcultural Dialogue

“The Indian state has only existed for 13 years. And world history would be unthinkable without its unorthodox influence. India has delivered more new content in the last decade than any other country.” HfG Ulm founder Otl Aicher’s report on his trip to India in 1960 and the slides he took during his journey across the country are impressive observations of a country in upheaval. From today’s perspective, this material reads like an overture to the future collaboration between two design schools: the HfG Ulm and the NID in Ahmedabad.   → more

●Interview
Praised, Sentenced, Forgotten, Rediscovered — 62 Members of the Bauhaus in the Land of the Soviets

In my interview with Astrid Volpert, she reviews her decades of research on Bauhäusler who emigrated to the SU and makes it clear that there were far more than seven of them heading east. Persons traveling from the Bauhaus to Russia were from eleven countries. They belonged to various denominations—there were Protestants and Catholics, Jews and atheists. Of the 15 women and 47 men, only 21 of them were members of communist parties. → more

●Artist Work
Sketch One: Lotte and Hermina — Script-reading and screening by Wendelien van Oldenborgh

The script that the artist Wendelin van Oldenborgh created for bauhaus imaginista: Moving Away. The Internationalist Architect as a public moment is an insight into the development of her larger film project which will premiere as a contribution to the bauhaus imaginista exhibition at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, March 2019. It features archive material around the personas Lotte Beese and Hannes Meyer, Hermine Huiswoud and Langston Hughes. → more

●Article
After the Ball — Hannes Meyer presenting the Bauhaus in Moscow

Hannes Meyer arrived in the USSR just a couple of months after being dismissed from his position as Bauhaus director in October 1930. These months were filled with attempts by Meyer and his supporters to protest this decision through all possible means: media campaigns, open letters, student demonstration and court trials. After arriving in Moscow, Meyer carried on the fight against his unfair dismissal. → more

●Article
Meyer’s Russia, or the Land that never was

It is quite hard to know where to start with Hannes Meyer in Moscow. It’s hard because, while there is plenty of documentation on him and his team in the Bauhaus Brigade—as well as other Western designers and architects (of these, Ernst May is at least as significant as Meyer, as is the Dutch designer Mart Stam, and each went on to produce more substantial work than Meyer after their respective Russian episodes)—the legacy of his work there presents certain difficulties in evaluating. → more

●Article
From Recognition to Rejection — Hannes Meyer and the Reception of the Bauhaus in the Soviet Union

The history of the Stalinist critique of the Bauhaus and Hannes Meyer has two chapters. The first chapter spans the time from 1929 to the Architects’ Congress in the Soviet Union in 1937; the second consists in the condemnation of the Bauhaus in the GDR that took place on the trip by East German architects to Moscow in spring of 1950. This text tells the story of the first chapter. → more

●Article
The “School in the Woods” as a Socio-pedagogical Ideal — Functional Analyses and Photographs by Peterhans

The building theory classes at the Bauhaus focused on imparting a functional understanding of architecture. Building had become a science. As a result, the ADGB Trade Union School was designed logically from the inside out. Walter Peterhans’ photographs of the school images illustrate both the architect’s intentions for the building and the environmental studies conducted by Bauhaus students. → more

●Translation
The Moscow Bauhaus exhibition catalogue (1931)

When Hannes Meyer had emigrated to the Soviet Union in 1930, one of the first things he did was organizing an exhibition about "his" Bauhaus. As early as in February 1931 Meyer had the exhibition “Bauhaus Dessau. Period of Hannes Meyer’s directorship. 1928-1930” already ready to receive the Moscow public. It was shown at the renown State Museum of New Western Art. This is the first English translation of the exhibition catalogue. → more

●Article
Communistic Functionalist — The Anglophone Reception of Hannes Meyer

Philip Johnson described Hannes Meyer as a “communistic functionalist” whose most notable achievement was to have preceded Ludwig Mies van der Rohe as director of the Bauhaus. The position he assigned to Meyer was reinforced in the Bauhaus Exhibition of 1938 at MoMA. The particular view of the Bauhaus presented at MoMA in 1938 corresponds to the place of Meyer in the historiography of modern architecture in the 1930s, ‘40s, and ‘50s. The view that Meyer’s work allegedly lacked aesthetic interest, rendering it irrelevant to an Anglophone audience. → more

●Artistic Work
To Philipp Tolziner

For the exhibition bauhaus imaginista: Moving Away. The Internationalist Architect at Garage Contemporary Museum of Art, the contemporary artist Alice Creischer has been invited to respond to the personal archive of Bauhaus architect Philipp Tolziner. She produced reading of material relating to the architect’s socialist backgrounds and his work in the Soviet Union.  → more

●Article
Richard Paulick and the Remaking of a Greater Shanghai 1933–1949

The article focusses on Richard Paulick’s sixteen-year exile in Shanghai. It is an examination of the interaction between a Bauhaus socialist and a Far East port city in its rush to modernize at the midpoint of the twentieth century. → more

●Article
The “Hungarian Bauhaus” — Sándor Bortnyik’s Bauhaus-inspired Budapest School Műhely 1928–1938

One of the many Hungarians associated with the Bauhaus, painter and graphic designer Sándor Bortnyik (1893-1976) opened his art and design school, Műhely, in Budapest in 1928 to bring the Bauhaus’s sprit and some of its teaching methods into Hungary. Even if Bortnyik’s school did not have the scope of the Bauhaus, it was an efficient experiment in an independent form of institutionalized education in the field of modern graphic design and typography. → more

●Correspondent report, Hangzhou
Weaving through Hangzhou and Moving Away

As a correspondent for the bauhaus imaginista project, I was invited to share my impressions and thoughts of the exhibition in Hangzhou. The following text and gif collage is a personal encounter with Moving Away and an attempt to capture the affective dimension of the exhibition. → more

●Article
The Spread of the Bauhaus in China

As early as the end of the 19th century up to the beginning of the 20th century, which is to say before the founding of the Bauhaus and after China’s forced opening through war to the outside world, China had already been witness to various experiments in modernization. Such experiments contributed to the laying down of a foundational mindset necessary for the acceptance of the Bauhaus in China’s traditional culture. → more

●Article
Modern Vernacular — Walter Gropius and Chinese Architecture

This essay explores the connection between Walter Gropius and I. M. Pei, as well as the influence of the one on the other. After completing his studies, I. M. Pei worked with Gropius on plans for a university in Shanghai, which he subsequently realized in Taiwan, than in association with Chang Chao-Kang and Chen Chi-Kuan. → more

●Video
Architects' Congress

The passenger ship Patris II transported the participants of the 4th International Congresses of Modern Architecture (CIAM) from Marseilles to Athens and back. Bauhaus teacher Moholy-Nagy, travelling as a “friend of the new building movement” produced this half-hour soundless film as a travel journal. → more

●Video
Jawaja Project — A Case study

The NID was involved in a joint venture with the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad in the adoption for development of a group of villages in Rajasthan. Could local self-reliance emerge from a process of mutual learning between communities and other groups of people? The film shows how leather work and weaving emerged as the opportunity and basis for sustained group effort. → more

●Article
Bauhausmoderne und chinesische Tradition — Franz Ehrlichs Entwurf für ein Haus des Handels in Peking (1954–1956)

In den frühen 1950er-Jahren bestanden gute diplomatische, politische und ökonomische Beziehungen zwischen der Volksrepublik China und der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik. Beide, sich als sozialistisch verstehende Staaten, waren 1949 gegründet worden. In diesem Aufsatz geht es um die besondere Beziehung zur chinesischen Architektur, Kunst und Gestaltung, die Franz Ehrlich entwickelte. → more

●Article
Contemporary Reflections on NID History — Teaching through the Design Archive

I often stage chance encounters for students with archival materials at the NID: a rare photograph of the building in construction, an odd handwritten scribble on a drawing by M.P. Ranjan, a stunning collection of sound recordings by David Tudor and John Cage. The amazement and wonder created by this staging becomes the starting point for the pedagogical value of archives. → more

●Research Archive
University of Ile-Ife Nigeria. Master Plan
Arieh Sharon

Courtesy of Ariel and Yael Aloni.

EN Size: 8 MB
From an 'Alien, Hostile Phenomenon' to the 'Poetry of the Future'. On the Bauhaus Reception in East Germany, 1945–70
Wolfgang Thöner

from: GHI Bulletin Supplement 2.

EN Size: 651 KB
Lotte Stam-Beese. From 'Entwurfsarchitektin' to Urban-planning Architect
Hanneke Oosterhof

from: Architektúra & Urbanizmus, Vol. LI, No. 1–2, 2017, p. 94–105.

EN Size: 925 KB
Architekt und Propagandist: Zu den Vortragsreisen Hannes Meyers nach Westeuropa 1931–36
Klaus-Jürgen Winkler

in: Wissenschaftliche Zeitschrift der Hochschule für Architektur und Bauwesen Weimar, 32. Jg., 1986, Reihe: A, No. 4.

DE Size: 5 MB
Dashrath Patel’s non-aligned alignments
Nancy Adajania

Courtesy of Nancy Adajania.

EN Size: 271 KB
●All Articles
Filter by Language:
  • EN
  • DE
  • RU
Beyond Cement and Iron — Contextualizing Israeli Architecture in Africa EN
Moving Away from Bauhaus and Ulm — The Development of an Environmental Focus in the Foundation Programme at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad EN
Tropical Architecture / Building Skin EN
Moving Away to the Other End of the World — Reflections on the Letters Between Tibor Weiner and Hannes Meyer from the DAM Archive EN
Abraham & Thakore — NID Fashion EN
Diagonal. Pointé. Carré — Goodbye Bauhaus? Otti Berger's Designs for Wohnbedarf AG Zurich EN
Diagonal. Pointé. Carré — Bauhaus ade? Otti Bergers Entwürfe für die Wohnbedarf AG Zürich DE
Scenes from the Most Beautiful Campus in Africa — A Film about the Ife Campus EN
Nation Building through Campus Architecture — Israeli Architects Arieh Sharon and Eldar Sharon’s Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Campus in Ile-Ife, Nigeria, 1962–1976 EN
Colonial Architecture in Ile-Ife EN
Bauhaus and the Origin of Design Education in India EN
Bauhaus in Russia — Haunted Houses EN
On behalf of Progressive Design — Two Modern Campuses in Transcultural Dialogue EN
Im Auftrag Progressiver Gestaltung
 — Zwei Moderne Campusse im Transkulturellen Dialog DE
Praised, Sentenced, Forgotten, Rediscovered — 62 Members of the Bauhaus in the Land of the Soviets EN
Gelobt, Verurteilt, Vergessen, Wiederentdeckt — 
62 Bauhäusler*innen im Land der Sowjets DE
Sketch One: Lotte and Hermina — Script-reading and screening by Wendelien van Oldenborgh EN
After the Ball — Hannes Meyer presenting the Bauhaus in Moscow EN
Meyer’s Russia, or the Land that never was EN
From Recognition to Rejection — Hannes Meyer and the Reception of the Bauhaus in the Soviet Union EN
The “School in the Woods” as a Socio-pedagogical Ideal — Functional Analyses and Photographs by Peterhans EN
Die „Schule im Walde“ als sozialpädagogisches Ideal
 — Funktionsanalysen und Peterhans-Fotos DE
The Moscow Bauhaus exhibition catalogue (1931) EN
Communistic Functionalist — The Anglophone Reception of Hannes Meyer EN
To Philipp Tolziner EN
Для Филиппа Тольцинера RU
Richard Paulick and the Remaking of a Greater Shanghai 1933–1949 EN
The “Hungarian Bauhaus” — Sándor Bortnyik’s Bauhaus-inspired Budapest School Műhely 1928–1938 EN
Weaving through Hangzhou and Moving Away EN
The Spread of the Bauhaus in China EN
Modern Vernacular — Walter Gropius and Chinese Architecture EN
Walter Gropius und die chinesische Architektur DE
Architects' Congress EN
Jawaja Project — A Case study EN
Bauhausmoderne und chinesische Tradition — Franz Ehrlichs Entwurf für ein Haus des Handels in Peking (1954–1956) DE
Contemporary Reflections on NID History — Teaching through the Design Archive EN