Symposium Announcement

Moving Away

Bauhaus Pedagogy

David Abraham, Fashion design and images for his diploma project at NID, 1980 (details)
© National Institute of Design, Knowledge Management Center, Archive collection.

Established in 1919 in the immediate aftermath of WWI, the Bauhaus reflected a generation who wished to reject its nationalistic and authoritarian past. While the school is associated with iconic works of modernist design, its innovations were significant in terms of teaching. Bauhaus pedagogy was not a unified phenomenon, but like the school itself, its identity and methods were contested and adapted during its various phases.

Marcel Breuer, Collage „ein bauhaus-film“, in: bauhaus. zeitschrift für gestaltung, Nr. 1, 1926, Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin.

The Bauhaus responded to a set of historical circumstances coinciding with the Weimar Republic. It was shaped by this period and finally closed by the National Socialists in 1933. It was also implicated in contemporary developments in art and architecture, including Expressionism, Constructivism and the Neues Bauen. Consequently, Bauhaus pedagogy cannot be lifted wholesale out of its historical context. Instead, we can look at how elements such as foundational training in design, emphasis on practical workshop-based learning, and the school’s fundamental goal to transform society through art, design and architecture can be reinterpreted and assessed in different instances and in terms of their potential.

The centenary project bauhaus imaginista provides a unique opportunity to think about art and design pedagogy and its relation to society from a transnational perspective. While the Bauhaus is a basic reference, the aim is to avoid obscuring the other key educational projects of the twentieth century or to think only in terms of influence. While certain schools continued Bauhaus pedagogy through émigré figures, others developed in parallel or agonistically to the Bauhaus model.

Drawing on the expertise of our research partners in India, the symposium in New Delhi, which accompanies the exhibition Moving Away, will address art and design education through contemporary and historical education examples from the sub-continent, looking at schools including Kala Bhavan Santiniketan, the Faculty of Fine Arts MSU Baroda and the National Institute of Design Ahmedabad.

Speakers include: Kathleen James Chakraborty, Sabih Ahmed, Anshuman Dasgupta, Suchitra Balasubrahmanyan, Mayank Mansingh Kaul, David Abraham, Tanishka Kachru, S Balaram, Saif Ul Haque, Kazi Ashraf, Prasad Shetty, Rupali Gupte, and Natasha Ginwala.

The symposium Moving AwayBauhaus Pedagogy is programmed by Grant Watson and Marion von Osten in collaboration with Suchitra Balasubrahmanyan, Anshuman Dasgupta, Natasha Ginwalla and is organized at the Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan New Delhi and The India International Centre (IIC) New Delhi, India on December 2, 2018, 11am—5pm.

M. P. Ranjan, Bamboo Cube Stools, n.d. © National Institute of Design, Knowledge Management Center, Archive collection.

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