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tracing bauhaus pedagogy


Matthew Shanley 08122739

tracing bauhaus pedagogy

A critical approach to tracing the tradition of design education of the Staatliches Bauhaus Weimar within the modern manifestation of the school, the Bauhaus-Universit채t Weimar.

A Dissertation submitted to the Manchester School of Architecture For the degree of Master of Architecture (MArch) 29th April 2014


Tracing Bauhaus Pedagogy

Matthew Shanley

Declaration No portion of the work referred to in this dissertation has been submitted in support of an application for another degree or qualification of this or any other university or other institute of learning.

Copyright Statement Copyright in text of this thesis rests with the author. Copies (by any process) either in full, or of extracts, may be made only in accordance with instructions given by the author and lodged in the John Rylands Library of Manchester. Details may be obtained from the librarian. This page must form part of any such copies made. Further copies (by any process) of copies made in accordance with such instructions may not be made without the permission (in writing) of the author. The ownership of any intellectual property rights which may be described in this thesis is vested in the Manchester School of Architecture, subject to any prior agreement to the contrary, and may not be made available for use by third parties without the written permission of the university, which will prescribe the terms and conditions of any such agreement. Further information on the conditions under which disclosures and exploitation may take place is available from the Head of Department of the School of Environment and Development.

Acknowledgements My thanks go to the staff and students at Bauhaus-Universität Weimar for allowing me to speak with them and to access the university and its resources, with special thanks to the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism’s Marketing Manager, Gabriela Oroz for allowing me to interview her. I would also like to thank Michael Siebenbrodt, the curator of the Bauhaus-Museum Weimar for meeting with me and giving me his unique and valuable insight in the Bauhaus in Weimar. Thank you to my supervisor Prof. Albena Yaneva for all her advice and support during the course of the dissertation process.

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Contents Abstract to the Dissertation

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Introduction

5

The Bauhaus in Weimar: An Overview

6

Before the Bauhaus

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Post-War Debate: The Unified Arts School

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A Modern School for the Modern World

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New Design Instruction: The Preliminary Course

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Beyond Pedagogy: The Bauhaus Community

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Bauhaus Pedagogy: The Distinctive Elements

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In Search of the Bauhaus

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Tracing the Bauhaus: A Weimar Perspective

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The Student Experience: Studying at the Bauhaus-Universit채t

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Conclusion

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Notes and References

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Bibliography

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List of Figures

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Appendices Appendix A: Illustrated Timeline of the Bauhaus

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Appendix B: Programm Staatlichen Bauhauses in Weimar

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Appendix C: Notes from Meeting with Michael Siebenbrodt

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Appendix D: Interview with Gabriela Oroz

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Appendix E: Questionnaire for the faculty at the Bauhaus-Universit채t Weimar

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Appendix F: Questionnaire for students at the Bauhaus-Universit채t Weimar

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Appendix G: Additional photographs from the research trip to Weimar

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Abstract

Founded by Walter Gropius, the Bauhaus in Weimar was conceived first and foremost as a school with the bold intention of establishing a creative environment in which to design living conditions of the modern world. The Faculty of Architecture pursues these same aims in the context of the issues we face today.1

Taken from the prospectus for the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, the Dean Prof. Bernd Rudolf draws our attention to the lasting legacy which the current school owes to the Staatliches Bauhaus Weimar. The Bauhaus was not the only school rendering designs to address modern society in Germany in the pre-and-post-war years of WWI, but it was able to become the most well regarded and best known institution pursuing these aims. Today the Bauhaus is world renowned for being the educational institution at the route of the Modern Movement, which shaped architecture in the 20th Century. However, when we think of the Bauhaus and the legacy which exists today it is often the so called mythical Bauhaus ‘style’ and brand associated with white walls and flat roofs that persists as the defining factor. The location which is synonymous with the school is its second home in Dessau, where the famous buildings of the school reside, not where the Bauhaus was conceived in Weimar. So how is the Bauhaus and the legacy of its pedagogy relevant to Weimar today, the traditional German town that shows few visible traces of the most famous school of design in the 20th? Can we take Prof. Rudolf’s statement about the current university at face value, or should be delve deeper? This dissertation pursues this aim and will investigate the defining principles of Bauhaus pedagogy in Weimar and how and to what degree these are visible today.

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Introduction Much has been written on the history of the Bauhaus, with numerous accounts by well-known authors of the importance of the school and the resulting impact on architecture and design in the 20th Century. This dissertation does not seek to contribute another such account of this famous and well regarded school, but intends to take a critical approach and to analyse how and why the education program developed in the way it did, specifically in Weimar. The dissertation also traces to what extent this multi-faceted pedagogical approach is visible within the modern manifestation of the current school, the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. The basic structure of the dissertation is broken into three key sections and a final conclusion. Initially the focus is on the specific context that can be seen as shaping the formation of the Bauhaus, identifying the key dates, figures, and historical conditions that lead to Gropius forming the school in Weimar. Secondly, the pedagogical programme is critically analysed to identify the specific principles that define the methodology of education at the Staatliches Bauhaus Weimar. These principles are then summarised and seen as the integral elements to consider in the third section of the dissertation. This third section involves the tracing of these pedagogical elements at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. Finally the conclusion seeks to address the questions posed by investigative process of this dissertation. The research of this dissertation is focused around a number of methodological approaches. A literature based review through the reading and analysing of books, journal articles and online data, supplemented by specialist library, archive and museum visits, is used to form the basis of the research of the historical context of the Bauhaus. This included a visit to the RIBA library in London, the Bauhaus-Universität Library in Weimar, the Thüringisches Hauptstaatsarchiv Weimar (Thuringian Central State Archives Weimar), and the bauhaus-archiv museum für gestaltung (Bauhaus Archive Museum of Design) in Berlin. The collecting of primary evidence for the dissertation is directed towards the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, with a research trip that was undertaken by the author between the 1st and 7th March 2014. The preparations for the trip included making contact with the staff and students at the university through emails, social media and the universities online portal. Also questionnaires were produced to form the basis of interviews and meetings (see Appendix E and F for questionnaires). These questionnaires posed a number of important questions that were identified by the author as helping to critically assess the nature to which the legacy and tradition at the Bauhaus can be seen within the university today. The key interview with the faculty was with Gabriela Oroz, the Marketing Manager for the Deans Office of the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism. A visit to the Bauhaus-Museum Weimar and a meeting with its curator Michael Siebenbrodt also formed an intrinsic part of the empirical review. The dissertation is also supplemented with the production of an illustrated timeline of the history of Bauhaus (see Appendix A), and a collection of images, many of which are photogrphs taken by the author.

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The Bauhaus in Weimar: An Overview The Staatliches Bauhaus was opened by Walter Gropius in the spring of 1919 in Weimar, a conservative town in the state of Thuringia (Fig. 1). The school would exist in three locations during its lifetime firstly Weimar from 1919-1925, Dessau from 1925-1932, and finally in Berlin from 1932-33. The focus of this dissertation is in Weimar a town with a rich cultural history and famous residents such as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Friedrich Schiller, Johann Sebastian Bach and many others. It was also where the first German democratic constitution was signed in 1918,

Fig. 1. Image showing the town of Weimar. Rathaus, Markt, Weimar.

giving its name to the Weimar Republic period in German politics (1918-1933). The school was the first new unified art school to be formed in Germany following the war, and was the result of continued efforts and debates surrounding the reform of applied arts education.2 Gropius became director of a composite arrangement of the Großherzogliche Sächsische Kunstgewerbeschule (Grand Ducal Saxon School of Arts and Crafts) (Fig. 2) and the more traditional academic art school, the Großherzoglich Sächsische Hochschule für bildende Kunst (Grand Ducal Saxon Academy of Fine Art)3 (Fig. 3). The Bauhaus would be located in the neighbouring

Fig. 2. External view of the former School of Arts and Craft, Weimar, Henry Van de Velde, built 1905-1906. Today this houses the Faculty of Art and Design.

buildings of these former schools, both designed by Henry Van de Velde. Gropius had been recommended by Van de Velde, alongside Hermann Obrist and August Endell, as a suitable successor to him at the Kunstgewerbeschule. Van de Velde had been forced to resign from the school in 1915 as a Belgian national and therefore an alien in Germany during the war. A great deal of debate took place during and after the war regarding the structure of art and applied arts education in Weimar, with the Bauhaus in many ways a compromise surrounding the different ideological outlooks of art and applied art pedagogy.4 This differing stance on the direction of artists training and pedagogy is something which we will see continued throughout the schools existence, and in many ways became a lasting legacy, aside from the famous staff, students, and their designs. Following the rise of the National Socialists to the Thuringia parliament in February of 1924 a continued effort by the government authorities and the hostilities surrounding the school in Weimar resulted in the faculty and students decision to disband the school, ultimately closing in the spring of 1925.5 The school moved to the aspiring industrial town of Dessau later that year, where a new set of buildings were constructed, supporting the schools new mantra of ‘Kunst und Technik - Eine Neue Einheit’ or ‘Art and Technology - a New Unity’6. It was to become the most

Fig. 3. i) Rear view, staircase tower and ii) Front view and entrance of the former Academy of Fine Art, Weimar, Henry Van de Velde, built 1904-1911. Today this houses the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism.

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well-known location for the school, where efforts in Weimar were consolidated, a more stable and supportive environment was forged and designs rendered for modern life and industry were created. In support of this overview of the Bauhaus in Weimar and framing this period within the broader context of the school, a timeline has been produced (Fig. 4). This timeline draws attention to the three locations of the school, Weimar, Dessau and Berlin, key figures, dates, designs and phases of the school. Below the timeline has been included with the Weimar period explicitly highlighted (see Appendix A for the full timeline).

Fig. 4. An illustrated timeline of the history of the Bauhaus, highlighting the Weimar period.

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Before the Bauhaus During the late 19th century an effort to reform applied art education in England had culminated in the opening of the South Kensington Schools of Design. These schools were established in association with the South Kensington Museum, today’s Victoria and Albert Museum. They had the renewal of English craft tradition as there driving force and were instigated by Prince Albert in consultation with the German architect Gottfied Semper, in response to the critique of exhibits at the Great Exhibition of 1851. Exhibits showcased the loss of quality as a result of the transition from handmade craft to machine driven goods.7 A columnist from The Times visiting the exhibition scorned that exhibits exemplified “Universal infidelity in principles of design.”8 For those such as William Morris, the father of the English Arts and Crafts Movement, he accredited this reduced level of quality to machine methods of construction by unskilled labourers; cheap mass produced goods that were representations of the socio-economic issues caused by industrialised society (Fig. 5). For Morris, who was an eminent socialist, as well as an artist and designer, the need to address these concerns became a prominent undertaking for much of his life, and was addressed in projects such as The Red House9 in Upton, Bexleyheath (Fig. 6). It was important, and for the context of what was to happen many years later at the Bauhaus, that Morris and his peers questioned the nature of the work being produced by industry and recognised the down-turn in craft tradition. This was also

Fig. 5. Examples of the work of William Morris. i) Stanmore Hall wall hanging, ii) Ancanthus wallpaper design, iii) Sussex Rush seated chair, iv) A page from Kelmscott Chaucer.

evident in the South Kensington Schools, which swiftly advanced from simply the renewal of craft tradition, to far more modern expression of design which was rooted in the Arts and Crafts progressive development.10 Recognising this progression in England was Herman Muthesius, appointed the attaché to the Imperial German Embassy in London 1896 by the Prussian Ministry of Commerce. In Vol.1 of his Das englische Haus he detailed the way in which this process took place, highlighting its importance in formalising a new architectural

Fig. 6. The Red House, Upton, Bexlyhealth, Phillip Webb, 1859.

direction, especially for domestic architecture.11 At a time of increased industry in Germany, where by 1890 it was the second largest economic sector, there was a loss of craft and design tradition and worker alienation, just as there had been in England. Muthesius’ mission was to study the cultural renewal taking place in England, focusing on socialism, workers welfare which included the Arts and Crafts workers and trade guilds, and also the Garden City Movement. His findings had a lasting impact on Germany, and although his ideals and opinions leading up to the 8


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outbreak of WWI appeared to change and align more closely with government intent and commercial and political German success, it must be said that they contributed to the continued effort to reform applied art and also fine art education.12 The most well-known culmination of this effort was the Staatliches Bauhaus Weimar. At the turn of the 20th century Germany was seeking to place itself amongst the world elite with the intention to showcase its industrial power, cultural maturity, and political prowess. 13 A culmination of this was the inception of the Deutscher Werkbund in 1907, an association of artists, architects, designers and manufacturers. For some members there was the desire to question society and art, in the broadest sense, placing an emphasis away from the capitalist accumulations associated with industry.14 The need to counteract this increasing trend of proletarianization associated with capitalism came through the use of design reform. This was to be achieved by a synthesis between the use of the machine, and the arts and craft ideology of Morris and his peers such as John Ruskin. Morris strove for social reform through art, and believed that through the creative process of the craftsman, that the labour undertaken be transcended into the heart of the realised product, heightening the joy for the user. This ideology was a joyful, maker-user complex, the Marxist notion of Praxis, the realised product an exemplar of the social consciousness of the craftsman, as mediated to the objects user.15 The Werkbund would never come to truly achieve the synthesis between handcraft and the machine, a result of the differing stance of its members, just at Morris never came to realise his intention of inspiring and producing good quality, affordable art and craft for the everyman. The re-association with a more applied art and craft tradition was also evident from the establishment of the Dresdner Werkst채tten (Dresden Workshops) in 1898 by Karl Schmidt.16 This was showcased in exhibitions from 1897-1904, with the Dresden School exhibition of 1903 comprising the work of Charles Renee Mackintosh, Mackay Baillie Scott, Joseph Olbrich and Peter Behrens. The exhibitions reflected craftsmanship and designs that moved away from ostentatious ornament, to a more sachlich (objective/functional) approach. Reform was taking place within education in Germany, significantly state directed schools, with the Prussian Ministries of Commerce and Culture appointing new directors of Peter Behrens to the head of the Kunstgewerbeschulen (School of Arts and Crafts) in Dusseldorf and Hans Poelzig to the head of Kunst-und Gewerbeschule (Royal School of Art and Applied Arts) in 9


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Breslau respectively, both in 1903. At the Breslau school Poelzig placed all new students in workshops to give them the skills they needed to implement their own designs, nurturing individual needs one-on-one.17 The school in Breslau developed into a unified arts school; that is fine arts and applied-arts under the banner of architecture, seen as early as 1904. The unified arts school or Einheitskunstchule was a concept which Wilhelm von Bode, the director of Berlin’s museums at the Ministry of Culture, promoted as the direction for reformed artistic education.18 This idea that applied art and fine arts training, culminated in architecture “as a total work of art” or Gessamtkunstwerk is exemplified with the design and construction of the Breslau model exhibition house (Fig. 7 & 8) for the Applied Arts Association summer design exhibition. It was completed entirely by the applied arts school in Breslau, a first for any state in Germany. Differing outlooks on how to structure applied art pedagogy reflected tensions within

Fig. 7. Hans Poelzig and the Breslau School of Art and Applied Arts design for a singlefamily house at the Breslau Applied Arts Association Exhibition, 1904-Demolished.

the applied arts themselves.19 This debate would continue throughout the pre and post war years; a prominent characteristic of the differing opinions within the Deutscher Werkbund, and also the controversy surrounding the Werkbund Congress and Exhibition of 1914 in Cologne. Prior to the Exhibition at the Congress in early July there was an intense debate between Muthesius, and his ten principles for ‘Types’, and Henry Van de Velde, and his ten counter-principles.20 Muthesius saw types as a generator of quality and taste, whereas Van de Velde believed they would stunt artistic individuality. Although at this time Gropius was more aligned with industrial production, he supported the Van de Velde camp of followers as did Poelzig, and heavily disliked the state dictated agenda which Muthesius advocated. This controversy was to be overshadowed however by the outbreak of WWI weeks later.

Fig. 8. View of hall and dining room, Hans Poelzig and the Breslau School of Art and Applied Arts design for a single-family house at the Breslau Applied Arts Association Exhibition, 1904-Demolished.

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Post-War Debate: The Unified Arts School The shear catastrophe and devastation that was caused by the first truly mechanised war shaped Europe and beyond in a greater way than could have been imagined. The attitude of both Allied and Central Powers was that the war could be an opportunity to demonstrate their dominance, with the German Kaiser and Wilhelmine Empire attempting to validate Germany’s status as a world power.21 Muthesius and other Werkbund members including Ernst Jäckh, and Friedrich Naumann were aligned with the government stance actively supported the regime.22 As the war lengthened many began to question the seemingly needless prolonging and loss of life, and for those such as Gropius who were fighting on the front line the reality was extremely bleak. His feeling of anger towards the capitalist and power politics on the Wilhelmine era, the Werkund and the horrors of mechanised warfare shaped the way he would outline his intentions for the Bauhaus in Weimar, initially detached from the modern machine and aligned with ideas of the “new gothic”23 age for the future. Gropius’ outlook developed during his pre-war years with an increasing emphasis towards new possibilities for technology and industry. This included his time working in Berlin in the office of Peter Behrens from 1908, alongside Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and for a short time, Le Corbusier. Examples of his own architecture articulate this unity with industry and the machine. Two buildings designed with Adolf Meyer express this concept with the Fagus ShoeLast Factory in Alfeld an der Leine built in 1911 (Fig. 9) and their Model Factory (Fig. 10) for the Deutscher Werkbund Exhibition in Cologne, 1914. The Fagus

Fig. 9. Fagus Shoe-Last Factory, Alfeld an der Leine, Walter Gropius and Adolf Meyer, 1911.

factory building was conceived with a complete glass façade, using narrow brick mullions as an innovative solution in achieving an ‘etherlization’24 of architecture, with the Model Factory particularly the south side of the building showcasing a lyrical play between solidity and transparency, whilst retaining a quiet classical order. Gropius’ pre-war stance considered the ideas of the Werkbund; the concept of Typisierung (standardisation) and the use of the machine more closely, but as these were associated with power politics and the concepts proposed by Muthesius he

Fig. 10. Model Factory, Deutscher Werkbund Exhibition, Cologne, Walter Gropius and Adolf Meyer, 1914demolished.

appears to disassociate himself from these ideas post-WWI. Lauren Weingarden in Aesthetics Politicized: William Morris to the Bauhaus suggests that this may also be associated with Gropius retrospective re-alignment with the ideological approach of Morris regarding artistic and social reform, through first hand readings or through his work with the Arbeitsrat für Kunst (Workers Council for Art) and Bruno Taut.25 11


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Even after leaving Germany following the rise to power of the National Socialists and the Third Reich, Gropius would mostly omit the association with Muthesius and the pre-war Werkbund stance, even from his time at Harvard Graduate school of Design, 1937 until his death in 1969. This would also include the Wilhelmine era and it’s associations with Prussian reform, including the educational reform for which the Bauhaus owed a great deal to. John Maciuka26 suggests this as the reason why Gropius may have chosen to disregard this period, a time which also included his own ‘architectural’ education in Munich and Berlin from 1903 to 1907. This was an education he believed to be unsatisfactory for those wishing to pursue architectural undertakings; with Gropius even choosing not to take his final exams.27 In 1918 Gropius was active in his hometown of Berlin and became a member of the Novembe-grupe (November Group) and a little later the Arbeitsrat für Kunst in 1919. These artists’ associations were established following the November Revolution of 1918 and aimed to break the barriers between the general populous and the artistic world. There was a sense of general unease particularly from the proletariat of the population who were uncertain of the future of the German people, and these associations saw their goal as freeing people from the confines of the state which had become so dominant before the war. Gropius was a founding member and became chairman of the Arbeitsrat für Kunst in February 1919, alongside members Max and Bruno Taut, Adolf Behne, and soon to be Bauhaus staff Lyonel Feininger and Gerhard Marcks. The Manifesto proclaimed “Art and the people must form a unity!” 28 with the association in pursuit of a social revolution in a new German Democracy. “Art shall no longer be a luxury of the few but the life and happiness of the masses. The aim is an alliance of the arts under the wing of great architecture.”29 The language and intention of the council is akin to that of Morris and his proposition for social reform through the use of art, with the well-known lecture entitled Art of the People in 1879. By seeking to democratise art Morris had paved the way for those such as Taut and Gropius to see social aesthetic as a driver for the oppressed classes.30 The goal of art for the everyman was a fundamental social principle that Gropius would instigate at the Bauhaus and also explains his desire to pursue this through the use of handwerk or literally hand-labour, returning to craft tradition as he recognised this as a way for labourers to pursue their own emancipation.

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A Modern School for the Modern World Described as a “definitive declaration of Modernism’s break with the past”31 the Programme of the Staatliche Bauhaus in Weimar (Fig. 11) was written as a manifesto with a decided sense of urgency (see Appendix A for programme). Gropius wanted the programme to advertise the new school and program in a way that reflected the new approach the school would take to educating students; a new education for the new human. Gropius chose a new style of language for the Bauhaus, a decisive break from the artistic language of the past as this had become sterile and ultimately inappropriate. 32 The language used reflects Bruno Taut’s Architektur-Programm published in December of 1918, proclaiming that “Art – that is one single thing, when it exists! … there will be no frontiers between the applied arts and sculpture and painting. Everything will be one thing: architecture”33 and also the language in the manifesto of Arbeitsrat für Kunst. From the outset Gropius states his cause clearly with the manifesto of the programme opening with “The ultimate aim of all visual arts is the complete building!”

Fig. 11. Programme of the Staatliche Bauhaus in Weimar, Walter Gropius, 1919.

Gropius’ time in Berlin was pivotal in shaping the way he set out his intentions for the newly reshaped arts and crafts academy in Weimar. He gained important incites from fellow architects, artists and arts writers who were debating the direction of education in the applied arts in the context of the wider debate surroundings the arts. This also undoubtedly influenced how Gropius structured his programme for the school in Weimar, with nostalgic overtones which speak of a German past distant from the prolonged war, and the ensuing socio-economic and political chaos. Gropius concludes the manifesto in an emphatic sense: Together let us desire, conceive, and create the new structure of the future, which will embrace architecture and sculpture and painting in one unity and which will one day rise towards heaven from the hands of a million workers like the crystal symbol of a new faith.34 There is a clear link with the Berlin Expressionists such as the poet Paul Scheerbert, and the choice of Lyonel Feininger’s woodcut of a Gothic Cathedral of three towers (Fig. 12) for the cover of the 4 page programme, evoking this concept of the Gessamtkunstwerk. Although the programme is defined as a break with the past, it draws a great deal of influence from what precedes the school, with ideas of the medieval guilds and masons in pursuit of the complete building, expressed by the

Fig. 12. Cathedral for the Programme of the Staatliche Bauhaus in Weimar, Lyonel Feininger, 1919.

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Cathedral image and Gropius’ concept of “one unity”35. The Bauhaus name itself is a play on the Bauhütte, a guild of craftsmen and tradesman, associated with the stonemasons’ lodges of the medieval period in Germany, a time of harmonious cooperation between the crafts, fine arts and architecture. Although the initial manifesto and later declarations by Gropius were important, what was pivotal was the artists and craftsman of the Bauhaus who shaped and determined its true success in those founding years. The school and the pedagogical approach was varied according to the background and inclinations of the individual masters within the broader idea that Gropius advocated. The Bauhaus inherited workshops from the existing Van de Velde School, and the instructional approach from the late Wilhelmine reform efforts of Muthesius, and directors Poelzig, and Paul. It is unlikely though that any of these directors would have anticipated that these workshop be

Fig. 13. Stone-carving workshop, 1923. With reliefs by Oskar Schlemmer and sculpture by Otto Werner.

taught dually by a Master of form, and a Master of craft. The Master of craft was the artisan teaching students the practical output of realising their work, whilst the Master of form was the artist pushing the student to go beyond the normal conventions of expressing their ideas. The workshops at the Bauhaus included carpentry (cabinetmaking, wood-turning, wood-carving), stone-carving (Fig. 13), metal, weaving, wall-painting and glass-painting, printing (Fig. 14), bookbinding and ceramics which was located in Dornburg a small town close to Weimar. The stage workshop was introduced in 1921 to enable students to explore methods of stage production, as well as learning to perform. The programme attracted 245 students for the semester of 1919-20, the largest

Fig. 14. Printing workshop, 1923.

intake the school would ever have and which almost 50% were female. These staff and students of the Bauhaus would affectionately be known as the Bauhäusler (Bauhaus people). When the new school opened in the spring of 1919 Gropius had only officially hired the painter Feininger to begin teaching at the school, with sculptor Marcks and the Swiss teacher and painter Johannes Itten joining later the same year. New members of staff joined the faculty slowly, but Gropius was able to attract an impressive faculty from avant-garde circles of the time. Adolf Meyer was appointed in late 1919 to assist in the architecture department, but with no such department ever materialising in Weimar, mostly due to a lack of funding, he became head of Gropius’ private architectural office teaching technical drawing and construction located in the school from 1920-1925. Georg Muche undertook teaching in 1920 as master of the weaving workshop and assisted in the wood 14


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sculpture workshop. The painter Paul Klee began instruction in pictorial form in 1920, and became master of book-binding and glass-painting in 1921 and 1922 respectively. Lothar Schreyer joined the Bauhaus in 1921 as master of the stage workshop, with Oskar Schlemmer commencing his teaching in the wall painting workshop the same year, but replaced Schreyer as head of the stage workshop in 1923. The famous Russian painter and art theorist Wassily Kandinsky was recruited by Gropius and became master of wall-painting in 1922, alongside his role in form and colour instruction in the preliminary course. This dissertation does not allow for an in depth analysis of the teaching undertaken by each of these masters, but will concentrate on the key elements of pedagogy at the Bauhaus in Weimar relevant in the context of the argument for this dissertation.

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New Design Instruction: The Preliminary Course The method of testing a student by letting him experiment independently and freely often seems curious to layman; but for the teacher it is the most infallible indication of whether a student has a creative ability and whether he can profitably be admitted to a specified workshop. This method of selection is, perhaps, one of the most important achievements of the Bauhaus.36 Bruno Taut, commenting on the Preliminary Course and the teaching method at the school. From the outset the main focus of teaching at the Bauhaus was basic design theory, craftsmanship that was connected by training, drawing and painting, theoretical study and research, alongside a range of interdisciplinary studies. Students entering the Bauhaus in the 1919-20 semester were from a broad range of ages and backgrounds, many with extremely varied educational experiences, including sixteen-year-old secondary school graduates to forty-year-old trained craftsman and academics, seeking direction following the war and revolution. Johannes Itten (Fig. 15) had noted from “the samples of their work submitted with their applications” these new students “showed little individuality”37. It was clear to Itten that if students at the Bauhaus were to realise their own potential and bring true creativity to their work, then there was a need to address these issues from the start. After a proposition to Gropius a decision was made to create a foundation semester for students. This was to be known as the Vorkurs.

Fig. 15. Portrait of Johannes Itten wearing his self-designed ‘Bauhaus robes’, c.1921.

The Vorkurs or Preliminary Course38 was a compulsory element of Bauhaus teaching from October 1920 onwards, although it was originally introduced in October 1919 as an elective course. For one semester all students who were interested in art were provisionally accepted. As a teaching element it was expanded to two semesters (a six-month period) and later renamed Basic Course.39 Itten ran the course from 1919 to 1923 until his departure from the school when new master László Moholy-Nagy took over and was assisted by Josef Albers. Albers had begun his time at the Bauhaus as a student in the Vorkurs in 1920 and ran the course from 1928 as the final teacher until the schools closure in Berlin. Although the Vorkurs was not a new idea conceived by Itten and developed at the Bauhuas, it can be noted that at Breslau Poelzig had a instigated a type of preliminary course, it was however Itten who would 16


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come to make it a famous component of design pedagogy, with Reyner Banham stating “it has come to be regarded as the essence, even the entirety, of the Bauhaus Method.”40 Itten took a holistic approach to teaching at the school, driven by his previous training and personal approach. His course was seen as a sequence of exercises to strip away the student’s preconceptions of artistic creativity and to stimulate individual expression. The three key constituents to Itten’s course were; colour and form theory - through the studies of nature and materials, analysis of the old masters and also life drawing. Itten, along with other masters at the Bauhaus recognised they had a responsibility to provide students with not only an education but with the means to become more modern humans for the new world; a new way of life - “The basic goal of my efforts to teach art had always been the development of the creative personality.”41 Morning sessions would begin with a series of breathing and relaxation classes, considered as part of the wider idea of health body, health mind. Students would then tackle the tasks of the day with a clear and free mind, through common drawing exercises. Explorations in contrasts was a basis of his teaching, with light/dark or soft/hard explored as tension, addressing design problems through the use of textures, colours, forms and rhythms, using materials they could get their hands on, often recycled and re-used. 42 Rather than ask students to copy or replicate the artwork of the old masters, they were given the task to respond to and interpret their own subjective feelings of that piece of art or design. The conception of this must be sensed so as to free themselves from standard conventions, and only then would they be able to create uniquely derived pieces of art. An example from the Vorkurs can be seen by the student Nikolai Wassilieff (Fig. 16). Itten was concerned with the expressive form above the functional requirements of the objects design. Alongside Gropius, he became the dominant force in the shaping of the formative years of the

Fig. 16. Spiral Tower, Vorkurs exercise, Nikolai Wassilieff, c.1921, reproduction 2009, Bauhaus-Museum Weimar.

Bauhaus. As well as his role leading the Vorkurs he taught in many of the workshops, including stone-carving, glass-painting, metal and cabinet making. This meant Itten had a great deal of power, particularly with Gropius giving much of his time to organizational duties, as well as commissions for his architectural. 43 Itten’s progressive ideas and his previous educational training allowed him to become in many ways the true director of the school in its formative years, particularly considering the pedagogical outlook. However, as Itten became further involved with 17


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the Mazdaznan cult, a modern version of the Persian Zoroastrianism which proclaimed a worldview that spanned diverse religions and philosophies, advocating breathing exercises and a vegetarian diet, and which had a large following at the Bauhaus, his approach became overbearing, even fanatical. Examples from workshops in these early years are heavily influenced by the exercises in geometrical forms and colour from the students’ time in the Vorkurs, with most items hand produced, unique objects of expressive quality. Ideologically Itten’s approach was different to that of Gropius and at odds with the direction of the Bauhaus towards closer connections with industry and producing prototypes capable of being made on mass. This conflict would come to a head when Gropius used the carpentry workshop to fulfil a large order for an industrial company, with Itten handing in his notice in October of 1922 and leaving the Bauhaus in the spring of 1923. In 1922 Gropius had begun to shift focus and asked the faculty to support him in “the fusion, not in the separation” 44 of individual expressionism and designing prototypes for production. This was aligned with the reoriented teaching method of the school that was published in the Statutes of the Staatliches Bauhaus in Weimar of July 1922 and the well-known schematic diagram (Fig. 17) seen in the book Staatliches Bauhaus in Weimar, 1919—1923.45 Outside influence was also having an effect on Gropius and the school, with the arrival of the strong-minded Theo van Doesburg a proponent of the Dutch De Stijl movement, who was against individual art, and was for socially active art, associated with elements of constructivism based

Fig. 17. Schematic diagram of the Bauhaus curriculum (English), original 1922.

on rational concepts. His approach was opposed to the mystical ideas of Itten’s teaching method, and attracted a number of Bauhaus students, who for a short period would participate in van Doesburg’s own De Stijl course in Weimar. Influence from Russia, specifically contact with the VkhUTEMAS (Higher Artistic-Technical Studios)46 as well as constructivism would play a decisive part in the reorientation of the Bauhaus programme. This included the appointment of Wassily Kandinsky to the Bauhaus to direct the wall painting workshop as well as classes on abstract form elements in the Vorkurs, which Gropius hoped would provide fresh stimuli to the students and help them move away from expressionistic tendencies associated with Itten, Klee and Muche, towards basic elements of design. This would be achieved through a synthesis of the genres of art, in accordance with Gropius’ idea to unify these under the primacy of architecture.47

Fig. 18. International Architecture Exhibition, 1922, displayed at the Bauhaus Exhibition, Weimar, 1923.

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Following a request by the Thuringian Legislative Assembly, who wished to see the results of the school and showcase the efforts to help increase popularity to residents in Weimar, as well as stem the flow of criticism from conservative-nationalists press, an exhibition was proposed. Although not desired by Gropius, other masters and students, who wanted to postpone a public display until more developed results had been achieved, the exhibition was planned for the summer of 1923. This was strategic and would take place at the same time as the annual conference of the Deutscher Werkbund scheduled in Weimar, giving the exhibition a wider audience and time to “concentrate all future work on this task … linking the work of each individual and each workshop to the idea and realisation of the exhibition.”48 The theme of the exhibition and the title of Gropius’ keynote speech was ‘Art and Technology - a New Unity’. The exhibition showcased examples from the workshops, the Vorkurs, as well as

Fig. 19. Wall mural of the staircase of the former Arts and Crafts Building, Weimar, Oskar Schlemmer, 1923, restored 1978/79.

theoretical studies, alongside an international exhibition of modern architecture (Fig. 18). The school buildings were given a number of murals by Herbert Bayer and Schlemmer (Fig. 19), reliefs by Joost Schmidt and designs to compliment the theme of exhibition, and show the diversity of the work undertaken at the school. Lectures were complimented by performances including music by the Bauhaus jazz-band, Schlemmer and the stage workshops Das Triadische Ballet (Triadic Ballet) (see Fig. 35), but the main event was the experimental Haus am Horn (Fig. 20) designed by

Fig. 20. Haus am Horn, Weimar, Georg Muche, 1923.

Muche and engineered by Meyer. The simplicity of the square, white, flat-roofed house showcased affordable construction and an architectural rational that was seen as functioning in relation to its form. The house was a laboratory and testing ground for the students and staff to collaborate, constructed from entirely new methods and materials with each piece of equipment and furniture designed and made by the school with the possibility of industrial production. Theodor Bogler’s pottery for the kitchen (Fig. 21), Alma

Fig. 21. Kitchen pottery, Theodor Bogler, 1923.

Buscher’s multi-functional children’s furniture (Fig. 22) and Marcel Breuer’s woman’s bedroom constitute this functional approach that moved away from the individual pieces produced under the influence of Itten in the early years of the workshops. An important figure in aiding the new direction of the school was Itten’s replacement in the Vorkurs, the Hungarian László Moholy-Nagy who joined the school in the spring of 1923 and brought with him a ‘Constructivist Elementarist’ approach that was influenced by the VkhUTEMAS.49 Moholy-Nagy became focused

Fig. 22. Children’s Room, Haus am Horn, 1923. Furniture: Alma Buscher

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on creating the ideal designer rather than the individual personality. His Vorkurs became the Vorlehre or Basic Course and this comprised key principles to combine elements in exercises of equilibrium structures produced with wood, metal, glass and a variety of other materials, seen by Corona Krause (Fig. 23). The ability to reveal the aesthetic properties of free-standing structures that displayed a victory of inventiveness in ‘saving every gram’, replaced the expression of contrasts through tensions of colour and form. Moholy-Nagy perceived these exercises as the relationship these elements had with spatial design and the creation of architecture.

Fig. 23. Example from the Vorlehre. Balance Study, Corona Krause, , 1923.

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Beyond Pedagogy: The Bauhaus Community In many ways it is remarkable that the masters, and their teaching had the level of impact it did, particularly considering the backdrop in Germany following the war, and the unstable environment within the school.50 For much of the population of Germany emotional anguish was perpetuated by severe economic suffering, from food and fuel for heating to clothing and housing. The traditional morality and societal conventions were being questioned by a nation seeking to come to terms with the outcome of the war, and the world in which was forming before them. This was the subject of discussions and debate by students of the Bauhaus, some of whom were seeking to become politically active. It is not surprising that in a letter to Otto Meyer, Oskar Schlemmer commented that “the students apparently ha[d] little enthusiasm for practical craftsmanship” 51 , seemingly more pre-occupied with current national politics. The controversy of the school was already a hot topic of debate in the conservative, predominantly right-wing town, who were not taking too kindly to the influx of the more left-wing Bauhäusler, they associated with Bolshevik tendencies. Gropius had to show a level of restraint during this period, just as he had in the consideration and wording of his programme for the school. He banned all staff and students from taking part in rallies or publicly joining political parties, aware of the fragile nature of the schools existence in Weimar.52 This had an influence on how he presented his intentions for the school to local authorities in Thuringia, potential collaborators in industry, and the way he orientated the school in its formative years. Authors such as Fern Lerner53 have suggested, at a period of such social, cultural, economic and political turmoil 1919 was to say the least not the best of times to be forming a new school and pedagogical programme in Germany. The former buildings of the arts and crafts school and fine arts academies were ill-equipped for the new Bauhaus school and often too cold to even be taught in. Many students arrived in Weimar with little more than the clothes on their backs. The photographer Otto Umbehr slept on park benches in the town, as did many other students who had no accommodation. In a proposition to Gropius, Paul Kämmer stated that “The Housing situation for students is now so bad that I would like to propose that the junior masters are temporarily given permission to sleep in their workshops”54 Gropius and other members of staff tried to help students where they could, offering free meals, clothing and materials for their studies. In October 1919 a canteen was opened in 21


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the former ‘Glass House’ studio of Albert Brendal directly behind the main building, supplied by fresh fruit and vegetables from the Bauhaus garden. It became a lifeline for many of the students. Today this building functions under the name Bauhaus.Atelier as an information centre, shop and café (Fig. 24). One of the new students Johannes Driesch wrote: It is incredibly different here, I can tell you, the canteen is the greatest

Fig. 24. Glass House’ studio, Albert Brendal. Today Bauhaus.Atelier building.

thing I have ever seen. Food for the entire day – two breakfasts, lunch, coffee at four o’clock and dinner, and extra portions – only costs 3.50 Marks. You wouldn’t manage to eat even a quarter of it.55 Itten was able to engage with students through a great deal of personal involvement, with his charismatic presence an important factor. He was strict in his teaching methods and emerged as “the pillar of calm amongst the chaos”56, as did a number of the other masters. Itten helped create a stable environment for students during this chaotic time. Although his methods were seen as dictatorial, even ruthless, he was recognized as being “pedagogically … more skilled than the rest” of the staff at the school, having a “decided talent for leadership.”57 Itten’s teachings skills had been shaped by progressive education reform which he had experienced through his formative training, including his studies with Adolf Hölzel at the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Stuttgart (Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design). Itten’s studies with Hölzel including his analysis of paintings and his theories of colour and contrasts underpined his methodology at the Bauhaus.58 As we have seen the school was not just about pedagogical reform and experimentation in design but was also a social experiment that created a community of progressive individuals that collaborated in all aspects of life.

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‘Our Play, Our

Party, Our Work’ was the title given to Itten’s lecture in 1919. The radical approach of the school was about more than education, it was a whole new way of life. Parties, theatre, exercise, and numerous other new opportunities. Gropius even refers to this in his programme for the school in 1919 as being part of the new schools approach asking that “friendly relations between masters and students outside of work … a cheerful ceremonial at these gatherings.” 60 This completely engrossing dynamic that was created in Weimar represents the desire of Gropius, and other masters to foster and develop personalities for students akin to the modern world, and also to provide a network of support for the Bauhäusler. Bauhaus evenings and celebrations became stuff of legend, with the annual lantern festival on 18th May, Gropius’ 22


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birthday, the summer solstice and the kite and dragon festival in the autumn. Elaborate fancy dress parties also took place with a number of themes including ‘The white party. 2/3 white, 1/3 dabbled, diced, striped’; ‘New Objectivity’ (Fig. 25); ‘The Pipes or the Metal Party’. The Hungarian student Farkas Molnár described the novelty of the costumes at these parties where “Kandinsky loved turning up as an antenna. Itten came as an amorphous monster, Feininger as two right-angled triangles, Moholy-Nagy as a segment drilled through by a cross, Gropius as Le Corbusier.”61 The stage workshop organised a number of performances that reflected the work of the school, and the expressionistic tendencies of the early years of the Bauhaus approach, also giving students the opportunity to design and construct theatre and stage structures.

Fig. 25. Costume from ‘New Objectivity Party’, 1925.

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Bauhaus Pedagogy: The Distinctive Elements In the previous chapters a great deal has been identified with regard to the structure of education, the development of teaching practice and the life for staff and students at the Bauhaus in Weimar. The distinctive elements of the pedagogical experience include, the desire to address the socio-economic and cultural conditions in light of industrialisation and following WWI. The renewal of craft based workshop instruction, distinguished by the dual training by a Master of form and a Master of craft. In its founding years a progressive approach which embraced a spirit of individualism, often identified as avant-garde or expressionistic. The instigation of the Preliminary Course or Vorkurs to soften student’s preconceptions and allow them to imagine new possibilities of experimentation. Celebrations, parties and play as constituent elements of pedagogic life, to help forge a Bauhaus community beyond the confines of the school. Developing sophisticated prototypes for industry and production that are affordable for the public, and help increase revenue for the students and the school. An increasing relationship of collaboration, expressed in the Summer Exhibition of 1923 and the Haus am Horn. A progression in design instruction from rendering the individual personality to creating the ideal designer for modern conditions. These distinctive elements will be considered whilst investigating the current teaching and life at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, carried out as part of the empirical research of the dissertation.

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In Search of the Bauhaus The term Bauhaus stands for an eagerness to experiment, openness, creativity, a close link to industrial practice and internationality. Building on the tradition of the Bauhaus movement, all the faculties are involved in the creation of public spaces. The goal is to get science, art and technology working together analytically, creatively and innovatively on the planning, construction and design of current and future spaces of habitation. Practical experience plays an important role in all academic fields, as well as in artistic development.62 Studying at a place of experimentation, Portrait of studying at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. As part of the research for this dissertation a study trip to Germany was undertaken from the 1st – 7th March 2014. The focus of the research trip was to undertake empirical research at the current Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, which includes in its campus’ throughout Weimar, the original buildings of the Staatliches Bauhaus Weimar. The trip also included a visit to the Bauhaus-Museum Weimar, the Haus am Horn, the Thüringisches Hauptstaatsarchiv Weimar (Thuringian Central State Archives Weimar) (Fig. 26), as well as a number of other public buildings and spaces

Fig. 26. Thuringian Central State Archives Weimar, 1873-1878.

in Weimar. A visit was also taken to the bauhaus-archiv museum für gestaltung (Bauhaus Archive Museum of Design) (Fig. 27) in Berlin, which holds a considerable collection on the history of the Bauhaus. The current university in Weimar was established in its current manifestation 20 years ago following a restructuring of the faculties, and given the name BauhausUniversität Weimar in October of 1995. The university Council in discussions with the Thuringian authorities made this decision to reflect the reorientation and modern profile of the school, as well as the UNESCO world heritage status given to the buildings of the former Staatliches Bauhaus Weimar in 1996. The school is not a

Fig. 27. Bauhaus Archive Museum of Design, Berlin. Originally developed by Walter Gropius and TAC (The Architects’ Collaborative) 1964, modified and built by Alexander Cvijanovic and Hans Bandel, 1976-1979.

university in the classical sense, but has 4 faculties: Architecture and Urbanism, Civil Engineering, Art and Design and Media. Although these are separate faculties crossover in programmes and shared facilities takes place, moreover it could be described as a hybrid modern art academy, with courses such as Media Architecture showing the universities desire for a unification of faculties. The school states that 25


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its current approach is intrinsically rooted in interdisciplinary and collaborative work as well as a close relationship between external praxis and expert knowledge.63 With this in mind the current university appears concerned with the principle goals of the teaching of its well-known predecessor, but with its head turned toward the future rather than the past. Prof. Bernd Rudolf suggests this when discussing how the Faculty of Architecture addresses designing for living in the modern world, pursuing “these aims in the context of the issues we face today arising from demographic shift, energy sustainability and socio-economic change.â€? 64 With that said, how relevant and identifiable are the original principals of the Bauhaus school in the current manifestation of the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar?

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Tracing the Bauhaus: A Weimar Perspective During the research trip to Weimar a meeting took place with Michael Siebenbrodt, curator of the Bauhaus-Museum Weimar (Fig. 28), and author and contributor in a number of publications on the Bauhaus, including Bauhaus: art as life and also in Bauhaus Alben series of books.65 He was able shed further light on the subject of the pedagogical approach at the school whilst giving a detailed tour around the Museum and the campus of the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, specifically the Van de Velde buildings. The meeting lasted for around 2.5 hours and began at the Museum, where

Fig. 28. Bauhaus-Museum, Theaterplatz, Weimar. Former Carriage House, 1823.

Michael commented on current exhibits, whilst presenting a unique insight into the teaching methods and approach at the school. (see Appendix C for meeting notes). In his description of the school Michael remarked “for me the Bauhaus has always been a laboratory of imagination.” 66 This idea is shaped by his forty years of experience on the subject of the school as well as his own studies at the university, then named the Hochschule für Architektur und Bauwesen, or HAB (University of Architecture and Civil Engineering). Whilst discussing the pedagogy of the Bauhaus, Michael identified three key factors he saw as integral to the forming of Bauhaus teaching, specifically in Weimar. These were; the success of the Arts and Crafts revival first in Britain and then in Germany; the pluralistic approach to working for students and staff; and also creativity of children. As we have seen, and was discussed in detail in the chapter ‘Before the Bauhaus’, many applied arts schools in Germany during the early 20th century were teaching and reviving methods aligned with more user driven and craft based techniques, utilising the machine rather than denouncing it. These schools were seen within the middle sector of education, and below higher education establishments such as academies. These items and objects produced in these workshops were now considered of importance for the higher education. Gropius had recognised the potential of working with the applied arts, as had others in Pre-WWI Germany and in combination with the fine arts, made it the basic principle of the Bauhaus teaching method -“[A] thorough training in the crafts … is required of all students as the indispensable basis for all artistic production.”67 A pluralistic way of working was seen as imperative and unique from many other schools of art and applied art. The ability to create your own style through

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experimentation and the teaching of techniques to apply your ideas into practical outcomes. Colour and form theory became an integral method for masters in the Vorkurs, later Vorlehre, and other workshop classes, initially with Itten and Klee, but importantly with Kandinsky. This includes Itten’s own work from this time including the Tower of Fire (Fig. 29). Michael suggested that “this freer approach allowed students to develop a new personality of expression and invention”68, something which he believes is still visible within the school today. The chance to study and work at the school gave new possibilities for both staff and students. Students able to express their creativity and potential in a melting pot of stimulating ideas, debates and theories, and with staff able to realise their own artistic and creative potential. Also, by considering the broader world of culture that went beyond Europe and the west there was the opportunity to take influence from new possibilities not seen before. Realisation of new ways of expressing work and collaboration became the key to solving design issues, together these “possibilities allowed them to reach far

Fig. 29. Tower of Fire, Johannes Itten, 1921, Reproduction, 2009. BauhausMuseum, Theaterplatz, Weimar.

beyond what they could achieve alone.”69 Different masters bought their own varied experiences with them to the school, creating an atmosphere of cross-fertilisation between artists, craftsman, apprentices and journeyman, and these new ideas. The Creativity of children was also a key element of the philosophy of the Bauhaus teaching. There was the need to address education even from an early age. By doing this children are able to develop with an understanding of thinking for themselves and were able to consider elements of their own education as being shaped by their own choices and personal ideas. Creative play and creativity training also comprised a part of Bauhaus pedagogical ‘inventions’, which integrated the educational reform experiences of Pestalozzi, Fröbel and Montessori into higher education for the first time. After all, the Bauhaus was probably the first school to train and practice project-orientated cooperative work and teamwork beyond the boundaries of the workshop.70 The Bauhaus in Weimar: A School of Creativity and Invention, Michael Siebenbrodt. Exhibited in the Bauhaus museum in Weimar are a number of examples from Julia Feininger, Alma Buscher and Paul Klee. These include a number of toys and puppets produced for their own children that represent the importance of play that enable the 28


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artist to reconnect with the child (Fig. 30). Klee’s puppets, produced for his son Felix, represent this underlying principle and their use of colour and character association show the delight in playfulness between the artist and his son.71 Currently there is an exhibition at the Thüringisches Hauptstaatsarchiv on the subject of ‘Pädagogik und Gesellschaft. Reformpädagogik im Land Thüringen 1920-1933’ (Education and Society. Progressive Education in the state of Thuringia 1920-1933) (Fig. 31). The exhibition gives a short history of reform in education in Thuringia, with a focus on the period between the two world wars. What seems evident from the exhibition is that at this time pedagogical reform was a prevalent consideration in

Fig. 30. Toys and puppets, Julia Feininger, Alma Buscher and Paul Klee. BauhausMuseum, Theaterplatz, Weimar.

Germany. This was not only within the higher levels of education seeking reform, such as the Bauhaus, but also in the structure of primary and high school education.72 Examples from the exhibition include puzzles, a number of jigsaws and life form models (Fig. 32). It could be said that these examples have a great deal of similarity to the ideas of colour and form which were the backbone of the Vorkurs course of the Bauhaus and the teaching principles of Itten. Itten had himself initially trained as a primary school teacher in Bern from 1904 to 1908, where he had been introduced to the methods and material developed by Friedrich Fröbel. When he began his career in a school in Bernese, the village he was born in Switzerland, he brought an unusual methodology to his teaching approach, almost radical for the time.73 Later he would write: …I tried to avoid anything that could disturb the naïve un-selfconsciousness of the children. Almost instinctively I recognized that any criticism or correction has an offensive and destructive effect on self-confidence, that praise and appreciation of work well done encourages personal growth.

74

This respect for the individual characteristics of any given student, is a principle that

Fig. 31. Exhibition Leaflet, Education and Society. Progressive Education in the state of Thuringia 1920-1933. Thuringian Central State Archives Weimar.

would be prominent in his later teaching at the Bauhaus. Visual materials, especially the geometric forms of the circle, triangle and square, as seen in the examples from the exhibition show the principal tools used during Ittens’s time as a primary school teacher. The importance of these forms and their corresponding colours, would become part of Itten’s teaching, but also prominent in the approach of Kandinsky who through colour experimentation sought a pictorial vocabulary that recalls Fröbel’s teaching method.75

Fig. 32. Puzzles, and jigsaws, Education and Society. Progressive Education in the state of Thuringia 1920-1933. Thuringian Central State Archives Weimar.

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The Student Experience: Studying at the Bauhaus-Universität An interview with Gabriela Oroz, the Marketing Manager for the Deans Office of the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism was undertaken during the research trip (see Appendix D for transcript). During this interview the current nature of the school was discussed in relation to the theme of the dissertation, as well as talking about the historical context of the Bauhaus in Weimar and what this means for the school today. A questionnaire prepared for faculty members of the school formed the structure of the interview (see Appendix E). These questions helped to delve into the heart of the current school, and were the starting point for a number of other discussions which arose during the course of the interview. One of the key principles discussed, and an important element in the structure of the degree programmes, is the BachelorEinführungskurs (Bachelor Introductory Course). It is an established tradition that new bachelor students to the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism take part in a two week programme of activities that introduce the students to the school, the staff, and to other new students. This includes drawing, designing, model making, and group work to prepare for a final performance at the end of these two weeks. Gabriela commented that: We don’t of course have the Vorkurs as they did, but we do for example have the Bachelors students who at the beginning of the year have a 2 week dive into the study programme … Within these two weeks they create and explore, with the Bauhaus approach, costumes and a much more. It’s very similar to the parties and celebrations, dances and theatre performances [of the Bauhaus].76 The culmination of the Einführungskurs is a performance by the Bachelor students to the faculty, other students and the rest of the public (Fig. 33). The new students work in small groups to plan their contribution to the final performance, collaborating with other students as part of the overall theme of the event. Each group then submits a draft concept at the end of the first week of the course, with the final week spent realising their intentions for the event. Each year the students are given a different theme for the performance and in 2013 semester starting in October this was ARCHITEKTROMMelwirbel (Architect Drumroll). Students were encouraged to express themselves through a vocal performance, creating brightly coloured costumes, drums, flutes and much more made from recycled plastic, paper, wood, rubber and metal, realising the exploration and creation they had carried out in the

Fig. 33. i) ii) & iii) ARCHITEKTROMMelwirbel, BachelorEinführungskursI, 2013. 30


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previous weeks (Fig. 34). “The goal is at the closing ceremony on 24 October 2013 by 15:00 behind the main building of the University, a stunning and deafening performance. Professor Rudolf has high expectations: ‘Well-Tempered 120 decibels!’”77, Lena Zimmermann recalls in her blog, Was passier eigentlich (What actually happens) and details these two weeks, shining light on what it is like for current students to take part in the Bachelor-Einführungskurs. Students begin with an introductory talk that introduces the school, faculty and the tasks that include drawing on the rooftops of Weimar, a city tour with a difference and planning and

Fig. 34. Preparing in the workshop for the ARCHITEKTROMMelwirbel, BachelorEinführungskursI, 2013.

preparing for the big performance and showcase of their efforts. The theme for the course in 2012 was Archolympische Spiele (Archolympic Games) inspired by the Olympic Games in London of the same year. Students mirrored the ceremonies of the games with a torch relay and lighting of the schools own flame as well as athletically ironic events that were awarded with Olympic ring cake and medals.78 For some students these initial explorations in materials and forms lead into their project work. The school appears to value the playful and broader aspects of creativity that go beyond the conventional curriculum, encouraging students to explore personal interests that compliment and explore their own development, just as play was considered key to development by Kandinsky, Klee and Itten. Gropius had also written in the Programme for the school that “friendly relations between masters and students outside of work; therefore play, lectures, poetry, music, costume parties. Establishment of a cheerful ceremonial at these gatherings.” 79 Costume parties and stage performances (Fig. 35).were part of the Bauhaus life and this seems evident today, helping to foster a community at the university

Fig. 35. The Triadic Ballet, Figurines in the Revue ‘Wiedner Metropol’, Oskar Schlemmer, 1926.

Although the Einführungskurs is only for a two week period of time, it does draw considerable comparison to the Vorkurs course initiated by Itten, The dean Prof. Bernd Rudolf with what seems to be similar intentions to Gropius, Itten, and the other masters, wants to free the students from their prior inhibitions and allow them to approach their studies with a more open mind and to stimulate students to express themselves. The deans “…opinion is that an architecture student needs to be able to perform as well, because although you may not be shy you need to be able to express yourself. Expression is the key element.”80 Evidently this course is for a far shorter period than the Vorkurs, but the underlying intentions appear to have striking similarities.

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The Bauhaus Walk was introduced in 2006 for visitors to discover more about the school, whilst being shown around the famous buildings and sites in Weimar associated with the Bauhaus. It is an important element in the modern portrait of the Bauhaus in Weimar, and is organised and run by students at the university who must demonstrate their knowledge about the history of the famous school, whilst giving an insight into what it is like to study at the current school. Felix is a German student studying architecture, and one of the students who conducts the Bauhaus Walk. When asked about how the tradition of the school and how its famous faculty impacts on the work of current students he remarks that “People think that we still work in the Bauhaus tradition, but they were much more hands-on, making things. We study more theory and take exams, as in any other uni.”81 This suggests that modern higher education, as well as stricter criteria surrounding courses such as architecture dictates a more theoretical and formal curriculum that students have to adhere to, and which has ultimately lead to less freedom of expression. For some students it would appear that the tradition of design education of the Bauhaus is less prominent in the way they approach their studies. Nora Gersie, a second year student studying Urbanism (B.Sc), who when asked whether her work was influenced by her knowledge of the approach of students and staff of the Staatliches Bauhaus, she remarked that she didn’t feel like it influenced her in any way (see Appendix F). With regard to the structure of the current curriculum of her course in relation to the theoretical work of the schools predecessors, Nora has the feeling that “the university likes to play with the names of the original educators but in reality they don’t treat any of their ideas or integrate these to our education.”82 It also seems there is a distinction between what the Bauhaus ‘name’ means for national and international students. The school attracts a great deal of international students for both full-time study, exchange programmes and summer schools, with over 20% of full-time students from overseas in 2013, almost 30% in the Faulty of Architecture and Urbanism. Gabriela believed when students decide to come to the university that the legacy of the Bauhaus teaching methodology “is of course important for German students, but more so for the international students. For the German students it might be more the structure of the course; the interaction between Architecture and Urbanism.” 83 Speaking with Lucie a British student studying a Bachelor in Fine Arts at the University of the Creative Arts in Canterbury, and who is currently on a semester exchange at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, she was attracted to study at the school by the tradition of design education which is 32


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associated with the Bauhaus teaching. Lucie sees her work as “an ongoing process of discovery with a constant obsession with colour, surface and language of form & space”84 that explores the everyday environments which we often overlook, without a definite preconception of the outcome. She hopes to develop her art at the school through the Weimar Method-project based approach and contact with other students exploring experimental work. The exploration of space recalls the approach taken by masters at the Bauhaus, particularly Moholy-Nagy and his theories of spatial form and exercises in balance, and also Itten’s desire for his students to experiment with materials, colour and form that doesn’t necessarily have a preconceived idea of the

Fig. 36. Bachelor of Architecture student models from model-making workshop, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar.

final piece of work. Project orientated work is a key characteristic within the Architecture courses at the university where in the Bachelor of Architecture (B.Sc) students pursue a specific central theme each year that is explored through studio and workshop based work. Workshops available for students include model-making (Fig. 36), digital and analogue photo lab, photo studio and lighting studio. The project based method is also evident in the Masters in Architecture (M.Sc) programme where projects are offered jointly by different departments, allowing for students to “examine design tasks of greater complexity that encompass aspects from different subject areas.”85

Fig. 37. Printing workshop, Faculty of Art and Design, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar.

This method appears as a particularly strong element within the Faculty of Art and Design where students approach work through the Weimar Model of studio and workshop based activities. For Patricia De Paula, a student on the Fine Art (Diplom) degree course, there is a freedom to how to express your work “Because we have this project system with no strictly defined curriculum you can work very flexibly.”86 The department has a number of workshops which include CAD/CAM, printing (Fig. 37), photography, video, plaster and mould construction, wood, metal, synthetic materials and modelling open to students across the faculties. This diverse number of workshops, as well as the studio facilities allows students to push the limits of their ideas and concepts, “You start with an idea – not with a method or knowledge. Instead you have a topic, you do research on that topic, and then you express it artistically.”87 What seems evident is that students within the Faculty of Art and Design appear to have a connection to the legacy of the Bauhaus tradition and the methods that both staff and students undertook through experimentation and imagination. Michael Ott, a student studying in the Visual Communication (B.F.A.) degree programme suggests “…that’s what Weimar is all about – this freedom, like

Fig. 38. i) Experimental straw panel structure, Addid Abeba, 2012. ii) Students experiment with building structures, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. 2012.

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the free spirit that was cultivated by the Bauhaus, freedom to think innovatively. It’s a very important thing that you still find at the Bauhaus-Universität.”88 Another key principle discussed with Gabriela, but also something that was suggested whilst speaking with a number of students at the school, is external collaboration and innovation. This includes a Creativ.Campus 89 project between students in Weimar and Addis Ababa to experiment with alternative structures using recycled materials and straw (Fig. 38). Another example of this is the green:house project, a wood concrete experimental building that was built on the campus in 2010 (Fig. 39). Under the supervision of Prof. Walter Stamm-Teske, the building was conceived alongside the Faculty of Architecture (and Urbanism) and it’s Chair of Design and Residential Building. Numerous university partners were involved in this project, supported by 20 collaborators from industry, companies and professional planners, but most importantly the students themselves. Beneath the simply rendered black shell of the four-story green:house is integrated green technology (Fig. 40), tested and evaluated by the staff and students, including an innovative

Fig. 39. External view of green:house wood concrete experimental building, BauhausUniversität Weimar, 2010.

combination of ceiling hung hooks for displaying work that integrate power outlets (Fig. 41). In cooperation with Helika GmbH Reutlingen and Prof. Stamm-Teske, students experimented with the building material wood concrete, which consists of wood chips within the concrete as a binding agent. The material displays impressive structural-physical properties such as insulation and also fire proofing, with the building able to reach zero-carbon energy efficiency and passive house standards. An interesting comparison with the collaboration that was visible in the Haus am Horn experimental home produced for the summer exhibition of 1923 can be made here. In the same vein students worked with staff and external practitioners, using an

Fig. 40. Display on green technology in the green:house wood concrete experimental building, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, 2010.

innovative approach, and new materials and methods. The project exemplifies the intent of the faculty to design for modern conditions that consider energy and sustainability through the complete building, which recalls the desire of Gropius when he stated in the original programme for the Staatliches Bauhaus that “The ultimate aim of all visual arts is the complete Building!”90 The green:house project not only served the developers and industrial partners as a research project, but also was a hands-on experiment for the students, a real-life opportunity for the application of skills for more than 50 Bachelor and Master students. It demonstrated a close

Fig. 41. Integrated hook/power outlets in the green:house wood concrete experimental building, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, 2010.

association with the reality of architectural commissions supported through the project along with an interdisciplinary approach that is intrinsically rooted in the tradition of the Bauhaus. 34


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Conclusion The purpose of this dissertation was seeking to discover the tradition of design education of the Bauhaus in Weimar and whether this tradition is traceable within the current university. Initially this investigated and identified the historical conditions and context that can be associated with influencing the formation of the Staatliches Bauhaus Weimar. Although Gropius would negate a number of these conditions from later references to the school it was the intense debate and contention during this period which determined the path of the progressive, yet multi-faceted pedagogical approach at the Staatliches Bauhaus Weimar. This created the foundations for the Bauhaus to become a breeding ground for experimentation and innovation, and ultimately become the most important school of art, applied-arts, design and architecture for the evolution of the Modern Movement. In the chapter, ‘Bauhaus Pedagogy: The Distinctive Elements’, the intrinsic elements of the pedagogical experience at the Staatliches Bauhaus Weimar, were summarised. These elements were then seen as the basis of traces to be identified as part of the original research undertaken during the trip to Weimar. Firstly, it must be stated that there is some degree of limitation to the depth to which this dissertation can assess the traces of the original school within the current manifestation. To make a more detailed assessment of what is visible today, further research and a closer amount of contact with the university would need to take place. It would be unfounded to make too many bold statements about the relationship between the two institutions, particularly with regard to student experiences. To be able to make a more in depth analysis interviews and seminar discussions with a variation of national and international students across a range of degrees within each faculty would need to take place. This could also include closer engagement with the student output, as well as observation or a level of participation in degree classes. With that said a number of interesting traces and comparisons have been able to be made, highlighting that the university sees the legacy of the Bauhaus as an intrinsic constituent in the progression and outlook of degree programmes, the principles of pedagogy and the development of students. Of course modern universities in Germany have to adhere to more strict conditions, just as is the case in almost all higher education establishments today. In Germany a continuation degree such as Architecture that requires the completion of both a Bachelors and Master’s degree has to fulfil a certain amount of criteria from the 35


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Bundesarchitektenkammer, BAK (The Federal Chamber of German Architects), just as architecture degree programmes in the U.K. have to abide by criteria defined by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). This ultimately impacts on the amount of individuality a students studying architectural courses may be able to take to their project work. The balance of the academic and practical elements of education is structured to suit the specific degree programme, of which there is over 40 at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. If we compare this to the one programme of the Staatliches Bauhaus Weimar that commenced with Vorkurs and lead to instructional workshops for students, then the original school gave students the ability choose to explore their creative output in the method which they desired, only restricted by equipment, materials and their own imagination. However, if you consider this distinction between the singularly defined programme of the original school with the 40 or so within the 4 faculties of the current university then it can be said that today students have far more choice and can define from the outset the degree programme suited to their personal interest and professional ambition. The Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism does of course emphasise the degree to which the pedagogical approach of its famous predecessor influences the department. It must be noted though that the most prominent connection with the diverse methodology of the masters of Itten, Feininger, Muche, Klee, Kandinsky and Moholy-Nagy is identifiable within the Faculty of Art and Design. This is possibly not surprising considering that most of these men where first and foremost artists themselves. Within the Faculty of Art and Design it has been identified that courses such as Fine Art and Visual Communication allow for a freedom of expression, that even rivals that of that the Bauhaus. Without a strongly predefined curriculum, allowing the individual to research and explore their creative goals, students such as Michael Ott have commented that “You could basically say that the Faculty of Art and Design is a gigantic playing field!”91 The statement included at the start of the chapter ‘In Search of Bauhaus Pedagogy: Research Trip to Weimar’ encapsulates the desire of the university and faculty to encourage students to work through cooperation and to take an interdisciplinary approach to their studies. In pursuit of these aims, a project such as the green:house exemplifies how this can be achieved, with staff, students and external collaborators “…working together analytically, creatively and innovatively on the planning, construction and design”92 of a realised building that benefits all parties involved, 36


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particularly the students who were given invaluable experience. When Gropius proposed his programme for the Staatliches Bauhaus Weimar the social, cultural and economic conditions played a defining role. Today these concerns still play a major role, but are now considered alongside environmental issues, addressed through sustainable proposals and practical and theoretical research. The green:house project addresses these concerns and demonstrates a defining characteristic that can be associated with both the Staatliches Bauhaus Weimar and the BauhausUniversität Weimar, experimentation. This is also an element which evident from the basic principles of expression seen in Itten’s Vorkurs and Moholy-Nagy’s Vorlehre, and the collaborative Haus am Horn home project, to the encouragement of the students in the Bachelor-Einführungskurs to explore expressive elements of design and invention. In 2013 the bauhaus.institut für experimentelle architektur (Bauhaus Institute for Experimental Architecture) was founded, continuing the legacy of the experimental ideology of the Bauhaus. Also it was identified that this is visible in the parties, celebrations and performances that were defined by Gropius as part of the pedagogy of the Bauhaus, just as Prof. Rudolf sees the need for students to simulate new ways of expressing themselves and also their work. An experimental approach is then the key thread that persists through the course of this dissertation, and alongside, collaboration, the opportunity to work in an interdisciplinary manner, creation of an academic community, as well as live projects to nurture creation, planning and innovation of both public and private space, these can be seen as the identifiable traces that exist within the BauhausUniversität Weimar today.

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Notes and References Rudolf, B., Reinhardt, K. (2013) Prospectus: Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism. Weimar: Druckhaus Gera GmbH, p. 5. Frampton, K. (1992) Modern Architecture: a critical history. London: Thames and Hudson, p. 123. 3 The Academy of Fine Arts is referred to differently in a number of publications. This includes the ‘Grand Ducal Academy of Fine Art’, such as in Kenneth Frampton’s Modern Architecture: a critical history, and the ‘Grand ducal Saxon academy of arts’ in Rainer Wick’s teaching at the Bauhaus. For the purpose of this dissertation the academy will be referred to in its original full German name, as with the other names of institutions. 1 2

Frampton, K. ref.2, p.123 Knorr, S., Kern, I., Welzbacher, C. (2012) Bauhaus Travel Guide: Weimar, Dessau, Berlin. Cologne: DuMont Literatur und Kunst Verlag GmbH & Co KG, p. 28. For its entire existence the school had been fighting the Bolshevist and extreme-left wing associations it was given by critics and residents in Weimar. This was something that had not been helped by the activities and political inclinations of a number of staff and students. Initially the schools budget was cut by half and a great deal of pressure was placed on the faculty, including banning them from selling items produced by staff and students within the school to raise revenue, as this was seen as competing unfairly with private enterprise. 4 5

Erlhoff, M., Marshall, T. (2008) Design Dictionary: Perspectives on Design Terminology, Basel: Birkhäuser Verlag, p. 40. Housed in Sir Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace, the Great Exhibition was the first World’s Fair exhibition of culture and industry, including locomotives, kitchen appliances, Indian umbrellas, printing presses, and much more from the British colonies, Europe and the Americas. Overall the Great Exhibition was regarded as a success, producing a huge amount of revenue and was a great advertisement for Victorian Britain. However, with exhibits showcasing current design industry from all over the world many observed the loss of quality of the objects displayed, seemingly poor examples of industrial production methods. They showcased a cold and degenerate route that industrial production had taken. 6 7

Davey, P. (1995) Arts and Crafts Architecture. London: Phaidon, p. 13. Hollamby, E. (1991) Red House: Philip Webb. London: Architecture Design and Technology Press, Preface. The Red House in Upton, Bexleyheath was built in 1859 by Webb for Morris and his wife. The use of traditional materials including red brick, and a simple vernacular design was detached from domestic architecture of the time, combining the romantic tendencies of Morris with the more pragmatic Webb. The house was an expression of the idealistic beliefs of Morris and his patrons that encapsulates the desire to challenge what the machine had come to devalue from human labour, with an emphasis toward hand-crafted production of the interior by Morris’ friends and fellow artists. In 1861 this sense of artistic unity continued with the founding of the firm Morris, Marshall, Faulkner and Co. (later Morris and Co.) who designed and produced large amounts of furniture, carpets, paintings, and much more. 8 9

Tinniswood, A. (1999) The Arts & Crafts House. London: Mitchell Beazley, p. 6. Muthesius, H. (2007) Das englische Haus (English). V.1. London Frances: Lincoln, p. 97. The studies which Muthesius made during his time in England, such as Die englische Baukunst der Gegenwart (The English Building Art of the Present) 1900, Stilarchitektur und Baukunst (Style-Architecture and Building-Art) 1902, and Das englische Haus 1905, all had an large impact on the Prussian and German society, and went beyond architecture and the arts, influencing a huge number of Prussian government policies. 10 11

Maciuika, J.V. (2005) Before the Bauhaus: architecture, politics, and the German state, 1890-1919. New York: Cambridge University Press, p. 162. 13 The exponential economic growth in Germany during this period through its growing power on a world stage and industrial exports were seen as a threat to national culture. Industrialisation and the dominance of the machine which was intended to b e an enabling force to improve productivity and efficiency was for many shaping the aesthetic of design too rigidly and actually reducing quality. 12

Campbell, J. (1978) The German Werkbund: The Politics of Reform in the Applied Arts. Guilford: Princeton University Press, p. 19. Weingarden, L. (1985) ‘Aesthetics Politicized: William Morris to the Bauhaus.’ Journal of Architectural Education, 38(3), pp. 8-13, p. 10. 16 Frampton, ref.2, p.123. 17 Maciuika, ref.12, p.131. Today Breslau, then part of Germany is now part of Poland and is named Wrocław. 14 15

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Maciuika, ref.12, p. 285. This was a concept which Muthesius was opposed to, advocating for the relative autonomy of applied arts schools, something he wrote about in the Berlin Journal Die Woche (The Week) in 1916. 18

Maciuika, ref.12, p. 20. Maciuika, ref.12, p. 250. 21 Maciuika, ref.12, p. 283. 22 Maciuika, ref.12, p. 284. In a number of Werkbund publications Muthesius and other Werkbund members voiced a nationalist approach, blurring the lines between the achievements of the military campaign and those of German design and industry. “We are not only in a position to create a German form, but we have one already in most fields of activity. In the fields of design and production we are just as well armed as in our military, financial, and economic spheres.” 19 20

Wick, R. (2000) Teaching at the Bauhaus. Ostfildern-Ruit: Hatje Cantz, p. 33. Pevsner, N. (1960) Pioneers of Modern Design. London: Pelican Books, p. 214. Frank Lloyd Wright wrote that use of technological advancements by architects such as Walter Gropius was part of a wider ‘etherlization’ of architecture through the exploitation of aesthetic and constructional possibilities that allowed for light and air to flow through buildings more freely. 23 24

Weingarden, ref.15, p. 10. Maciuika, ref.12. 27 Wick, ref.23, p. 72. 28 Conrad, U. (1970) Programmes and manifestoes on 20th-century architecture. London: Lund Humphries, p. 44. 29 Conrad, ref.28, p. 44. 30 Wick, ref.23, p. 34. 31 Klotz, H. (1989) 20th century architecture. New York: Rizzoli, p. 48. 32 Roters, E, (1969) Painters of the Bauhaus. London: A. Zwenmer Ltd, p. 6. 33 Conrad, ref.28, p. 41. 34 Ince, C., Yee, L., Desorgues J. (2012) Bauhaus: art as life. London: Koenig Books, p. 15. 35 Ince, ref.34, p. 15. 36 Bayer, H. (1952) Bauhaus 1919-1928. Boston: Branford, pp. 93-94. 37 Kepes, G. (1965) Education of vision. New York: G. Braziller, p. 104. 38 Wick, ref.23, p. 67. The Vorkurs (preliminary course) is sometimes referred to as Vorlehre (Introductory/basic course), Vorunterricht (preliminary instruction) and Grundlehre (basic instruction) 25 26

Wick, ref.23, p. 92. Banham, R. (1960) Theory and Design in the First Machine Age. London: The Architectural Press, p. 278. 41 Itten, J. (1975) Design and Form: The Basic Course at the Bauhaus and Later. New York: Van Nostrand Company Inc., p. 4. 42 Lerner, F. (2005) ‘Foundations for Design Education: Continuing the Bauhaus Vorkurs vision.’ Studies in Art Education, 46(3), pp. 211-226, p. 215. 43 Wick, ref.23, p. 92. 44 Ince, ref.34, p. 79. This was originally taken from Walter Gropius, The Viabilty of the Bauhaus Idea, circular addressed to the Bauhaus masters, 3rd February 1922 39 40

Wick, ref.23, p. 68. The schematic diagram shows the progression of training intended for students at the Bauhaus, from the preliminary (basic) course for 6 months which upon completion you would be excepted into a teaching workshop which the student was most suited to complete a 3 year period of study to receive a Journeyman’s Diploma of the Chamber of Crafts. Especially talented journeyman would then be admitted to architectural instruction including active building projects and training on construction. The length of this course would vary accordingly to the individual student and would result in a Masters Diploma of the Chamber of Crafts. 45

Forgács, E. (1995) The Bauhaus idea and Bauhaus politics. Budapest: Central European University Press, pp. 182-4 Opened in 1920 Vkhutemas (Vysshiye Khudozhestvenno-Tekhnicheskiye Masterskiye) is often credited as the ‘Moscow Bauhaus’. It was far larger than the Staatchlies Bauhaus, with 100 faculty members and 2500 students, and was a similar merger of two previous schools – the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture and the Stroganov School of Applied Arts. Training was orientated 46

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in a similar way to the Staatchlies Bauhaus, seeking to integrate fine art and practical craft tradition, applicable for technology and the modern world. The school had its own preliminary course, courses in colour and form theory, industrial design and architecture. It was dissolved in 1930 as a result of external political pressure. In Russian the school was known as Вхутемас (Высшие художественно-технические мастерские) Wick, ref.23, p. 194. Ince, ref.34, p. 78. 49 Frampton, ref.2, p. 126. 50 Wick, ref.23, p. 69. Former staff of the Hochschule für bildende Kunst remaining with the Bauhaus, including Max Thedy, Walter Klemm, Otto Fröhlich, and Richard Engelmann were essential for Gropius as they would provide the training and teaching necessary for the school to function. However, from the outset these Masters of Craft found Gropius and the new Masters of Form, the newly appointed artists, progressive approach somewhat difficult to adhere to, with their paradoxically differing pedagogical outlooks. A sense of conflict and also resentment amongst the staff, which was not aided by the fact the new Masters of Form were given a great deal more say than the existing staff with regard to the structuring of workshop instruction and studio teaching. This created an unstable environment within the school in Weimar. By 1921 this conflict came to a head when a number of the existing staff set up a new academy of art in the same main building, the Staatliche Hochschule für bildende Kunst (State Academy of Fine Art), with the new academy remaining there even after the Bauhaus was forced to close and leave Weimar in the spring of 1925, a decidedly more traditional and therefore more palatable institution for the town of Weimar. 47 48

Wick, ref.23, p. 101. Letter from Schlemmer to Otto Meyer, 21st December 1920. 51

Weingarden, ref.15, p. 10 Lerner, ref.42, p. 214. 54 Knorr, ref.5, p. 24. 55 Knorr, ref.5, p. 27. 56 Wick, ref.23, p. 101. 57 Schlemmer, O. (1972) The letters and diaries of Oskar Schlemmer. Conn: Wesleyan University Press Middletown, p. 123. Letter from Schlemmer to Otto Meyer, June 1922. 52 53

Wick, ref.23, p. 101. Ince, ref.34, p. 164. 60 Ince, ref.34, p. 16. 61 Knorr, ref.5, p. 54. 62 Uni-weimar.de. Studying at a place of experimentation. Bauhaus-Universität Weimar [Online] [Accessed 20th March 2014] http://www.uni-weimar.de/en/university/profile/portrait/ 63 Ince, ref.34, p. 29. 64 Rudolf, ref.1, p. 5. 65 Siebenbrodt, M. (2014) Meeting with Bauhaus-Museum Weimar Curator. Weimar. [3rd March 2014] See Appendix C for notes on the meeting with the Bauhaus-Museum Weimar Curator. 58 59

Siebenbrodt, ref.65. Wick, ref.23, p. 57. 68 Siebenbrodt, ref.65. 69 Siebenbrodt, ref.65. 70 Ince, ref.34, p. 35. 71 Ince, ref.34, p. 67. 72 Credited in the exhibition on education and society at the archives was an important philosopher and spiritualist in Germany during the late 19th and early 20th century, that of the Austrian Rudolf Steiner who lived in Weimar from 1890-1897. Steiner was prominent in a number of fields including social reform, architecture and was the founder of the spiritual philosophy of Anthroposophy. The Anthroposophical Society mission is "to nurture the life of the soul, both in the individual and in human society, on the basis of a true knowledge of the spiritual world." One of his key ideas within the context of Anthroposophy and pedagogy was the theory of Waldorf Education. Waldorf Education, sometimes known as Steiner Education, sees the development of the individual child through transformative pedagogy that stimulate a student’s interest in learning through a pictorial and dynamic manner, which is seen in three phases 0-7, 7-14 and 14-18 years of age. 66 67

73

Wick, ref.23, p. 93. 40


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Itten, ref.41, p. 6. Lerner, ref.42, p. 216. 76 Oruz, G. (2014) Interview with Marketing Manager for the Deans Office of the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism. Weimar, Interviewed by: Matthew Shanley [5 March 2014] See Appendix D for the full transcript of the interview. 74 75

Uni-weimar.de. Was passiert eigentlich.... Bauhaus-Universität Weimar [Online] [Accessed 29th March 2014] http://www.uniweimar.de/de/universitaet/aktuell/was-passiert-eigentlich/#c65057 78 Weinreich, C. (2013) ‘Bauhaus.Journal 2012/2013: Clips.’ Annual Magazine of the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Weimar: Druckhaus Gera GmbH, p.30. 79 Conrad, ref.28, pp.49-51 80 Oruz, ref.76. 81 Telegraph.co.uk. Bauhaus: two German towns that gave the world 'total art.' Telegraph. [Online] [Accessed 2nd April 2014] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/artsandculture/9225505/Bauhaus-two-German-towns-that-gave-the-world-total-art.html 82 Gersie, N. (2014) Bauhaus-Universität Weimar: Questionnaire for Students. Weimar, [Submitted 7th March 2014] See Appendix F for the submitted questionnaire. 77

Oruz, ref.76. Glass, L, (2013) Lucie Glass - Home. [Online] [Accessed 10th March 2014] http://lucieglass.com/about-me 85 Rudolf, B., Reinhardt, K, 2013, p. 30. 86 Buckenauer, C. (2012) WHAT'S UP?: A Portrait of the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. Bauhaus-Universität Weimar [Online video] [Accessed 18th March 2014] http://www.uni-weimar.de/en/university/profile/portrait/film-portrait/ 87 Buckenauer, ref.86. 88 Buckenauer, ref.86. 89 Weinreich, ref.78, pp 60-63. 90 Ince, ref.34, p. 15. 91 Buckenauer, ref.86. 92 Uni-weimar.de., ref.62. 83 84

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Bibliography Archives, Libraries and Museums RIBA Library, London Bauhaus-Museum Weimar Bauhaus-Universität Weimar Library Thüringisches Hauptstaatsarchiv Weimar (Thuringian Central State Archives Weimar) Bauhaus-archiv museum für gestaltung (Bauhaus Archive Museum of Design), Berlin.

Books Banham, R. (1960) Theory and Design in the First Machine Age. London: The Architectural Press. Bayer, H. (1952) Bauhaus 1919-1928. Boston: Branford. Campbell, J. (1978) The German Werkbund: The Politics of Reform in the Applied Arts. Guilford: Princeton University Press. Clifton-Taylor, A. (1975) Spirit of the Age: Eight Centuries of British Architecture. London: BBC Books. Conrad, U. (1970) Programmes and manifestoes on 20th-century architecture. London: Lund Humphries. Davey, P. (1995) Arts and Crafts Architecture. London: Phaidon. Erlhoff, M., Marshall, T. (2008) Design Dictionary: Perspectives on Design Terminology, Basel: Birkhäuser Verlag. Forgács, E. (1995) The Bauhaus idea and Bauhaus politics. Budapest: Central European University Press. Frampton, K. (1992) Modern Architecture: a critical history. London: Thames and Hudson. Franiscono, M, Walter Gropius and the Creation of the Bauhaus in Weimar, University of Illinois Press, 1971 Hollamby, E. (1991) Red House: Philip Webb. London: Architecture Design and Technology Press. Ince, C., Yee, L., Desorgues J. (2012) Bauhaus: art as life. London: Koenig Books. Itten, J. (1975) Design and Form: The Basic Course at the Bauhaus and Later. New York: Van Nostrand Company Inc. Kepes, G. (1965) Education of vision. New York: G. Braziller. Klotz, H. (1989) 20th century architecture. New York: Rizzoli.

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Knorr, S., Kern, I., Welzbacher, C. (2012) Bauhaus Travel Guide: Weimar, Dessau, Berlin. Cologne: DuMont Literatur und Kunst Verlag GmbH & Co KG. Maciuika, J.V. (2005) Before the Bauhaus: architecture, politics, and the German state, 1890-1919. New York: Cambridge University Press. Muthesius, H. (2007) Das englische Haus (English). V.1. London Frances: Lincoln. Pevsner, N. (1960) Pioneers of Modern Design. London: Pelican Books. Roters, E, (1969) Painters of the Bauhaus. London: A. Zwenmer Ltd. Schlemmer, O. (1972) The letters and diaries of Oskar Schlemmer. Conn: Wesleyan University Press Middletown. Tinniswood, A. (1999) The Arts & Crafts House. London: Mitchell Beazley. Wick, R. (2000) Teaching at the Bauhaus. Ostfildern-Ruit: Hatje Cantz. Wingler, H., Stein, J. (1978) The Bauhaus. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press. Winkler, H. (2006) Bauhaus-Alben 1. Weimar: Verlag der Bauhaus-Universität Winkler, H. (2006) Bauhaus-Alben 2. Weimar: Verlag der Bauhaus-Universität Winkler, H. (2006) Bauhaus-Alben 4. Weimar: Verlag der Bauhaus-Universität

Interviews, Meetings and Questionnaires Gersie, N. (2014) Bauhaus-Universität Weimar: Questionnaire for Students. Weimar, [Submitted 7th March 2014] Oruz, G. (2014) Interview with Marketing Manager for the Deans Office of the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism. Weimar, Interviewed by: Matthew Shanley [5 March 2014] Siebenbrodt, M. (2014) Meeting with Bauhaus-Museum Weimar Curator. Weimar. [3rd March 2014]

Journals and Magazines Harrod, W., O. (2009), ‘The Vereinigte Staatsschulen Für Freie Und Angewandte Kunst and the Mainstem of German Modernism.’ Journal of Architectural History, (52), pp. 233-269. Lerner, F. (2005) ‘Foundations for Design Education: Continuing the Bauhaus Vorkurs vision.’ Studies in Art Education, 46(3), pp. 211-226. Nyberg, F. (1992) ‘From Baukunst to Bauhaus.’ Journal of Architectural Education, 45, May, p.130-7. Rudolf, B., Reinhardt, K. (2013) Prospectus: Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism. Weimar: Druckhaus Gera GmbH. 43


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Weingarden, L. (1985) ‘Aesthetics Politicized: William Morris to the Bauhaus.’ Journal of Architectural Education, 38(3), pp. 8-13. Weinreich, C. (2013) ‘Bauhaus.Journal 2012/2013: Clips.’ Annual Magazine of the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Weimar: Druckhaus Gera GmbH.

Websites Buckenauer, C. (2012) WHAT'S UP?: A Portrait of the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. Bauhaus-Universität Weimar [Online video] [Accessed 18th March 2014] http://www.uni-weimar.de/en/university/profile/portrait/film-portrait/ http://architecture.mapolismagazin.com/chair-design-and-residential-building-greenhouse-weimar. Accessed 25th March 2014. http://lucieglass.com/about-me. Accessed 10th March 2014. http://m.klassik-stiftung.de/uploads/tx_lombpointofinterest/Hauptstaatsarchiv_Marstallstrasse.JPG. Accessed 15th April 2014. https://www.flickr.com/photos/23369064@N00/1039935067/. Accessed 15th April 2014. https://www.flickr.com/photos/ad_symphoniam/4030762763/. Accessed 15th April 2014. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/artsandculture/9225505/Bauhaus-two-German-towns-that-gave-the-world-total-art.html. Accessed 2nd April 2014. http://www.uni-weimar.de/de/universitaet/aktuell/was-passiert-eigentlich/. Accessed 9th April 2014. http://www.uni-weimar.de/en/architecture/news/photo-gallery/architektrommelwirbel/. Accessed 9th April 2014. http://www.uni-weimar.de/en/architecture/news/photo-gallery/welcome-to-africa/. Accessed 15th April 2014. http://www.uni-weimar.de/en/art-and-design/structure/workshops-and-equipment/printing/gallery-of-the-printingworkshop/. Accessed 9th April 2014. http://www.uni-weimar.de/en/university/profile/portrait/. Accessed 20th March 2014.

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List of Figures Fig. 1. Image showing the town of Weimar. Rathaus, Markt, Weimar. Authors own photograph, 3rd March 2014. Fig. 2. External view of the former School of Arts and Craft, Weimar, Henry Van de Velde, built 1905-1906. Authors own photograph, 3rd March 2014. Fig. 3. i) Rear view, staircase tower and ii) External view of the former Academy of Fine Art, Weimar, Henry Van de Velde, built 1904-1911. Authors own photographs, 3rd March 2014. Fig. 4. An illustrated timeline of the history of the Bauhaus, highlighting the Weimar period. Produced by author. Fig. 5. Examples of the work of William Morris. i) Stanmore Hall wall hanging. Muthesius, H. (2007) Das englische Haus (English). V.1. London: Frances Lincoln, p. 83. ii) Ancanthus wallpaper design. Muthesius, H. (2007) Das englische Haus (English). V.1. London: Frances Lincoln, p. 103. iii) Sussex Rush seated chair. The William Morris Gallery. iv) A page from Kelmscott Chaucer. Clifton-Taylor, A. (1975) Spirit of the Age: Eight Centuries of British Architecture. London: BBC Books, p. 192. Fig. 6. The Red House, Upton, Bexlyhealth, Phillip Webb, 1859. Hollamby, E. (1991) Red House: Philip Webb. London: Architecture Design and Technology Press, p. 20. Fig. 7. Hans Poelzig and the Breslau School of Art and Applied Arts design for a single-family house at the Breslau Applied Arts Association Exhibition, 1904-Demolished. Maciuika, J.V. (2005) Before the Bauhaus: architecture, politics, and the German state, 1890-1919. New York: Cambridge University Press, pg. 134. Fig. 8. View of hall and dining room, Hans Poelzig and the Breslau School of Art and Applied Arts design for a singlefamily house at the Breslau Applied Arts Association Exhibition, 1904-Demolished. Maciuika, J.V. (2005) Before the Bauhaus: architecture, politics, and the German state, 1890-1919. New York: Cambridge University Press, pg. 7. Fig. 9. Fagus Shoe-Last Factory, Alfeld an der Leine, Walter Gropius and Adolf Meyer, 1911. https://www.flickr.com/photos/23369064@N00/1039935067/. Accessed 15th April 2014. Fig. 10. Model Factory, Deutscher Werkbund Exhibition, Cologne, Walter Gropius and Adolf Meyer, 1914-demolished. Maciuika, J.V. (2005) Before the Bauhaus: architecture, politics, and the German state, 1890-1919. New York: Cambridge University Press, pg. 268. Fig. 11. Programme of the Staatliche Bauhaus in Weimar, Walter Gropius, 1919. Klotz, H. (1989) 20th century architecture. New York: Rizzoli, pp. 50-51. Fig. 12. Cathedral for the Programme of the Staatliche Bauhaus in Weimar, Lyonel Feininger, 1919. Ince, C., Yee, L., Desorgues J. (2012) Bauhaus: art as life. London: Koenig Books, p. 14. Fig. 13. Stone-carving workshop, 1923. With reliefs by Oskar Schlemmer and sculpture by Otto Werner. Ince, C., Yee, L., Desorgues J. (2012) Bauhaus: art as life. London: Koenig Books, p. 41. 45


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Fig. 14. Printing workshop, 1923. Ince, C., Yee, L., Desorgues J. (2012) Bauhaus: art as life. London: Koenig Books, p. 56. Fig. 15. Portrait of Johannes Itten wearing his self-designed ‘Bauhaus robes’, c.1921. Ince, C., Yee, L., Desorgues J. (2012) Bauhaus: art as life. London: Koenig Books, p. 29. Fig. 16. Spiral Tower, Vorkurs exercise, Nikolai Wassilieff, c.1921, reproduction 2009, Bauhaus-Museum Weimar. Authors own photograph, 6th March 2014. Fig. 17. Schematic diagram of the Bauhaus curriculum (English Translation), original 1922. https://www.flickr.com/photos/ad_symphoniam/4030762763/. Accessed 15th April 2014. Fig. 18. International Architecture Exhibition, 1922, displayed at the Bauhaus Exhibition, Weimar, 1923. Winkler, H. (2006) Bauhaus-Alben 4. Weimar: Verlag der Bauhaus-Universität, pp.40-41. Fig. 19. Wall mural of the staircase of the former Arts and Crafts Building, Weimar, Oskar Schlemmer, 1923, restored 1978/79. Authors own photograph, 3rd March 2014. Fig. 20. Haus am Horn, Weimar, Georg Muche, 1923. Authors own photograph, 4th March 2014. Fig. 21. Kitchen pottery, Theodor Bogler, 1923. Winkler, H. (2006) Bauhaus-Alben 2. Weimar: Verlag der BauhausUniversität, pp.134-135. Fig. 22. Children’s Room, Haus am Horn, 1923. Furniture: Alma Buscher and Erich Brendel. Winkler, H. (2006) BauhausAlben 4. Weimar: Verlag der Bauhaus-Universität, pp.120-121. Fig. 23. Balance Study, Corona Krause, Vorlehre, 1923. Ince, C., Yee, L., Desorgues J. (2012) Bauhaus: art as life. London: Koenig Books, p. 74. Fig. 24. ‘Glass House’ studio, Albert Brendal. Today Bauhaus.Atelier building. Authors own photograph, 4 th March 2014. Fig. 25. Costume from ‘New Objectivity Party’, 1925. Ince, C., Yee, L., Desorgues J. (2012) Bauhaus: art as life. London: Koenig Books, p. 74. Fig. 26. Thuringian Central State Archives Weimar, 1873-1878. http://m.klassikstiftung.de/uploads/tx_lombpointofinterest/Hauptstaatsarchiv_Marstallstrasse.JPG. Accessed 15th April 2014. Fig. 27. Bauhaus Archive Museum of Design, Berlin. Originally developed by Walter Gropius and TAC (The Architects’ Collaborative) 1964, modified and built by Alexander Cvijanovic and Hans Bandel, 1976-1979. Authors own photograph, 1st March 2014. Fig. 28. Bauhaus-Museum, Theaterplatz, Weimar. Former Carriage House, 1823. Authors own photograph, 5th March 2014. Fig. 29. Tower of Fire, Johannes Itten, 1921, Reproduction, 2009. Bauhaus-Museum, Theaterplatz, Weimar. Authors own photograph, 5th March 2014.

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Fig. 30. A selection of toys and puppets, Julia Feininger, Alma Buscher and Paul Klee. Bauhaus-Museum, Theaterplatz, Weimar. Authors own photograph, 3rd March 2014. Fig. 31. Exhibition Leaflet, Education and Society. Progressive Education in the state of Thuringia 1920-1933. Thuringian Central State Archives Weimar. Authors own copy. Exhibition attended 5th March 2014. Fig. 32. Puzzles, and jigsaws, Education and Society. Progressive Education in the state of Thuringia 1920-1933. Thuringian Central State Archives Weimar. Authors own photograph, 5th March 2014. Fig. 33. i) ARCHITEKTROMMelwirbel, Bachelor-EinführungskursI, 2013. Photograph by Tobias Adam, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. http://www.uni-weimar.de/en/architecture/news/photo-gallery/architektrommelwirbel/. Accessed 9th April 2014. ii) ARCHITEKTROMMelwirbel, Bachelor-EinführungskursI, 2013. Photograph by Tobias Adam, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. http://www.uni-weimar.de/en/architecture/news/photo-gallery/architektrommelwirbel/. Accessed 9th April 2014. ii) ARCHITEKTROMMelwirbel, Bachelor-EinführungskursI, 2013. Photograph by Tobias Adam, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. http://www.uni-weimar.de/en/architecture/news/photo-gallery/architektrommelwirbel/. Accessed 9th April 2014. Fig. 34. Preparing in the workshop for the ARCHITEKTROMMelwirbel, Bachelor-EinführungskursI, 2013. Photograph by Lena Zimmermann, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. http://www.uni-weimar.de/de/universitaet/aktuell/was-passierteigentlich/. Accessed 9th April 2014. Fig. 35. The Triadic Ballet, Figurines in the Revue ‘Wiedner Metropol’, Oskar Schlemmer, 1926. Ince, C., Yee, L., Desorgues J. (2012) Bauhaus: art as life. London: Koenig Books, p. 93. Fig. 36. Bachelor of Architecture student models from model-making workshop, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. Authors own photograph, 3rd March 2014. Fig. 37. Printing workshop, Faculty of Art and Design, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. http://www.uni-weimar.de/en/art-anddesign/structure/workshops-and-equipment/printing/gallery-of-the-printing-workshop/. Accessed 9th April 2014. Fig. 38. i) Experimental straw panel structure, Addid Abeba, 2012. http://www.uni-weimar.de/en/architecture/news/photogallery/welcome-to-africa/. Accessed 15th April 2014. ii) Students experiment with building structures, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. 2012. http://www.uniweimar.de/en/architecture/news/photo-gallery/welcome-to-africa/. Accessed 15th April 2014. Fig. 39. External view of green:house wood concrete experimental building, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, 2010. Authors own photograph, 3rd March 2014. Fig. 40. Display on green technology in the green:house wood concrete experimental building, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, 2010. Authors own photograph, 3rd March 2014. Fig. 41. Integrated hook/power outlets in the green:house wood concrete experimental building, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, 2010. http://architecture.mapolismagazin.com/chair-design-and-residential-building-greenhouse-weimar. Accessed 25th March 2014. 47


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Appendix A Illustrated Timeline of the Bauhaus

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Appendix B Programm Staatlichen Bauhauses in Weimar (Programme of the Staatliche Bauhaus in Weimar) The ultimate aim of all visual arts is the complete building! To embellish buildings was once the noblest function of the fine arts; they were the indispensable components of great architecture. Today the arts exist in isolation, from which they can be rescued only through the conscious, cooperative effort of all craftsmen. Architects, painters, and sculptors must recognize anew and learn to grasp the composite character of a building both as an entity and in its separate parts. Only then will their work be imbued with the architectonic spirit which it has lost as “salon art.” The old schools of art were unable to produce this unity; how could they, since art cannot be taught. They must be merged once more with the workshop. The mere drawing and painting world of the pattern designer and the applied artist must become a world that builds again. When young people who take a joy in artistic creation once more begin their life's work by learning a trade, then the unproductive “artist” will no longer be condemned to deficient artistry, for their skill will now be preserved for the crafts, in which they will be able to achieve excellence. Architects, sculptors, painters, we all must return to the crafts! For art is not a “profession.” There is no essential difference between the artist and the craftsman. The artist is an exalted craftsman. In rare moments of inspiration, transcending the consciousness of his will, the grace of heaven may cause his work to blossom into art. But proficiency in a craft is essential to every artist. Therein lies the prime source of creative imagination. Let us then create a new guild of craftsmen without the class distinctions that raise an arrogant barrier between craftsman and artist! Together let us desire, conceive, and create the new structure of the future, which will embrace architecture and sculpture and painting in one unity and which will one day rise toward heaven from the hands of a million workers like the crystal symbol of a new faith. Walter Gropius Programme of the Staatliche Bauhaus In Weimar The Staatliche Bauhaus resulted from the merger of the former Grand-Ducal Saxon Academy of Art with the former GrandDucal Saxon School of Arts and Crafts in conjunction with a newly affiliated department of architecture. Aims of the Bauhaus The Bauhaus strives to bring together all creative effort into one whole, to reunify all the disciplines of practical art - sculpture, painting, handicrafts, and the crafts - as inseparable components of a new architecture. The ultimate, if distant, aim of the Bauhaus is the unified work of art - the great structure - in which there is no distinction between monumental and decorative art. The Bauhaus wants to educate architects, painters, and sculptors of all levels, according to their capabilities, to become competent craftsmen or independent creative artists and to form a working community of leading and future artist51


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craftsmen. These men, of kindred spirit, will know how to design buildings harmoniously in their entirety-structure, finishing, ornamentation, and furnishing. Principles of the Bauhaus Art rises above all methods; in itself it cannot be taught, but the crafts certainly can be. Architects, painters, and sculptors are craftsmen in the true sense of the word; hence, a thorough training in the crafts, acquired in workshops and in experimental and practical sites, is required of all students as the indispensable basis for all artistic production. Our own workshops are to be gradually built up, and apprenticeship agreements with outside workshops will be concluded. 

The school is the servant of the workshop, and will one day be absorbed in it.

Therefore there will be no teachers or pupils in the Bauhaus but masters, journeymen, and apprentices.

The manner of teaching arises from the character of the workshop: Organic forms developed from manual skills.

Avoidance of all rigidity; priority of creativity; freedom of individuality, but strict study discipline.

Master and journeyman examinations, according to the Guild Statutes, held before the Council of Masters of the Bauhaus or before outside masters.

Collaboration by the students in the work of the masters.

Securing of commissions, also for students.

Mutual planning of extensive, Utopian structural designs - public buildings and buildings for worship - aimed at the future. Collaboration of all masters and students - architects, painters, sculptors - on these designs with the object of gradually achieving a harmony of all the component elements and parts that make up architecture.

Constant contact with the leaders of the crafts and industries of the country. Contact with public life, with the people, through exhibitions and other activities.

New research into the nature of the exhibitions, to solve the problem of displaying visual work and sculpture within the framework of architecture.

Encouragement of friendly relations between masters and students outside of work; therefore plays, lectures, poetry, music, costume parties. Establishment of a cheerful ceremonial at these gatherings.

Range of Instruction Instruction at the Bauhaus includes all practical and scientific areas of creative work. A. Architecture, B. Painting, C. Sculpture including all branches of the crafts. Students are trained in a craft (1) as well as in drawing and painting (2) and science and theory (3). 52


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1. Craft training-either in our own, gradually enlarging workshops or in outside workshops to which the student is bound by apprenticeship agreement-includes: a) sculptors, stonemasons, stucco workers, woodcarvers, ceramic workers, plaster casters, b) blacksmiths, locksmiths, founders, metal turners, c) cabinetmakers, d) painter-and-decorators, glass painters, mosaic workers, enamelers, e) etchers. wood engravers, lithographers, art printers, enchasers, f) weavers. Craft training forms the basis of all teaching at the Bauhaus. Every student must learn a craft.

2. Training in drawing and painting includes: a) free-hand sketching from memory and imagination, b) drawing and painting of heads, live models. and animals, c) drawing and painting of landscapes, figures, plants, and still lives, d) composition, e) execution of murals, panel pictures, and religious shrines, f) design of ornaments, g) lettering, h) construction and projection drawing, i) design of exteriors, gardens, and interiors, j) design of furniture and practical articles. 3. Training in science and theory includes: a) art history-not presented in the sense of a history of styles, but rather to further active understanding of historical working methods and techniques, b) science of materials, c) anatomy-from the living model, d) physical and chemical theory of color, e) rational painting methods, f) basic concepts of bookkeeping, contract negotiations, personnel, g) individual lectures on subjects of general interest in all areas of art and science. Divisions of Instruction The training is divided into three courses of instruction: I. course for apprentices, 53


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II. course for journeymen, III. course for junior masters. The instruction of the individual is left to the discretion of each master within the framework of the general program and the work schedule, which is revised every semester. In order to give the students as versatile and comprehensive a technical and artistic training as possible, the work schedule will be so arranged that every architect, painter, and sculptorto-be is able to participate in part of the other courses. Admission Any person of good repute, without regard to age or sex, whose previous education is deemed adequate by the Council of Masters, will be admitted, as far as space permits. The tuition fee is 180 marks per year (It will gradually disappear entirely with increasing earnings of the Bauhaus). A nonrecurring admission fee of 20 marks is also to be paid. Foreign students pay double fees. Address inquiries to the Secretariat of the Staatliche Bauhaus in Weimar. April 1919. The administration of the Staatliche Bauhaus in Weimar: Walter Gropius.

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Appendix C Notes from Meeting with Michael Siebenbrodt - Curator of the Bauhaus-Museum Weimar, 3rd March 2014 “For me the Bauhaus has always been a laboratory of imagination” Michael identified three key principles he associated with the pedagogical approach at the school. The Creativity of children was seen as a key element of the philosophy of the Bauhaus. There was the need to address education even from an early age. By doing this children are able to develop with an understanding of thinking for themselves. Able to consider elements of their own education as being shaped by their own choices and personal ideas. Exhibited in the Bauhaus museum in Weimar are a number of examples from Lyonel Feininger and his wife. Itten and his training as a teacher in Switzerland. Success of the Arts and Crafts revival, first in England and then in Germany. Many applied arts schools were teaching and reviving methods aligned the machine. These schools were seen within the middle sector of education, i.e. below higher education establishments such as academies. These items and objects were now considered of importance for the higher education. Gropius recognised the potential of working with the applied arts, as had others in Pre-WWI Germany and combining with the fine arts (broaden this with other research) Pluralistic way of working was seen as imperative and unique from many other schools of art. Creation of your own style through experimentation and the teaching of techniques and methods to apply your ideas into practical outcomes. Colour and form theory of teachers in the preliminary course (see other notes). Giving students a new personality of expression, invention, creating the new more modern humans for the new world, a new way of life. Michael remarked that “this freer approach allowed students to develop a new personality of expression and invention”. The chance to study and work at the school gave new possibilities for both staff and students. Students able to express their creativity and potential in a melting pot of stimulating ideas, debates, theories etc. Staff were able to realise their own artistic and creative potential. By considering the broader world of culture that went beyond Europe and the west - almost 30% of the students and 50% of staff in 1919-20 were from outside of Germany - there was the opportunity to take influence from new possibilities that had not been seen before. This had the result of more modern design creativity as students and masters were learning and collaborating and sharing knowledge and ideas. Realisation of new ways of thinking and expressing work. Collaboration became the key to solving design issues. Together the possibilities allowed them to reach far beyond what they could achieve alone. Structure of Education – Workshops. Always taught in pairs (at the beginning anyway) 1. Master of form – Theory and new ideas (new artists), 2. Master of craft – more traditional and practical approach Circle of Friends – 1924. Meeting of the Avant-Garde thinkers of the time. Einstein, Gropius and others. 55


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Appendix D Interview with Gabriela Oroz – Marketing Manager for the Deans Office of the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism Interview conducted by author Matthew Shanley (MS) on Wednesday 5th March 2014 in the office of Gabriela Oroz (GO) at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. MS: What I am looking to do with the interview is to find out more about the school from yourself. I am looking to compare the original Bauhaus with the current school, and see whether the history and the legacy of the school is still present or is still important today. It does seem that this is the case from my short time here. GO: You can see some results also in the house [main School buildings] and simply walking around the department. MS: I walked around the building and looked at the students work displayed. You can tell there is a similar approach and expression by the students. GO: One very important fact is that they experiment, still today within the architecture. So the term experiment and working with the experiment up to the scale 1:1 is important. They begin with models and development but they have many projects where things are realised in the scale 1:1. In the Summaery, which is once a year in July. And all the students work to finish their work till the Summaery and on the campus you have pavilions, you have really buildings at the scale 1:1 that work with experimental approaches. For example last year, right now we have a 3 year cooperation with Addis Addiba, and the University of Sudan. And for 3 years they work with material based on straw as straw is a material that is abandoned in Ethiopia so they are trying to find ways to produce houses with easy methods. MS: And with other locally sourced materials also? GO: Yes, locally sourced materials that they can get access to. And we had last summer… (GO shows me pictures from inside of the catalogue-annual year book) You have here for example building in Africa section. You can see this house that was built by student groups based on straw bales. They proofed it, they elaborated it and they see if it works. MS: I went to the building on campus, the green:house, which I looked around and I read the presentation of the materials which they used, which was very interesting. GO: The green:house is one of the most important buildings because it is permanent in Weimar all of these examples (from catalogue) realised in Africa are permanent but here in Weimar otherwise we have just the temporary pavilions etc MS: And so the Green House it was Students, and Professors that were involved? GO: Yes students made everything themselves. They worked with builders and construction workers and others in industry. And now it is a place for one professor of design and building construction. And the Ibau – international Baustelum (Building 56


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exhibition) has a seat there. This is also an experimental example….. So this has links to people who are outside the university. Is this the case at your university in Manchester? MS: We do collaborate in some cases but not quite as much. This is definitely something in the UK we could benefit from. GO: It is important that the faculty makes and maintains these connections. Also student projects very frequently have these connections, for example they have cooperation’s with steel manufactures (enterprise) mostly Thuringian, but also from other parts of Germany. MS: This is interesting to compare with what was happening when the school opened in 1919 as there was a lot of outside practitioners, workshops and business’ that the staff and students collaborated with – textiles, ceramics etc GO: Probably for you – just occurs now that the architect of the faculty of design has strong links to outside practice. MS: What do you think makes the Bauhaus-Universität stand out from other universities in terms of the programme of study from other universities in Germany? GO: The University is intrinsically linked with corporations and collaborators. We have architecture on one hand and urbanism on the other hand. The faculty recently changed its named to the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism to reflect the interaction between these departments. I think this is really a German wide specific element, an important thing. Also the heritage, because of the Bauhaus being a well-known name all around the world, this enables and attracts people to the school. This is of course important for German students, but more so for the international students. MS: How important do you believe the legacy of the Bauhaus is to new students’ choice to study at the school? GO: This is of course important for German students, but more so for the international students. We have 25-30% in Architecture international students. Many from Asia, some from Latin America and the European Union. For the German students it might be more the structure of the course; the interaction between Architecture and Urbanism. There are also international elements to a number of the study programmes which attracts international students. MS: What input do individual programme leaders/professors have to the structure of the curriculum? GO: We have a stable study programme made up of BA, MA, postgrad. There are 22 professors, 6 study programmes. The dean has study regulations, but the head of departments/study programmes have the most amount of input. They meet regularly to discuss the structure and content of the programmes. For example one study programme media architecture is in cooperation with the media school. Within this there are 2 international degrees. Some are taught in German and a few are also taught in English. MS: To what extent do you think that the tradition of design education of the Bauhaus is visible within the school today?

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Tracing Bauhaus Pedagogy

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GO: Yes I believe they do. We don’t of course have the Vorkurs as they did, but we do for example have the Bachelors students who at the beginning of the year have a 2 week dive into the study programme. (GO shows me some photos of the BA students from this 2 weeks) They have an introductory course which includes drawing, modelling, and performance. They take one theme and subject which they explore. Within these 2 weeks they create, with the Bauhaus approach, costumes and a much more. It’s very similar to the parties and celebrations, dances and theatre performances. It has a long tradition in the current school. The dean, Prof. Bernd Rudolf is director of the course and his opinion is that an architecture student needs to be able to perform as well, because although you may not be shy you need to be able to express yourself. Expression is the key element. New students are able to get to know each other, many of whom have come from all over the world and are new to Weimar. The course mixes them together into groups and gives them a specific task to do together. For 2 weeks they create and explore, which always culminates in a performance in the end. (see website images) Some of these initial explorations lead into other projects for the students. MS: How much are students taught about the history of the Bauhaus as part of their degree? Do you believe they could be taught more on the subject? GO: Yes they have in the curriculum architectural history which includes some teaching about the history of the Bauhaus. The chair of architectural history. They are taught a general module on History of Architecture and Building. A lot of the German students are already aware of the history of the Bauhaus before they arrive. Something they are taught about from a young age. There is an initiative in corroboration with the Architektenkammer Thüringen (Chamber of Architects of Thuringia) dedicated to the middle level of schools. Many people believe that children don’t know enough about the architectural environment, Bundesarchitektenkammer (BAK) and some other chambers also have a number of initiatives. Plan to reach these students through reform, with a stronger orientation towards architecture. MS: What importance do the workshops at the school today have within the programme of study? GO: The study programmes are very project orientated. Other universities have a different take, but we focus the students around these projects. This involves them using the workshops and studios a lot for their work. Projects are choosen at the beginning of each semester 1 or 2 projects. For example next semester there is project about Erfurt and its infrastructure. So really very important collaborators that come to the university to ask to work with students in a specific field of interest. This can be small projects, like improving the courtyard of a school, up to really large scale cooperation projects with the DB. Also many projects are refereed to competitions, because it is important to get the students used to competitions from an early stage. MS: How influential do you believe the theoretical principles defined by educators of the original Staatliches Bauhaus are to current structure of the curriculum? 58


Tracing Bauhaus Pedagogy

Matthew Shanley

GO: I believe it is. Although I don’t know for sure if this importance is reflected in the study programme explicitly. The other day we have a discussion in the faculty council meeting about theoretical vs practical study orientation, and one of the Erasmus coordinators, speaking with regard to the exchange programme they have with the Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center, Virginia Tech, commented that the American students are more used to the working theoretically and taking more scientific approach. Here in the curriculum up till now the theoretical side of things have not been as important, there has been more practical approach. Theoretical principles are more important for the Urbanism department. MS: How much outside influence to the school do organisations, such as the Bundesarchitektenkammer (BAK) and the Bund Deutscher Architekten (BDA), have on the curriculum of study? GO: You have to fulfil certain requirements, but normally if you have a bachelor you are not able to enter into this chamber (Kammer). Always a member of the chamber where you live, 16 in Germany. If you have a masters and two years of professional experience then you can enter the chamber. Independently of what you covered in your studies, you have optional modules and obligatory ones also. If there has been an influence then this was already considered some time ago. Today there is discussions with the International Organisation of Architects – they up to now don’t accept the mobility semester in an architecture office, only if this is from abroad as part of a University study. In the EU is no problem, but if you go abroad then this can be a problem. You also need to have completed 10 full study semesters within the university. This is a recent development, but is not yet fully fixed. MS: What traces of the legacy of the Bauhaus do you believe are visible today within the school and the wider university? GO: I think it is the experimentally orientated study approach, which was important in the 1920’s to not only plan, but also to realise. The practical output is very important. By experimenting and testing you are able to realise. Recently the Bauhaus Institute for Experimental Architecture has been founded – this institute also is in the legacy of the experimental Bauhaus approach. MS: And finally, what does the philosophy of the Bauhaus mean to you today? GO: It’s commitment to be open-minded. The name of the school is a commitment, and you have to be open to ideas. You need to be like a sponge. To make these ideas work in your brain you have to really consider them as part of your day-to-day approach. It’s a very stimulating environment to work in.

59


Tracing Bauhaus Pedagogy

Matthew Shanley

Appendix E Questionnaire for the faculty at the Bauhaus-Universit채t Weimar. Example completed by Gabriela Oroz.

60


bouhous-un iversi tot

introduction

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i

mor

t?:

rt- r+"oo

uf otft+

The fundamental intention of this questionnaire is to gather first hand evidence of the tradition of design education at the Bauhaus-Universitdt Weimar. The questions are structured to establish

faculty opinions, with specific reference to the educational pr0gramme and curriculum of the arch itectu re department.

The research will be used as part of a Masters of Architecture (MArch) dissertation that seeks to take a critical approach to investigating whether the educational philosophy of the Staatliches Bauhaus Weimar is traceable within the university today, and in what way this is manifested.

Vour thoughts on the universitg When did you begin your career at the university?

What do you think makes the Bauhaus-Universitat stand out from other universities in terms of the programme of study from other universities in Germany?

How important do you believe the legacy of the Bauhaus is to new students' choice to study at the school?


current progromm@s oF studg What input do individual programme leaders/professors have to the structure of the curriculum?

uli^u. + To what extent do you think that the tradition of design education of the Bauhaus is visible within the

school today?

How much are students taught about the history of the Bauhaus as part of their degree? Do you believe they could be taught more on the subject?

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Do you believe that current students work is influenced by their knowledge of the practice of the students and educators of the Staatliches Bauhaus? In what way?


What importance do the workshops at the school today have within your programme of study?

How influential do you believe the theoretical principles defined by educators of the original Staatliches Bauhaus are to current structure of the curriculum?

0,,. (,, . s ( r

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How much outside influence to the school do organisations, such as the Bundesarchitektenkammer (BAK) and the Bund Deutscher Architekten (BDA), have on the curriculum of study?


the bouhous todog What traces of the legacy of the Bauhaus do you believe are visible today within the school and the wider university?

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And finally, what does the philosophy of the Bauhaus mean to you today?

Any other comments? lf you have any other comments or opinions regarding the questionnaire, please add them below.

Thonk gou tor toking Vour Eime Eo complete Ehis questionnoiro. Your opinions or@ axEramelg voluoble to the resoorch oF Ehe dissertoLion.


Tracing Bauhaus Pedagogy

Matthew Shanley

Appendix F Questionnaire for students at the Bauhaus-Universit채t Weimar. Example completed by Nora Gersie

65


bauhaus-universit채t weimar QUESTIONNAIRE FOR STUDENTS name: Nora Gersie

introduction The fundamental intention of this questionnaire is to gather first hand evidence of the tradition of design education at the Bauhaus-Universit채t Weimar. The questions are structured to establish individual student opinions, with specific reference to the educational programme and curriculum of the course. The research will be used as part of a Masters of Architecture (MArch) dissertation that seeks to take a critical approach to investigating whether the educational philosophy of the Staatliches Bauhaus Weimar is traceable within the university today, and in what way this is manifested.

your education at the university Which programme of study are you currently undertaking at the Bauhaus-Universit채t Weimar? Bachelor of science subject of "Urbanistik"

When did you begin your studies at the university? Start: october 2012

What do you believe was the primary reason in your choice to study here? Interest in architecture and environment as well as a nice city with a lot of cultural background

In comparison with other possible choices of university for your education, what stood out about the school and the programme in Weimar? I only applied in Weimar for this kind of studies (I applied for different subjects in different cities, eg: Berlin, education).

Weimar stood out because it has a nice size, I don't need a car, can reach everything by walking and I was accepted doing the "aptitude test procedure" and so I thought that I should take that chance


your education at the university (continued) To what degree did the prestigious history of the school have on your decision to study here? Not too much, because before going there I didn't really know a lot about the background.

your current programme of study Why did you choose your current programme of study? interest in architecture and environment.

How would you say that the tradition of design education of the Bauhaus is a part of your programme of study? Often the most of the students aren't aware, but as soon as I see other students from

universities where the subjects is much more thoretical and technical I see the difference. As well the design and art has a lot of influence on the everyday life of students, university and the city

(e.g.: creativity, different variety of shops, bars, not the typical "everyday people" one can meet)

To what extent are you taught about the history of the Bauhaus as part of your degree? Do you believe you could be taught more on the subject? Yes, I could be taught more in comparison to the city planing and architecture.

Sometimes it is mentioned, but not especially focused on, would like to get to know more but I think it is my own decision and I have to inform myself if I am interested.

No


Do you think your work is influenced by your knowledge of the practice of students and educators of the Staatliches Bauhaus? In what way? No

What importance do the workshops at the school today have within your programme of study? The projects we have each semester are the most important practical part of my studies

How influential do you believe the theoretical principles defined by educators of the original Staatliches Bauhaus are to current structure of the curriculum? I have the feeling as if the university likes to play with the names of the original educators but in

reality they don't treat any of their ideas or integrate these to our education. I think it's as well depending on the subject and the professors and their interests.


the bauhaus today How would you say that the tradition of design education of the Bauhaus is a part of your programme of study? Often the most of the students aren't aware, but as soon as I see other students from

universities where the subjects is much more thoretical and technical I see the difference. As well the design and art has a lot of influence on the everyday life of students, university and the city

(e.g.: creativity, different variety of shops, bars, not the typical "everyday people" one can meet)

And finally, what does the philosophy of the Bauhaus mean to you today? It was something special at it's time, but sadly this ambitious and motivated way of doing something

new or unknown dosn't have any influence on my way to do my work at university

Any other comments? If you have any other comments or opinions regarding the questionnaire, please add them below. I would like to know what you are doing with the results of this questionnaire. And I would like to know about the results of your dissertation. Thank you and good luck

Thank you for taking your time to complete this questionnaire. Your opinions are extremely valuable to the research of the dissertation.


Tracing Bauhaus Pedagogy

Matthew Shanley

Appendix G: Additional photographs from the research trip to Weimar

Art Nouveau staircase and Auguste Rodin’s Eva (1888), former Academy of Fine Art, Henry Van de Velde, built 1904-1911.

Gambrel roof (Gable end and Mansard) of the former School of Arts and Craft, Weimar, Henry Van de Velde, built 1905-1906.

Mural painting, Quadrat, in the former Academy of Fine Art, Herbert Bayer, 1923.

Cradle, using the circle, the square and the triangle in primary colours, Peter Keler, 1922, Bauhaus-Museum Weimar.

Denkmal der Märzgefallenen (Monument to the March Dead), Walter Gropius 1922, reconstructed 1946.

Main Exhibit space in the Bauhaus-Museum Weimar. 70

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Tracing Bauhaus Pedagogy  

A critical approach to tracing the tradition of design education of the Staatliches Bauhaus Weimar within the modern manifestation of the sc...

Tracing Bauhaus Pedagogy  

A critical approach to tracing the tradition of design education of the Staatliches Bauhaus Weimar within the modern manifestation of the sc...

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