The Bauhaus: A Conceptual Model
"The Bauhaus, once a reality, today is a fairy tale", wrote Tomás Maldonado in 1970. Today, more than a hundred years after its foundation, the revolutionary School of art, architecture and design created by Walter Gropius in 1919 and closed by the Nazis in 1933 is a myth, celebrated by universities, books, exhibitions, movies, museums, websites and projects promoted by the European Union, such as the recent “New European Bauhaus”. Such a phenomenon stimulates multiple questions: what was the Bauhaus? What consequences did it have on the design culture of the 20th and 21st centuries? How has its legacy been transferred, filtered, enriched, criticized and distorted? What can it still teach us?
The aim of the course is to read the "long" history of the Bauhaus to understand its exceptional characters, the multidisciplinary contribution of its protagonists (Gropius, Hannes Meyer, Mies van der Rohe, Paul Klee, Kandinsky, Marcel Breuer, Josef and Anni Albers, Moholy -Nagy, Johannes Itten, Gunta Stölzl, Hilberseimer, Marianne Brandt, etc.) and the cultural consequences that this School caused during its short but intense life and beyond. The "diaspora" of the Bauhaus has in fact produced effects all over the world, from Japan to Africa, from the USA to India, which still continue; at the same time, the Bauhaus was also (in an often ambiguous way) the target of a strong critique against modernism. The Bauhaus, in this sense, was reality and utopia, scapegoat and founding myth, negative icon and conceptual model. So we too, through this course, will try to reflect ourselves in his legacy: not as a Gospel (as Reyner Banham defined it), but as an open work, with multiple meanings, in which each generation has found questions and answers.
The aim of the course is to read the history of the Bauhaus to understand its exceptional features, the multidisciplinary contribution of its protagonists (Gropius, Hannes Meyer, Mies van der Rohe, Paul Klee, Kandinsky, Marcel Breuer, Josef and Anni Albers, Moholy-Nagy, Johannes Itten, Gunta Stölzl, Hilberseimer, Marianne Brandt, etc.) and the cultural consequences that this School had during its short but intense life and beyond.
Ex-cathedra lectures + seminar
Written paper to be submitted during the exam session