Bauhaus and Functionalism Mini-symposium

The mini-symposium “Bauhaus and Functionalism” examines the reception and interpretation of the emergence of Functionalism in Czechoslovakia in the interwar period and connections with Bauhaus in Germany. The leading theorist of the modernist avant-garde Karel Teige and his teaching at the Bauhaus are ideal examples of networking between these countries. The question of the current reception of architects on how to handle the established legacy of modernism is discussed by the prominent German architect Volker Staab.

The program was complemented by the “Virtual Bauhaus” preview, an exhibition in virtual reality about the German School of Art and Design presented by the Goethe-Institut on the occasion of the centenary of the founding of Bauhaus.

The event took place as part of the Central European festival re:bauhaus – modern emancipation, education, exchange.

14. 06. 2019 in National Gallery Prague

Curator of the cycle: Helena Doudová

01 Simone Hain – "In the Gulf Stream of Poetry“. Karel Teige´s lasting impact on the Bauhaus.

In 1929 Karel Teige was fully entitled with the Public Relation management of the Dessau Bauhaus by Hannes Meyer. Following Erno Kallai who quit this job due to differences on the overall Function and educational role of the free arts in further Bauhaus Curriculum Teige was mainly expected to assist Meyer in this crucial question. This possibly is the explanation for him choosing contemporary literature, poesie and reclama as topic for his first and only documented lessons at the Bauhaus within one week End of January 1930. We have no proof at all that he ever tought his concept of scientific architecture under the term “stavba” here, but made a huge impact by exploring his position on “Basen” on the the ground of the “poesie of the five senses”. In Contrary to the common Idea, that the Meyer Bauhaus failed because of onesided A-Aesteticism and Anti-Art positions, with Teige came a richly unfold artistic approach of warmth, joy and leisure bounding together emancipational goals of Communism, Psychology and the Nietzschean World view. The lecture will underline this thesis by the work and opinions of those Bauhaus students Teiges emerging, lets say, surrealist Engagement influenced for a whole lifetime, as are mainly Selman Selmanagic, Kurt Kranz, Hajo Rose.

Simone Hain is architecture and planning historian, publicist and curator with a focus on modernity. She studied art history in Brno with Zdeněk Kudělka and Ivo Krska. In 1992 she founded the scientific collection on the architectural history of the GDR at the IRS Erkner and was a university professor for urban and architectural history in Berlin, Hamburg and Graz. At the Bauhaus University Weimar she held the Gropius Professorship 2004-06.

02 Robert Huber - Presentation of Virtual Bauhaus

On the occasion of the Bauhaus centennial, the Goethe-Institut presents Virtual Bauhaus, an exhibition on the German school of art and design using the medium of virtual reality. Taking place within the Dessau building, which was constructed in 1925–26 according to designs by the school’s first director, Walter Gropius, Virtual Bauhaus offers visitors a one-of-a-kind experience, transporting them into the architectural space of the building as it existed in the 1920s. Through this immersive environment, visitors explore the school’s central ideas through encounters with its architectural interior. One can construct a material study in the school’s preliminary course, inhabit the dormitories where students lived and worked, engage with an experimental performance in the stage workshop, and ascend the building’s iconic staircase, a remarkable architectural element that simultaneously played host to photo-ops, drawing courses, and the school’s infamous parties. The exhibition’s goal is not only to provide visitors worldwide a chance to experience the Bauhaus first-hand, but also to convey through a contemporary medium the lasting relevance of one of Germany’s most important cultural legacies. Accessible to a wide-ranging audience, including those with no prior experience using virtual-reality technology, the exhibition will be presented at Goethe-Instituts and their partners around the world in 2019.

Initiated through a partnership between the Goethe-Institut Boston and Cologne Game Lab at TH Köln, Virtual Bauhaus was designed and developed by a team of VR developers at TH Köln and independent Bauhaus experts in consultation with the Goethe-Institut Boston.

Art & Development Director
Ilja Burzev

Bauhaus Consultants
Jordan Troeller, Robert Huber

Interaction design
Eugene Krivoruchko

Development & Art
Volker Zerbe, Mitesh Amin

Sound design
Sascha Haus

English voice over
Sue Cox

Project Manager
Annette Klein

Björn Bartholdy (Cologne Game Lab, TH Köln) and Christoph Mücher (Goethe-Institut)

Robert K. Huber, born 1980, based in Berlin and Munich, founding partner and managing partner (CEO) of zukunftsgeraeusche GbR, director of bauhaus reuse Berlin. He studied in Munich, Berlin and Shanghai. Focus on transdisciplinary research and education, sustainable development, urban policy and Baukultur. Projects in experimental construction, reuse and circular society, Bauhaus and Modernism. Long-term cooperation in research and teaching with TU Berlin. Member of German Werkbund, German Press Association and Competence Center for Large Housing Estates.

03 Volker Staab, Staab Architekten - Building for the Bauhaus

What can contemporary architecture look like in the context of Bauhaus? In order not to fall into common clichés, the design for the extension of the Bauhaus Archive in Berlin refers to the programmatic peculiarity of Bauhaus, not to stylistic elements.The concept also deals with Walter Gropius’s building, which threatened to recede into the background. The topography of the site and the complicated access to the old building provided the key to preserving the uniqueness of the house and at the same time adding something distinctively new.

Volker Staab, born in Heidelberg in 1957, founded his office in Berlin in 1991 having completed his stu-dies at the ETH Zurich. The project-based cooperation with Alfred Nieuwenhuizen since 1996 turned into a full partnership in 2007. Volker Staab has been a member of the Akademie der Künste Berlin since 2005 and was awarded the Große BDA prize in 2011. After having been a visiting professor at the TU Berlin, the FH Münster and the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Stuttgart Volker Staab was ap-pointed a professorship at the Technical University Braunschweig in 2012.
The succes in the competition for the New Museum in Nürnberg Museum 1991 was the starting point for Staab Architekten, followed by more museums and public buildings for research and education, and administration. Most projects originate from successful competiton entries, ranging from new structures sensitively inserted in urban and rural environments to conversions and reinterpretations of listed buildings. All projects are characterised by the emphasis in consolidating the complex conditions for architecture into a simple, plausible design.

04 Bauhaus and functionalism today! - Volker Staab, Helena Doudova, interview and public discussion