The Bauhaus

It's All Design

1 April to 14 August 2016

The exhibition encompasses a multiplicity of rare, in some cases never-before-seen exhibits from the fields of design, architecture, art, film and photography. At the same time, it confronts the design of the Bauhaus with current debates and tendencies in design and with the works of contemporary designers, artists and architects. In this way, »The Bauhaus. Its all design« reveals the surprising present-day relevance of a legendary cultural institution. Bauhaus artists and designers featured in the exhibition include Marianne Brandt, Marcel Breuer, Lyonel Feininger, Walter Gropius, Wassily Kandinsky and many more. Contemporary participants include the works of Olaf Nicolai, Adrian Sauer, Enzo Mari, Lord Norman Foster, Opendesk, Konstantin Grcic, Hella Jongerius, Alberto Meda and Jerszy Seymour.  

The mission of the »Staatliches Bauhaus«, founded by Walter Gropius in Weimar in 1919, was to educate a new type of designer. Students at the Bauhaus were to acquire artisanal and artistic foundations as well as knowledge of the human psyche, the process of perception, ergonomics and technology.  

Yet the concept of design at the Bauhaus also gave designers a comprehensive creative mandate: they were not to merely fabricate objects of daily use, but should take an active role in the transformation of society. With this approach, the Bauhaus sketched out an all-encompassing understanding of design, one that today finds itself embraced with new vigour. Viewed from this present-day perspective, the exhibition regards the Bauhaus as a complex, multi-dimensional «laboratory of modernism» with close links to current design tendencies.  

The exhibition is divided into four thematic groups, beginning with a look at the historical and social context of the Bauhaus. A second section examines iconic but also lesser-known design objects from the Bauhaus, as well as the history of their origins at the junction of art, craft, technology and industry.

A further area of the exhibition investigates the communication of the Bauhaus, from typography and exhibitions to experimental film art and photography as well as the – often systematically planned – creation of myths and clichés that continue to surround the Bauhaus to the present day. The last section considers the theme of space and demonstrates how many different designers were involved in formulating the understanding of design at the Bauhaus – including stage artists, architects with their deliberations on minimum dwellings and artists who developed colour theories and spatial models. In this regard, the Bauhaus reveals itself as likely to be the first artistic »total experiment« of the modernist period, exploring the dissemination of design in all areas of life.

The current perspective on the Bauhaus is achieved by confronting historical exhibits from the Bauhaus era with works by contemporary designers throughout the exhibition. These contemporary contributions highlight the broad spectrum of influence that the Bauhaus continues to exert. The juxtaposition of historical and current exhibits yields a new, more differentiated picture of design at the Bauhaus. It does away with the cliché that so-called Bauhaus design was primarily minimalistic, cool and geometric, showing the great interest of Bauhaus designers in social interconnections, experiments and processes. With its open concept of design, the Bauhaus has played a decisive role in the omnipresence of design today. The exhibition reveals surprising parallels between many current debates in design and those that played a central role at the Bauhaus – such as the discussions about the possibilities of new production methods and materials, as well as the role of the designer in society or the advantages of interdisciplinary collaboration. This is also reflected in the exhibition’s subtitle, which invites visitors and readers to share their own views on this topic.

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Admission tickets

Online ticket with a public transport ticket

€10 / €6.50 (concessions), Family ticket €16

School groups enjoy free admission to the exhibition on Fridays (booking necessary)
Happy-Hour-Ticket: 6 € (available two hours before the museum closes; individual visitors only, all exhibitions.) Combined ticket for all exhibitions available. More information

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    Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland

    Museumsmeile Bonn
    Friedrich-Ebert-Allee 4
    53113 Bonn
    T +49 228 9171–200

    Opening hours

    Mondays closed
    Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10 a.m.–9 p.m.
    Thursdays–Sundays, 10 a.m.–7 p.m.
    (including public holidays even those which fall on Mondays)

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