bauhaus imaginista

The three-year international exhibition and events project researched the global networks of the Bauhaus in the context of the geopolitical changes of the 20th century. Initiated by the Bauhaus Kooperation Berlin Dessau Weimar, the Goethe-Institut and the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW), ‘bauhaus imaginista’ traced in various locations and by way of concrete examples the location-specific debates and design policies that adopted, translated and transformed the concepts and practices of the Bauhaus and gave rise to new institutions and reform movements in other locations.


© Arieh Sharon digital archive
University of Ife in Ile-Ife, Nigeria; architects: Arieh Sharon and Eldar Sharon.


‘bauhaus imaginista’ left the national framework of the Bauhaus centenary celebration, seeing modernity as a cosmopolitan project that emerged through transcultural exchange of the sort that continues to have an impact today. Over four chapters, the exhibition discussed avant-garde art schools in India and Japan as parallel histories of modern educational reforms (‘Corresponding With’). It traced the study of pre-modern crafts at the Bauhaus and by Bauhaus students in North and Central American exile as well as their politicization in post-revolutionary Mexico, independent Morocco and Brazil (‘Learning From’). It showed not only adaptations of Bauhaus design approaches in China, Nigeria and the Soviet Union (‘Moving Away’), but also the innovative use of media at the Bauhaus, which impacts art and pop culture even today (‘Still Undead‘).

Following exhibitions, symposia and workshops in 2018 in Hangzhou, Kyoto and Tokyo, Saõ Paulo, Lagos, New Delhi, Rabat, New York and Moscow, in co-operation with the local Goethe Institutes and other partners, for the centenary all four chapters were brought together under one roof for the first time in Berlin’s Haus der Kulturen der Welt. From September 2019 to January 2020, the whole exhibition was presented at Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern.

Questions of transcultural modernity were also continued until 2020 with new exhibitions and research with Nottingham Contemporary and SALT Istanbul.

Lanched in 2018, the development of the project can be observed in the online journal, which offers a platform for artists and researchers around the world to exchange views and ideas.



Verlinkung auf externe Seite bauhaus imaginista

“bauhaus imaginista” is curated by Marion von Osten and Grant Watson in co-operation with a team of international researchers and artists. It is a collaboration between the Bauhaus Kooperation Berlin Dessau Weimar, the Goethe-Institut and the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW). The research project with its different exhibition stations is taking place for the centenary of the founding of the Bauhaus. It will be enhanced with international perspectives of the Goethe Institutes and tied together as part of 100 Years of Now in Berlin at Haus der Kulturen der Welt. bauhaus imaginista is made possible by funds from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media. The German Federal Cultural Foundation is supporting the exhibition in Berlin and the German Foreign Office the stations abroad. Media partners are 3sat and Deutschlandfunk Kultur.



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