“Everybody, except myself, have used, and admit to having used my photographs … and often also without mentioning my name”, lamented Lucia Moholy in 1956, “everyone – except myself – have derived advantages from using my photographs, either directly, or indirectly, in a number of ways, be it in cash or prestige, or both”.1

The photographs in question being of and from the Weimar and Dessau Bauhauses, photos which played, and continue to play, a not unimportant role in mediating Bauhaus to a wider audience. But which in doing such don’t necessarily help mediate Lucia Moholy to that wider audience. On the contrary, they tend to hold her in a relative anonymity.

With Lucia Moholy – The Image of Modernity the Bröhan Museum, Berlin, help explain how such a situation came to be, why Lucia Moholy’s lament is both justified and an important lesson, and also how it relates to popular understandings of Bauhaus.

But for all seek to redress some of the ongoing consequences of that relative anonymity…….

Lucia Moholy – The Image of Modernity, Bröhan Museum, Berlin

“For men who have to write a lot, and over prolonged periods, a desk at which they can work standing up is an indispensable piece of furniture for altering their posture and for maintaining their health”, opined Journal der Moden in May 1786. An age when, famously, only men wrote.

Yet advantageous and positive as standing to write was, prolonged standing could, as Journal der Moden notes, lead to tiredness.

A solution was however at hand for all who preferred working at a standing height desk over a prolonged period: a chair, “or a so called donkey … on which one sits as if on a saddle, and which must be just high enough that one can sit half-standing…”1

A half-standing sitting solution whose nickname can be readily derived from the proposed sitting position.

And a half-standing sitting solution that for all it is thoroughly familiar today, was novel, one could almost argue revolutionary, and even enlightened, in 1786…….

A chair "just high enough that one can sit half-standing" as depicted in Journal der Moden, May 1786. Assuming to scale the sitting height is approx 78 cm. (Image via <a href="https://zs.thulb.uni-jena.de/rsc/viewer/jportal_derivate_00107658/JLM_1786_H005_0020.tif" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Thüringer Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Jena</a> cc0)

For reasons too well understood to need mention here, the last couple of summers largely passed by without design school end of year exhibitions, or at least not in the manner and with the public accessibility we all once enjoyed and cherished. And as an inevitable consequence, our Campustour came to a grinding halt.

Summer 2022 sees the return of the universal end of term exhibition. But not of the Campustour.

Not that we’ve lost our passion for randomly traversing Europe, consuming improbable amounts of falafel and complaining, far from it, they remain three of our four favourite pastimes. Much more the frameworks and structures that enabled the Campustour need to be refired, need to be awoken from their pandemic enforced idleness; and that, as with the refiring, the re-awaking, of any blast furnace, takes time. Thus for 2022 we will, regrettably, only post from those student showcases we’re fortunate enough to meet in the course of our wider travels, starting in one of the more historically interesting locations in context of European architecture and design, Weimar, and the Bauhaus University’s Summaery 2022…….

Bauhaus Weimar: Circle, Square, Triangle ¿Hexagon? The Bauhaus University Weimar main building as viewed through Lass Los Nimm An by Ronja Kügow

“…one only finds warmth of life and sincerity where human nature is allowed to flourish”, opined the German designer Erich Dieckmann in 1931, “one shouldn’t forget that in our apartments. Let’s treat our contemporary homes to something humane. Something unelaborate, something provisional, with some leeway and space for things to grow as they wish over time.”1

With the exhibition Chairs: Dieckmann! The Forgotten Bauhäusler Erich Dieckmann, the Kunststiftung des Landes Sachsen-Anhalt and Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin extend an invitation to explore how Erich Dieckmann understood an unelaborate, humane, contemporary apartment full of leeway and space to grow…….

Chairs: By Dieckmann!, as seen at Chairs: Dieckmann! The Forgotten Bauhäusler Erich Dieckmann, Neuwerk 11, Halle

According to the Roman scholar Marcus Terentius Varro February 7th marks the first day of spring.

Which strikes us, as we’re sure it does you, as a little early; however, there was reason in Varro’s bold claim, for Varro further sets February 7th as the start of the year, and for all links February 7th with the rising of the west wind, a favourable, warming wind, whose arrival indicates the need to start cultivating your land and crops, specifically Varro advises, “these are things which should be done in the first period, from the rising of the west wind to the vernal equinox: All kinds of nurseries should be set out, orchards pruned, meadows manured, vines trenched and outcropping roots removed, meadows cleared, willow beds planted, grain-land weeded.”1

But not just the cultivation of your land and crops is important from the rising of the west wind to the vernal equinox, the cultivation of mind and spirit and character is of equal importance.

Our five non-agrarian cultivation tips for February 2022 can be found in Halle, Garðabær, Paris, Stockholm and Zürich…….

5 New Architecture & Design Exhibitions for february 2022 smow blog

Bauhaus Weimar’s centenary may now be behind us, but there remains a lot of discussion, consideration and reflection ahead of us. Not least in context of the rapidly approaching Bauhaus Dessau centenary.

By way of an accompaniment to those reflections, considerations and discussions, and of engendering a differing perspective on both the schools and the contexts in which they existed, a Radio smow playlist devoted to music of, from and associated with the Bauhauses.

radio smow A Bauhaus Playlist

Looking back from the safety of 2019 it can be all too easy to assume that Bauhaus was a popularly received and much celebrated institution.

From its very earliest days, even before the first students had arrived in Weimar, the institution met with tenacious criticism and steadfast resistance; and arguably nowhere more so than in Weimar.

With the exhibition Mathilde von Freytag-Loringhoven. Painter, Author, Animal Psychologist and Bauhaus Critic the Stadtmuseum Weimar introduce one of the institution’s most tenacious and steadfast opponents; and in doing so allows not only for considerations on some of Bauhaus’s lesser discussed (hi)story, but also for reflections on the political, social and cultural realities of 1920’s Germany……

Mathilde von Freytag-Loringhoven. Painter, Author, Animal, Psychologist and Bauhaus Critic, Stadtmuseum Weimar

More or less……

….. Back in May 2019 the sheer number of new architecture and design exhibitions opening globally allowed us to produce two recommendations lists: one featuring exhibitions with a strong Bauhaus/inter-War Modernism focus, and one more general, less focussed.

Spring forward five months and with the global museum community now fully awoken from their summer slumber we once again find ourselves with a cornucopia of new exhibitions that invites two lists. An invitation we would consider rude to decline.

In May we started with the more general exhibitions and so this time it seemed only fair to begin with new exhibitions in Berlin, Weimar, Cottbus, London W1 and London E17 that explore Bauhaus and inter-War modernism in a relatively wide sense, but then the wider the sense, the more detailed the understanding….

5 New Architecture & Design Exhibitions for October 2019 – Bauhaus Special

We doubt we will be able to visit the 2019 Summaery exhibition at Bauhaus University Weimar, as we suspect the town will be too full of visitors celebrating the centenary of Bauhaus Weimar.

Or perhaps better put, full of confused visitors wondering where all the steel tube furniture is….. Wrong Bauhaus people.

Consequently we attempted to extract as much as we could from Summaery 2018.

Bauhaus University Weimar, Summaery 2018Bauhaus University Weimar, Summaery 2018

Although Bauhaus originally opened in Weimar, the Bauhaus most people understand as Bauhaus is Bauhaus Dessau.

But can the students of the Bauhaus University Weimar reclaim “Bauhaus” for Weimar?

The Bauhaus University Weimar’s annual Summaery exhibition offered a chance to learn more…..

Bauhaus University Weimar (Photo © Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Foto: Nathalie Mohadjer)

Summer traditionally sees a fall off in the number of new exhibitions opening, the 2017 drought is however especially hard, so much so that we can only find four recommendations. Either the global museum community assume we’re all at the beach, and thus not interested, or expect the world to end in September and so don’t see the point in new exhibitions.

It is a little unclear.

However, not only are we interested, but it takes a little more than the threat of an imminent apocalypse to keep us away from an interesting exhibition ….  our recommendations for August 2017 with new exhibitions in Zürich, Copenhagen, Moscow and Weimar.

5 New Design Exhibitions for August 2017

Five recommendations for new architecture and design exhibitions opening in December 2016, featuring shows in Copenhagen, Weimar, Nürnberg, London and Munich

5 New Design Exhibitions for December 2016

The older we get the more important July becomes as it allows us to return to college to view design

X MediaArchitecture presentation as seen at Summaery 2015, Bauhaus University Weimar

On the evening of Thursday June 9th Bauhaus University Weimar formally opened the 2015 edition of their annual Summaery end

Der Utopist eine architektonische Graphic Carolin Lahode

On the evening of Wednesday June 24th the winners of the 2015 aed neuland young designer competition were announced in

Thanks to a unnecessarily long journey through Sachsen-Anhalt in an unnecessarily warm bus, July 2014 will remain indelibly scorched in

Bauhaus University Weimar Summaery 2014 WOob by Lisa Kästner

On the evening of Thursday July 10th the annual Bauhaus University Weimar “Summaery” student showcase exhibition opened for its 2014

Bauhaus University Weimar (Photo © Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Foto: Nathalie Mohadjer)

Herewith we inform the directors of the Hochschule für bildende Kunst that the Provisional Republican Government has approved the request

March 2013 was a month of travelling: Stuttgart, Chemnitz, Weimar, Dessau….. its amazing we found time to actually write anything…….

Triennale der Moderne 2013

In 2019 the Staatlichen Bauhaus Weimar celebrates the 100th anniversary of its founding. And so, in effect, we can all