Bauhaus, Socialist Designers, architecture for humanity and music for thinking


I realised that closer links had to be forged between the machines and the artistic individuals. So I established workshops which trained people in two ways: as artists and craftsmen as well. … You can’t understand a machine unless you’ve understood the tools of your craft. …

Walter Gropius ( Bauhaus: The Face of the Twentieth Century)

Since it was depression, a period when they had no money, you had to work with what was at hand. So you would say to students, go out to the junkyard and pick up from the scrap what you can. And, then try to find out what’s in the material.

Charles Jencks ( Bauhaus: The Face of the Twentieth Century)

  If I make something from material I must exploit, not disguise, the strengths inherent in it. His aim (Josef Albers’s aim) was to make you think in terms of the material. He set us projects, like for example: create space from a large piece of paper that was about a yard long using any kind of tools. One could fold it , cut it, do all of those things. We discovered that we could make it carry a vertical load. We made folds a man could stand on. But all in all, Albers was a man who systematically drove the artistic madness out of young people and forced them to think intelligently and clearly.

Prof. Kurt Kranz  (Bauhaus: The Face of the Twentieth Century)

The Haus am Horn. The site was on a field used to grow fruit and vegetables for the Bauhaus canteen. The house was constructed from prefabricated parts and furnished entirely by the Bauhaus workshops. It was ecologically sound, cheap to build and easy to run.

Bauhaus: The Face of the Twentieth Century

Socialist Designers is a collective of politically conscious graphic designers who have agreed to follow “an indisputable set of rules”: Design must be done on location. … Design must be done in spot colours. Four-colour process and varnish are not acceptable. Photoshop filters and any other filters are forbidden. Design must not contain superficial element. Temporary and geographical alienation are forbidden (that is that design must take place here and now). “Genre” design is not acceptable. … We are socialists but we are not attached to any institutions. It’s our desire to act in the original sense of the word. We are socialist because we have social concerns, because we are interested in a very specific way of thinking about life, about a better life.

From an interview with Fabrizio Gilardino (Citizen Designer by Steven Heller)

So we decided to embrace an open source model of business–that anyone, anywhere in the world, could start a local chapter, and they can get involved in local problems. Because I believe that there is no such thing as Utopia. All problems are local. All solutions are local. … this isn’t just about nonprofit. What it showed me is that there is a grassroots movement going on of socially responsible designers who really believe that this world has got a lot smaller, and that we have the opportunity–not the responsibility, but the opportunity–to really get involved in making change. … Instigation, developing ideas with communities and the implementing–actually going out there and doing the work, because when you invent, it’s never a reality until it’s built. So it’s really important that if we’re designing and trying to create change, we build the change. …

Cameron  Sinclair (My wish: a call for open-source architecture)

Music for thinking is Brian Eno’s Lux.

…generative art… designing systems that produce music… establishing a set of possibilities and allowing them to happen…

Brian Eno

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