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Schools of Departure: Design and Art Pedagogies beyond the Bauhaus by Bauhaus Dessau Foundation

Schools of Departure: Design and Art Pedagogies beyond the Bauhaus by Bauhaus Dessau Foundation

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With Schools of Departure, the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation has been developing a digital atlas that aggregates research on the global interconnections of Bauhaus pedagogy with reform projects in art and design education in the 20th century. Instead of assuming the “influence” of the Bauhaus as a “centre” on a non-European “periphery”, Schools of Departure proposes a constantly changing constellation of pedagogical approaches.

The beta version of the website, designed by Offshore Studio and launched in April 2022, allowed users to browse through an initial selection of these educational projects, presented in brief school portraits, picture essays, case studies and film sequences. On Wednesday, November 16, 2022, the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation will publish the full version of the digital atlas at This version will feature two additional sections: Travelling Concepts, dedicated to a new e-journal, and an interactive section called Notes.

The launch will be accompanied by a public editorial meeting. The event will be conducted on-site at the Bauhaus Dessau Building and as a Zoom webinar. To register, use the RSVP button above or click here. For a detailed schedule and more information, see or send an e-mail to atlas [at]

The two inaugural issues of the e-journal, published in cooperation with the Indonesian education collective Gudskul and curator Catherine Nichols, focus on the worldwide network of movements that sought a radical reform of the education of artists and designers and, in critique of and dissociation from classical modernism, turned schools back into nuclei of social change. Thus, the first issue revolves around the ongoing practices of decolonisation and their historical predecessors in the field of design education. The second, titled The New Designer—Design as a Profession, focuses on the diverse pedagogical approaches that schooled the emergence of the new profession of artist and designer after the First World War and the further development of this profession in close proximity to capitalist industrial production. A third issue will be forthcoming in 2023.

Issue I: Decolonising Design Education >< Decolonising Education Design. Contributions by Asia Art Archive, Another Roadmap Africa Cluster, Babau AIR, Suchitra Balasubrahmanyan, Bishkek School of Contemporary Art, Load Na Dito, Pedro Oliveira, Omnikolektif, Nina Paim, Pangrok Sulap, Salikhain Kolektib, Serrum, Ola Uduku, Unconditionaldesign.

Issue II: The New Designer—Design as a Profession. Contributions by Yaa Addae, Claudia Banz, Shannan Clark, Alison J. Clarke, Martin Mäntele, Lesley-Ann Noel, Marina Otero Verzier, Klára Prešnajderová, Ilana Schleich Tschiptschin.

In the Notes section, users are invited to edit content, contribute their own research, and curate data with the help an interactive visualisation tool. The digital atlas is aimed at students, teachers, scholars, curators and Bauhaus researchers. Within the framework of existing and future project and university collaborations of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation, the platform is to be further expanded in this area.

The project, started in 2021, has been further developed as part of the “dive in. Programme for digital Interactions” of the German Federal Cultural Foundation, funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media in the NEUSTART KULTUR programme.

  • Images above (clockwise from upper left): (1) Bishkek School of Contemporary Art, "Participatory Museum", 2021. Workshop for museum workers, Issyk-Kul region, Kyrgyzstan. (2) Omnikolektif, Harvest, 2022. Collective practice flow chart. (3) Unconditionaldesign, Kursi dan Jaring Kolekan Masjid. (4) Martin Brezina, Colour Study for kitchen ceiling, 1931. Tempera on paper, 39,8 × 52,9 cm. Slovak Museum of Design - SCD.

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