“What would keep the Bauhaus up at night if it were practicing today?”
That question is central to Bauhaus Futures, a new book edited by IIT Institute of Design Associate Professor Laura Forlano—along with Carnegie Mellon University’s Molly Wright Steenson and University of Southern California’s Mike Ananny—and published by MIT Press to coincide with the famed German art school’s centenary.
On Tuesday, November 12, 2019 Forlano will participate in a panel hosted at the Ed Kaplan Family Institute for Innovation and Tech Entrepreneurship featuring Bauhaus Futures contributors Martin Thaler, studio professor at ID; Jessica Charlesworth, a lecturer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; and Tim Parsons, an associate professor at SAIC. Moderated by J. Smyk (M.Des. 2020), the panel will discuss themes prominent in the book, from the Bauhaus’s fundamental design principles to modern ethical questions about design, labor, and technology. The event is free and open to the public, and interested individuals can register here.
Through a series of essays penned by some of the foremost authorities in the field of design, Bauhaus Futures considers the influences of the Bauhaus and how it can continue to shape design today, while addressing issues such as gender, race, class, and sexuality that were once ignored. The Bauhaus’s experimentation with technology, open-mindedness to new ideas, and integration of research in teaching and practice remain relevant, if not essential, to approaching society’s problems today.
“The Bauhaus is a way of thinking through things, through pedagogy, through design,” writes Forlano in the introduction to Bauhaus Futures. “The Bauhaus is so successful as an idea—as Ludwig Mies van der Rohe said—because ‘only an idea spreads so far.’”