Guest lecture: “Rise and crisis of the bauhaus brand, 1919 – 2019”
In his lecture, Philipp Oswalt, former director of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation, presents his thoughts on the term “Bauhaus” on the occasion of the centenary of the Bauhaus.
“It is not function and use that distinguish the Bauhaus, but symbolism. Whether square,
triangle or circle, whether Wagenfeld lamp, Schlemmer head or white cubes
with a flat roof: the Bauhaus created iconic pictorial symbols and a style that neither
is functional nor social, but visually concise.
From the beginning, Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius aimed to turn the Bauhaus into a
brand – with success. Be it in consumption, politics or culture: more than
eighty years after its closure, the Bauhaus is more present than ever. It is now
become a participatory brand that is no longer centrally controlled
but is co-written by countless producers and consumers
have. The former promise of functionality and social commitment
Date and venue
25 June 2019, 6:30 pm, RWTH Aachen University, Rogowski Institute, Lecture Hall EPh
Philipp Oswalt, born 1964, architect and publicist in Berlin. 1988-1994 editor of the architecture magazine Arch+, 1996/97 employee in the office OMA/ Rem Koolhaas, 1998 1st prize in the competition for the former women’s concentration camp Ravensbrück (with Stefan Tischer and Stefanie Oswalt) with subsequent partial realisation, 2000-2002 visiting professor at the Brandenburg Technical University Cottbus. Initiator and co-leader of the European research project “Urban Catalyst” 2001 – 2003. Co-initiator and co-curator of the cultural interim use of the Palace of the Republic ZwischenPalastNutzung/ Volkspalast 2004 Head of the project Shrinking Cities of the Federal Cultural Foundation 2002-2008. Since 2006 Professor of Architectural Theory and Design at the University of Kassel. 2009 – 2014 Director of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation. Co-initiator of projekt bauhaus 2015, member of the project advisory board for the foundation of the documenta Institute in Kassel since 2016. Author and editor of numerous publications on contemporary architecture and urban development.