With the major exhibition »The Bauhaus #itsalldesign« (26.09.2015 – 28.02.2016), the Vitra Design Museum presents, a comprehensive overview of design at the Bauhaus for the first time. The exhibition encompasses a multiplicity of rare, in some cases never-before-seen exhibits from the fields of design, architecture, art, film and photography. At the same time, it confronts the design of the Bauhaus with current debates and tendencies in design and with the works of contemporary designers, artists and architects. In this way, »The Bauhaus #itsalldesign« reveals the surprising present-day relevance of a legendary cultural institution. Bauhaus artists and designers featured in the exhibition include Marianne Brandt, Marcel Breuer, Lyonel Feininger, Walter Gropius, Wassily Kandinsky and many more. Contemporary participants include the works of Olaf Nicolai, Adrian Sauer, Enzo Mari, Lord Norman Foster, Opendesk, Konstantin Grcic, Hella Jongerius, Alberto Meda and Jerszy Seymour. ... Viewed from this present-day perspective, the exhibition regards the Bauhaus as a complex, multi-dimensional «laboratory of modernism» with close links to current design tendencies.
The exhibition is divided into four thematic groups, beginning with a look at the historical and social context of the Bauhaus. A second section examines iconic but also lesser-known design objects from the Bauhaus, as well as the history of their origins at the junction of art, craft, technology and industry. A further area of the exhibition investigates the theme of space and demonstrates how many different designers were involved in formulating the understanding of design at the Bauhaus – including stage artists, architects with their deliberations on minimum dwellings and artists who developed colour theories and spatial models. In this regard, the Bauhaus reveals itself as likely to be the first artistic »total experiment« of the modernist period, exploring the dissemination of design in all areas of life. The last section considers the communication of the Bauhaus, from typography and exhibitions to experimental film art and photography as well as the – often systematically planned – creation of myths and clichés that continue to surround the Bauhaus to the present day.
The current perspective on the Bauhaus is achieved by confronting historical exhibits from the Bauhaus era with works by contemporary designers throughout the exhibition. These include digitally produced furniture by Minale Maeda and Front, Van Bo Le-Mentzel’s »Hartz IV furniture« as well as manifestos by such designers as Hella Jongerius and Opendesk, interviews with creative figures like Lord Norman Foster, Enzo Mari, Sauerbruch Hutton and Boss Womenswear Artistic Director Jason Wu, as well as homages to the Bauhaus by Mike Meiré, Studio Miro, Dokter and Misses and other designers. These contemporary contributions highlight the broad spectrum of influence that the Bauhaus continues to exert – from automotive design at Mercedes-Benz to the furniture series Pipe (2009) by Konstantin Grcic for Muji and Thonet, which was inspired by Marcel Breuer. Among these current works featured in the show, a special role is played by four projects commissioned especially for the exhibition from the Leipzig-based artist Adrian Sauer, the concept artist Olaf Nicolai as well as Joseph Grima and Philipp Oswalt, who are both architects and authors.