06 September 2010

Diagram of the Bauhaus curriculum, published 1923

As I continue to prepare for my teaching roles this fall, I'm drawn back to my own experiences of learning design. I recall focusing one investigation on the Bauhaus as I was drawn to its obvious articulation of curriculum and pedagogy (the diagram above provides a visualized overview of this).

When you consider all that you've learned, what do you think young designers should know in order to be equipped for these times? If we look at the model of the Bauhaus, what should a one year "basic course" entail in 2010? If you could go back to school this fall, what would you focus on or improve?

Update: I just finished reviewing Johannes Itten's book and came across this detail that is worth mentioning if we are to consider what could be adapted for a basic course in this day and age. Since he was tasked with setting up the Basic Course, his three aims are valuable insights into this dialogue:

1. To free the creative powers and thereby the art talents of the students. Their own experiences and perceptions were to lead to genuine work. The students were to free themselves gradually from dead conventions and to take courage for work of their own.

2. To make the students' choice of career easier. Here the exercises with materials and textures proved a valuable aid. In a short time each student found out which materials appealed most to him; whether wood, metal, glass stone, clay or yarn best stimulated him to creative activity. Unfortunately, at that time we lacked a workshop for the Basic Course in which all fundamental skills, such as planing, filing, sawing, bending, glueing, and soldering, could be practiced.

3. To convey to the students the fundamental principles of design for their future careers. The laws of form and color opened the objective world to the students. In the course of the work the objective and subjective problems of form and color were integrated in so many ways.

Notably, he also started each class by including exercises to prepare the students physically and mentally (relaxing, breathing and concentrating): "The training of the body as an instrument of the mind is of the greatest importance for the creative man."

No comments: