Hannes Meyer as Pedagogue
University of Kassel
15 – 17 March 2018
From theory to practice: as a well-known proponent of the Bauhaus, Hannes Meyer was successful in expanding Bauhaus pedagogic theory and, for the first time, putting it into practice with students through a number of representative projects. This three-day symposium, “Hannes Meyer as Pedagogue” looks at Meyer’s influence on Bauhaus theory and how he repositioned himself within the discourse.
In addition, the symposium is particularly concerned with his pedagogical approach while he was director of the Bauhaus in Dessau and with the students whom he influenced.
The art school, which was founded in Weimar in 1919, is characterised by rational, clear and practical structures combined with harmony and artistic aesthetics. Its founder, Walter Gropius, set the course for Hannes Meyer, who, as a teacher of the Bauhaus approach and director at the Bauhaus in Dessau from 1927 to 1930, breathed life into this new teaching of architecture.
The lectures on the first day of the symposium will give insights into the presentation and implementation of Meyer’s pedagogical approach, put this in context, make comparisons with artists such as László Moholy-Nagy and discuss a few significant practical projects directed by Meyer, including the planning and building of Laubenganghäuser [balcony-access buildings].
An important part of Meyer’s restructuring of Bauhaus theory, which included introducing new fields of knowledge such as urban planning and establishing the extension workshop, was selecting new teachers. On the second day, a few of these teachers, their approaches and practices will be introduced, and their influences explained within the discourse, as will be the roles of the painter, Oskar Schlemmer, and Gunta Stölzl, the first woman in charge of the weaving workshop at the Bauhaus in Dessau.
The final day of the symposium will look at Meyer’s and the Bauhaus’s influence on subsequent generations. The focus here will be on the Bauhaus students of the 20th century, who implemented Bauhaus principles during periods of diverse political and social changes.
Each day’s events will begin between 9.30 and 10 am and are divided into three themed blocks of two to three hours each. The presentations will be followed by discussions.