The Bauhaus promoted the minimalist concept, which today is used in the world of design;
global brands use the ideas of the Bauhaus;
constructivism emerged thanks to the friendship of the Soviet and European architects.
100 years later — in what direction has transformed the Bauhaus? We understand that today is not just the name of the school.
— Bauhaus is an Institute, it was founded in 1919. In the early twentieth century, the Bauhaus has opened a new technique and style image of the world in the era of industrialization. Changes appeared not only in industrial field but also in social. Began to change the situation around. Bauhaus has affected not only the architecture changes occurred in the design of things, even the cups were different.
Bauhaus was not something unique, although the Institute known was already across Europe. In Russia in those years was his Institute “VKhUTEMAS” (Higher artistic and technical workshops). I want to point out that in the early twentieth century, a new generation of designers and artists from Moscow to Barcelona. They, communicating with each other, made the first Bauhaus international school. This is what international communication is allowed to move to a new phase of industrialization.
How do you evaluate the role of the school “Bauhaus”?
— Bauhaus — it was not just the school of architecture and design, this was a completely new form of training. I want to say that the Bauhaus cannot be copied, only to borrow something. In a year when school was organized in Germany was a revolution. It created a new government, the Weimar Republic, it is based on the principle of the social state, but not socialist.
This government funded the construction of social housing. So designers of the Bauhaus implemented social ideas in architecture, everyday objects and everything else. Of course, the Bauhaus influenced the rethinking of the world picture. Bauhaus is the opportunity to respond to some challenges in architecture and in society.
Do you notice a trend that today, many global brands have resorted to ideas of the school “Bauhaus” in their design? Why do they do it?
— Yes, this trend is visible today brands do resort to ideas of the Bauhaus. Now, please, Apple. But I would like to say that we in the University of Weimar “Bauhaus” is not interesting to train people who then go to the Apple project, we need people who will understand and to understand social problems in Germany, Russia, Argentina. For example, in our Institute a lot of work on the problem of recycling (recycling and renewal of resources). We follow the slogan “Form follows essence”. It said Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in 1930, he headed the Bauhaus. Today one of the main issues of the world — how to use resources to keep what we have in the global plan.
The 100th anniversary of the school “Bauhaus” in Weimar we do not hold meetings with some famous architects associated with large corporations. We approached this date from a practical point of view and created a Department dedicated to the history of the “Bauhaus”. You can make a lot of money on the word “Bauhaus”, but we don’t want to turn it into a brand. That’s not what we need. We are very critical of our past; if you want to do urbanism in Weimar and declare that want to make a name for himself and become famous, we won’t take. We are not for names, we work for society. Us prestige is not needed.
In parallel with the Bauhaus in Russia (then it was USSR) developed the style of constructivism. They say that the idea of its creation belongs exclusively to the Soviet architects. In your opinion, is there any intersection of the ideas of the Bauhaus and constructivism?
— There is a strong connection between the ideas of the school “Bauhaus” architectural style of constructivism. But it’s not one copied the other. Were architects in Germany and Russia who had been in contact; then, in the early twentieth century, began international cooperation in education, began the exchange of experience. People to each other and went to town. Today I am also here for the international exchange of experience. I’m interested in international cooperation, I wanted my students to come here, to Yekaterinburg, and Vice versa — your figures have arrived in Weimar.
How do you assess the Ekaterinburg from an architectural point of view?
— I am impressed by the city, did not expect this. But I am very concerned about the condition of the monuments. The main architectural and urban structures. The problem of maintaining the monuments and memorials — it is not only in Ekaterinburg, it concerns the whole world, and Europe in particular. I worried and worried over the condition of the buildings.
In Yekaterinburg, I visited the “Gorodok Chekistov”, the hotel “Iset”, impressed me the most about the White tower. Unique the object itself and a group of architects who took on this object, also preserves and promotes it. We need such people who will keep such objects, and to share knowledge about them. When I return back to Germany, the first object to experience, which I recommend to his students, it will be the White tower.
Many of the buildings of constructivism in Yekaterinburg are in poor condition. Not enough funding. Tell me how in Europe, the attitude to monuments, as they are being watched, as regulated by the state?
— The problem of preservation and maintenance of monuments are found throughout the world. In Europe, of course, there is a punishment for those who destroy and spoil the monuments and the monuments and historical buildings. In different countries the punishment is different. But in the German capital trying to preserve all the cultural, architectural and historical heritage. It is important to preserve not only what is built now — it is important to preserve what we have built. At the time Hitler wanted to make Berlin the capital of the world; thank God, he failed to carry out their ideas. Today Berlin is the capital of a United Germany — demonstrates that we have no continuation of Nazism. Today’s Germany — it is peaceful and not going to attack anyone, is not going to kill anyone. So, the idea of a peaceful Germany, we try to demonstrate, in terms of architecture, design and style. We are not going to ignore the Nazi past, but we are going to answer it from the point of view of urban studies. Berlin today — a peaceful capital of Germany, its history, whatever it was.
In Ekaterinburg it is possible to meet an aggressive policy in the management plan development. We have corporations that are accustomed to build what they like, while not really thinking about the monuments. Tell us, in Europe, Germany is urban politics? Whether the government listens to the citizens in urban matters?
One of my research work was dedicated to Berlin. My task was to present the draft of the new open — Berlin- the functional, representative. That is, Berlin was to stand as a portrait of the new Germany. In Soviet times, Berlin was divided by a wall, it is now there, and formed a kind of cultural vacuum that needs to be removed. I’m working to resolve that emptiness. There were a lot of discussions, conversations and conflicts. But always we were interested in opinion of people, ordinary citizens, to understand how to build the new while preserving old. I want to say that the school “Bauhaus” is always open for discussion.
How to build cities?
We must preserve what we have. To use the materials, resources and knowledge that exist in the modern world. It is important to consider all aspects in the cities, climate, economic, and architectural. All questions should be studied comprehensively, only then the answer will appear as you can build up a city.
Thank Presidential center B. N. Yeltsin for assistance in arranging interviews.
Photo: the Presidential center B. N. Yeltsin / Love Kabalnova, official page of the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar “Facebook”.
Read more •••