[> ImpulsBauhaus – Projectdescription

The ImpulsBauhaus project investigates the social network of the Bauhaus and its global influence. Extensive biographical information is continually collected and stored on its research platform.
With the aid of computer-generated information graphics and an interactive table, the initial results of the project were recently presented at the Exhibition N°1 in Weimar.

Overview

Between 1919 and 1933, less than 1,300 students and instructors belonged to the State Bauhaus in Weimar, Dessau and Berlin. Yet their ideas spread swiftly throughout the world and became the most influential in the fields of architecture and design of the 20th century. The ImpulsBauhaus project researches and presents how this development was supported by a global network of Bauhäusler.

After the Bauhaus was permanently shut down in 1933, many of its followers were forced into exile. The Bauhaus ideas, however, survived in countries beyond Germany’s and Europe’s borders.  Using the biographical data of the Bauhäusler and specially programmed software, it is now possible for the first time to reconstruct an almost unbroken chain of social relationships between the Bauhäusler.

Research platform

The core of the project – the research platform – is comprised of a specially developed database system which has been “fed” with relevant information since 2008. The database includes information about all the representatives of the Bauhaus, important individuals connected to the Bauhaus, periods of their lives, where they lived and significant events which they experienced. Interpersonal relationships have also been stored and categorized, e.g., working relationships or close friendships. Based on this data, the project is able to provide new insights into this social network and present them graphically.
As of the beginning of 2009, the research platform contained entries on more than 4,500 individuals, over 7,000 periods in their lives and more than 1,400 personal relationships. Much of this data was provided by Dr. Folke Dietzsch, whose dissertation “The Students of the Bauhaus” (1991) contained extensive information about the students, but did not investigate their social relationships or their Bauhaus instructors.

Information visualization

One of the important strengths of the ImpulsBauhaus project is its conceptual connection between art-historic research and media-based presentation.
Initiated by a talented designer and an experienced engineer, ImpulsBauhaus not only explores new terrain in the art-historical field, but also innovates how information is presented. The project investigates the potential of both new and traditional forms of media for presenting extensive and complex information in an exhibition context.

Exhibitions

The initial results of the project went on display in the white.cube.09 at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar in May 2009.
The main exhibit of the exhibition is a large touchscreen, which also reacts to the placement and movement of objects. Examples of the research findings are also projected onto the inner walls of the white.cube.09.