Spielwarenmesse: The spirit of Bauhaus at Burg university

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The spirit of Bauhaus at Burg university

from Ulrich Texter

The spirit of Bauhaus lives on: in Tel Aviv, Chicago, New York or at the Ulm School of Design, even after the "Laboratory of Modernity" became history following the National Socialists' closing of Bauhaus in 1933. Despite the closure, the GDR continued to rely on the school’s ideas at the University of Art and Design in Halle, as HABA designer Ines Frömelt explains.


Ms Frömelt, did the “Bauhaus style” play a role during your training as a toy designer at Burg Giebichenstein University?

Portrait Ines Frömelt

Ines Frömelt: The Burg university can definitely be regarded as a Bauhaus location in the intellectual sense. After the Weimar Bauhaus was forced to close and moved to Dessau, many Bauhaus representatives, including Gerhard Marcks and Marguerite Friedländer, went to Halle. Bauhaus products and the products from the Burg university broke new ground by uniting art, craft and design, and found their way into industrial serial production.

How did the spirit of Bauhaus inspire teaching in Halle?

I. F.: In the 1960s, for example, Lothar Zitzmann developed an artistic core curriculum and design rules with a contemporary impact, which I as a student internalised with enthusiasm and which continue to influence my work to this day. This demonstrates that the core curriculum at Burg university was very similar to the Bauhaus preliminary course. Even training in the field of toy and learning material design focused on functionality, turning its back on kitsch and clichés. At the same time, attention was placed on emotional and illustrative aspects.

What influence does the legendary school of architecture, art and design have on design in general today?

I. F.: Bauhaus was also described as an experimental laboratory for the creation of a new society, for the improvement of everyday life and the merging of art and technology for serial mass production. This courageous avant-garde movement from Germany with its completely new way of thinking is admired, but also criticised. It is essential to reinterpret the various approaches in keeping with our time.

new 3D, HABA

And does Bauhaus also influence your work? To look at your new 3D tiles you might think that Bauhaus is back!

I. F.: The design has evolved, but a number of Bauhaus ideas and design principles are still of interest. The game also deals with the basics of elements and materials, a first time gripping and building, laying, arranging, stacking, etc. Stacking relatively simple bricks is always a challenge for small children. The 3D tile games are intended to encourage experimentation. Whether its the Spielgabe sets by Friedrich Fröbel, the Bauspielschiff set by Alma Siedhoff-Buscher or simple dice – there is always the question, the challenge, the playful approach, the things you can do with the blocks.

 

The core curriculum at Burg university was very similar to the Bauhaus preliminary course.

Ines Frömelt, HABA designer

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Author of this article:

Ulrich Texter

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