Hammering, planing, sawing and weaving—it was pretty loud and dusty in the workshop wing of the School of Design, the Bauhaus Dessau. Although conceived as “laboratories for industry,” a great deal was still done by hand in the Dessau workshops.
The exhibition Craft becomes Modern. The Bauhaus in the Making in the original setting, the weaving workshop in the Bauhaus building in Dessau, tells the story of the workshops from the perspective of craft—a discipline that was already pivotal to the foundation of the Staatliches Bauhaus in Weimar. That said, at the Bauhaus the concept of craft was more contentious than any other.
In the microcosm of the workshop practice, the exhibition simultaneously explores these sites as reflected in their day as spheres in which the pressing questions of modern society were addressed. Therefore, it is not the finished product, but the contentious processes of learning and production themselves that form the focus of the exhibition. After all, the Bauhaus prioritised new models of collective learning, work and production in a context of radical cultural change.
Through sketches, lesson notes, material studies, objects, photos and documents, visitors learn about design, making and production at the Bauhaus. Looms, workbenches, tools, material samples and machines from the weaving, wood and metal workshops will be on show for the very first time.