Society News

11 February 2019

DHS Panel Proposal:
The Cost of Design,
University of Northumbria,
5-7 September 2019

The Business of the Bauhaus
Esther Cleven, Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin
Jeremy Aynsley, University of Brighton

In this centenary year of the Bauhaus, the Design History Society (DHS) and the German Gesellschaft für Design Geschichte (GfDG) collaboratively welcome proposals for papers that offer fresh perspectives on the many relationships between the famous school and business. Reflecting the conference theme of The Cost of Design, papers should consider the ways in which Bauhaus design has been part of the broader context of economy. With regards to the historic period of the Bauhaus in Germany papers should consider the practice and understanding of design as a commercial activity, product and system in the studio and workshop teaching, through the professional activities of staff and students, and as an institutional goal. Papers might also address how 'the business of the Bauhaus' went beyond the specific years of the school's existence, from the New Bauhaus in Chicago, through the reception of the Bauhaus in Post-War Germany (East and West), and the subsequent careers and legacies of the Bauhaus staff and students across a wide diaspora, to the worldwide professionalisation of (Industrial) Design as a significant economical force and the commercialisation of Bauhaus as an international brand.

In particular, we highlight the following potential themes:

  • Business in the Bauhaus teaching and curriculum
  • Cooperation with industry, materials and work at the Bauhaus
  • Production lists, product lines and sales
  • Bauhaus advertising, prospectuses, catalogues
  • Bauhaus and exhibitions
  • Bauhaus books and public relations at the Bauhaus
  • Professional careers of former Bauhaus members and students
  • German Post-War economy and Bauhaus
  • Bauhaus as industrial design catalyst
  • Intellectual property
  • The contemporary Bauhaus brand
  • Bauhaus design editions

Proposals should be submitted (200 words maximum) with a short CV to the convenors Esther Cleven: and Jeremy Aynsley: by 11 March 2019. Proposals will be double blind peer-reviewed by members of the DHS and GfDG committees or the host organising committee of Northumbria University.


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