Hannes Meyer as Pedagogue

International Symposium - Hannes Meyer as Pedagogue

Bauhaus Symposion. March 15th –17th, 2018, Kassel University


At:University of Kassel, School of Architecture, Urban Planning and Landscape Architecture (ASL), Universitätsplatz 9, 34127 Kassel

Building ASL 1, Room 105/106 (ground floor)

The symposium engages with the pedagogical concept and praxis of Hannes Meyer, which he developed and subsequently pursued as a teacher and director of the Bauhaus Dessau from 1927 to 1930. Hannes Meyer significantly altered and restructured the educational programme of the Bauhaus, established by Walter Gropius and the masters he appointed (1919 – 1927 / 28). Not only did he found the architecture department at the behest of Gropius and introduce scientific studies into the design process. In the lessons, he also successfully realised construction projects with the students (the Houses with Balcony Access, the Nolden House) and industrial production projects (the Kandem lamps and Bauhaus wallpapers with the Rasch Brothers & Co.). By appointing new teachers he founded the urban planning department (Hilberseimer) and the photography workshop (Peterhans) and introduced important new scientific fields into the teaching by means of guest lectures. The three-day symposium focuses on three subject areas:

1. Pedagogical concept

Day one of the symposium presents the pedagogics of Hannes Meyer in relation to the architectural education of the 1920s in general and the Bauhaus pedagogy of the Gropius era (Gropius / Moholy-Nagy), focusing on the conceptual underlying ideas. These find their continuation and further development through Meyer’s later activities in Mexico and through the praxis of the Ulm School of Design (HfG Ulm) from 1956. A particular focus will be placed on the practical aspect of the teaching and on the question of how Hannes Meyer put his pedagogical idea into spatial practice in his buildings for educational institutions (Mümliswil, Bernau).

2. (New) teachers at the Bauhaus under director Hannes Meyer

Hannes Meyer implemented his pedagogical concept not least through his programmatic selection of staff, which was often accompanied by structural changes. Thus, the metal, cabinet-making and wall painting workshops were merged to form the interior design workshop, a new photography workshop was established and an urban planning class introduced. A female master – Gunta Stölzl – was also appointed. Guest lecturers and numerous guest lectures enriched the curriculum and enhanced its programmatic character. Day two of the symposium introduces a selection of the teachers who were most important to the Hannes Meyer era and pinpoints their conceptual approaches, theoretical positions and design methodologies, in which the re-orientation of education at the Bauhaus is manifested introduces.

3. Bauhaus students of the Hannes Meyer era

Based on the teaching of architecture under Hannes Meyer, the focus is on tracing the effect of his pedagogy on the next generation of designers. Of relevance here is that owing to the political upheavals of the time, the students were active in a wide range of societal constellations, for instance in the Stalinist Soviet Union, in Germany under National Socialism and in the Cold War era, after the foundation of the State of Israel, in Western Europe or South America. The critical question is whether the influences of the Bauhaus under Meyer and others really had a significant co-determining effect on the positions of the Bauhaus students, and how these were appropriated, further developed and altered.

15th March 2018  Pedagogical concept

10:00: Philipp Oswalt: Welcome speech and introduction

Pedagogy in context

10:30: Dara Kiese: Holistic Education in Hannes Meyer’s Bauhaus: 1927– 1930 *
11:00: Anthony Fontenot: The Battle over Bauhaus Design: Hannes Meyer versus László Moholy-Nagy *
11:30: Peter Bernhard: Meyers Program of visiting lecture
12:00: Julia Witt: Architecture or art of construction? – The profile of architecture classes at the German art academies in the 1920s
12:30: Discussion (Moderation: Thomas Will)

Pedagogy after the bauhaus

14:30: Raquel Franklin: The Institute for Planning and Urbanism: Hannes Meyer‘s failed attempt at education in the Mexican milieu*
15:00: Simone Hain: Traces of Meyer: The refounding of design education in East Germany after 1945
15:30: Gui Bonsiepe: Convergences / Divergences – Hannes Meyer and the hfg ulm
16:00: Discussion (Moderation: Philipp Oswalt)

Pedagogical Practices

17:30: Anne Stengel: Baupraxis Teaching Building through Praxis: Planning and Construction of the Houses with Balcony Access 1929 / 1930
18:00: Andreas Vass: Children’s Home in Mümliswil / ADGB Trade Union School in Bernau – Pedagogics in the Architecture of Hannes Meyers
18:30: Sibylle Hoiman:  Hannes Meyer as a teacher at the Bauhaus – the pupil‘s perspective
19:00: Discussion (Moderation: Andreas Schwarting)

16th March 2018  (New) teachers at the Bauhaus under director Hannes Meyer

09:30: Anna Stuhlpfarrer: Anton Brenner - Building for the subsitance level
10:00: Espen Johnsen: Inspiration, criticism and admiration. Edvard Heiberg, Bauhaus and Hannes Meyer‘s re-orientation*
10:30: Werner Möller: Design for the Volkswohnung. The Bauhaus production under Hannes Meyer 1928 – 1930
11:00: Friederike Zimmermann: Humans in space – The whole from a divergent point of view: Oskar Schlemmer and Hannes Meyer
11:30: Discussion (Moderation: Andreas Schwarting)


13:30: Brenda Danilowitz: A New Direction: The Role of Josef Albers in the Bauhaus Workshops 1928 – 1930*
14:00: Ingrid Radewaldt: A woman as master – Gunta Stölzl and the Bauhaus weaving mill
14:30: Rainer K. Wick: Walter Peterhans, his photo aesthetics and his photo lectures at the B.
15:00: Ute Brüning: Joost Schmidt: Pictorial Statistics and advertising
16:00: Discussion (Werner Möller and Philipp Oswalt)

Urban Planning and Theory

17:00: Philipp Oswalt: Ludwig Hilberseimer (Urban Planning)
17:30: Gregory Grämiger: Agriculture and Settlements: The Doctrine of Konrad von Meyenburg at the Bauhaus
18:00: Martin Kipp:  Labour psychologist and Labour pedagogue Johannes Riedel
18:30: Simone Hain: Karel Teige (guest speaker, theory)
19:00: Discussion (Moderation: Thomas Will)

17th March 2018 Bauhaus students of the Hannes Meyer era
Socialist International

09:30: Tatiana Efrussi: Bauhaus experience not applicable*
10:00: Daniel Talesnik: Tibor Weiner: From the Soviet Union to South America*
10:30: Eran Neumann: Sachlichkeit to Brutalism: Sharon Overplays Meyer in Israel*
11:00: Discussion (Moderation: Andreas Schwarting)


13:00: Norbert Korrek: Konrad Püschel – University of Architecture and Civil Engineering Weimar
13:30: Folke Dietzsch: Reinhold Rossig – From KPD to the Bauakademie in the GDR
14:00: Jens Uwe Fischer: Franz Ehrlich
14:30: Discussion (Moderation: Thomas Flierl)

Western Europe

16:00: Adina Seeger: Fritz Ertl –  Master builder in Auschwitz
16:30: Sebastian Holzhausen: Architecture as a social act. Hans Fischli‘s Children‘s Village Pestalozzi in Trogen, 1946–1948
17:00: Hanneke Oosterhof: Lotte Stam-Beese: From Bauhaus to urban planning in Rotterdam*
17:30: Discussion (Moderation: Philipp Oswalt)


19:00: Gregor Harbusch: Ludwig Leo –  a virtual pupil?

all with * marked lectures will be held in English



Prof. Dr. Peter Bernhard (Uni Erlangen- Nürnberg)
Prof. em. Dr. h.c. Gui Bonsiepe (DesigntheoretikerGestalter, La Plata / Buenos Aires)
Ute Brüning (Designhistorikerin Berlin)
Brenda Danilowitz (Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, New Heaven)
Dr. Folke Dietzsch (Architekt, Ebeleben / Thüringen)
Prof. Dr. Eran Neumann (Tel Aviv University)
Tatiana Efrussi (Universität Kassel)
Jens-Uwe Fischer (HfbK Hamburg)
Prof. PhD. Anthony Fontenot (Woodbury University, Los Angeles)
Prof. Dr. Raquel Franklin (Anahuac University, Mexico City)
Dr. Gregory Grämiger (ETH Zürich)
Prof. Dr. Simone Hain (Berlin)
Dr. Gregor Harbusch (Architektur- und Kunsthistoriker)
Dr. Sibylle Hoiman (Bauhausarchiv Berlin)
Sebastian Holzhausen (Architekt, Zürich)
Prof. Espen Johnsen (University of Oslo)
Vistiting Assisistant Prof. Dara Kiese (Parsons School of Design, Pratt Institute)
Prof em. Dr. Martin Kipp (Berufspädagoge Rosenfeld-Bickelsberg)
Dr. Norbert Korrek (Bauhaus-Universität Weimar)
Dr. Werner Möller (Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau)
Hanneke Oosterhof (TU Eindhoven)
Prof. Philipp Oswalt (Universität Kassel)
Prof. em. Ingrid Radewaldt (Designhistorikerin, Hamburg)
Mag. Adina Seeger (Kuratorin Jüdisches Museum Wien)
Mag. Kunstg., M.Sc. Anne Stengel (Universität Kassel)
Mag. Dr. Anna Stuhlpfarrer (Kunstuniversität Linz)
Assistant Prof. Dr. Daniel Talesnik (TU Munich)
Mag. Arch. Andreas Vass (Architekt, Wien)
Prof. i.R. Dr. phil. Rainer K. Wick (Bergische Universität Wuppertal)
M.A., Dipl.-Museol. (FH) Julia Witt (Berlin)
Dr. Friederike Zimmermann (Kunst & Kommunikation)

University Kassel, Neubau ASL, Raum 0106, Universitätsplatz 9, 34127 Kassel
Organizer:  Universität Kassel, Fachgebiet Architekturtheorie und Entwerfen, Prof. Philipp Oswalt
Admission fee: 50 € total, 20 € per day. students free admission

To particpate in the conference no pre-reigstration or booking necessary.
Sponsors: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), Herman Henselmann Stiftung, Hessisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst