On Thursday 17 October 2019, as part of the Festival of the Future City, we are running an event marking the centenary of the Bauhaus.


This will be an interactive day of dialogue and stimulation held at Watershed that will bring together diverse expertise from art to architecture, psychiatry to economics. It will ask had the Bauhaus not been closed down by the Nazis, what would it be doing now for cities and their citizens? Would Bauhaus have grown from working on individual buildings and objects, to addressing the challenges of whole places, towns and cities, using radical interdisciplinary methods; a ‘Placehaus’? The answers depend not only on exploring the Bauhaus legacy, but also on understanding the urban challenges of today, asking how they differ or are similar to those of 1919, and how the energy of our current zeitgeist can be harnessed for positive solutions. The three sessions that make up this event will address how we might recreate a Bauhaus-style approach to help cities practically now.

Tickets cost £25 / £20 and cover all three sessions.

Charles Landry and Chris Murray will introduce the day and moderate.

Session 1: What Made Bauhaus Great?


Keynotes: Michiel Schwarz (author) on why the future is local and place-based. Jana Revedin (architect and urbanist) on capturing the zeitgeist then and now.

Panel: Capturing the Zeitgeist: The Beginnings of Bauhaus

1919 onwards saw an outpouring of creative energy into radical ideas. New art forms were being developed, often interdisciplinary. But it was also a time of political instability. 2019 has its own challenges. These issues cannot be addressed by ‘business as usual’. There is a desire for a major transition. This panel will discuss the forces that emerged in 1919; how these led to the Bauhaus; what the forces acting on us in cities are today; and how the energies of these can be captured and directed toward new solutions. With Christian Iaione (Director, Laboratory for the Governance of the Commons), Sunand Prasad (architect), Tim Stonor (CEO, Space Syntax) and Jana Revedin.

Session 2: Bauhaus 2019

12:45 – 14:15

Panel: The Case for Bauhaus 2019

The panel will explore what a Bauhaus reinvented for 2019 might consist of; what its founding principles would be; the issues it would seek to tackle; and methods it might employ. What would the creation of a ‘Placehaus’ require? What would its driving aims and objectives be, and who might be involved? With Miatta Fahnbulleh (CEO New Economics Foundation), Rhiannon Corcoran (Professor of Psychology and Public Mental Health, University of Liverpool), Ania Pilipenko (Head of Holzmarkt Cooperative Berlin), Cecilia Wong (Professor of Spatial Planning, Manchester University), Hilary O’Shaughnessy (Playable Cities), Simon Guentner (sociologist and social housing expert) and Finn Willams (co-founder and CEO of Public Practice).

The panel will be followed by a series of short presentations by specialists who will briefly discuss how a Bauhaus-style interdisciplinary approach might be applied to five of the biggest issues facing cities today.

Session Three: How Bauhaus Can Help Cities Now

14:30 – 16:30

Participative workshop: Practical Applications of a Placehaus

The audience will participate in round-table discussion groups with a series of experts and facilitators looking at a series of pre-defined urban challenges (sent to participants beforehand) through the lens of Bauhaus-Placehaus principles. As well as design challenges these might include housing, transport, climate change, diversity, community trust and pro-social behaviour, consultation and engagement. The workshop discussions will report back briefly into a final plenary panel. Panellists include Kathy McArdle (Director of Cities, British Council) and Marleen Stikker (Founder, Waag and Digital City). The session will conclude with a summary of the outcomes from the day and how these can be taken forward.

Further details and booking link.

You may also be interested in Bauhaus and Women at Spike Island on 16 October and Bauhaus in Bristol, an exhibition at the Ken Stradling Collection opening on 14 September.

Share this/