Bauhaus, Design and the Livable Anthropocene



Exhibition and Colloquium Celebrating the 100th Year of the Bauhaus School

As part of the Centennial Anniversary of the Weimar Bauhaus, the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany and Thomas Heyd, Ph.D. of the University of Victoria’s Philosophy Department present architectural images by Berlin photographer Jean Molinar. These photographs display the various facets of Modernist Architecture from Germany and from around the world.

For a decade Jean Molitor travelled the world, inspired to create an extensive photoarchive of Modernist buildings, an endeavour which has been academically supported by the architectural historian Dr. Kaija Voss since 2016. In his project “bau1haus” Molitor made it his goal to document the international influence of the Bauhaus on the development of Modernist architecture. In the process he hoped to capture global connections and cosmopolitan interactions in Modernist structures.

His journey, which began in Weimar, where in 1919 the legendary Bauhaus Art School was founded, took him through all of Europe to Africa, Asia and the Americas. The photo exhibition goes to the places where people have been living among these architectural treasures for decades but may not always recognize them as such. Nearly everywhere there are surprising traces of Modernism: between Berlin and Kabul, Stuttgart and Tel Aviv, St. Petersburg and Havana, in Guatemala or in Bukavu in the Congo, one can find shining exemplars of this unadorned architecture style.

The exhibition puts on display structures that reflect the breadth of “Modernist building” styles. It does not focus on architectural icons, such as Dessau’s Master Houses, but instead throws light on those buildings that document the international spirit of the times in its everydayness, such as multi-storied housing, cinemas, schools, settlements, villas and industrial complexes.

These images also reflect the pressing concerns of the early twentieth century: new mobility, social housing, urban hygiene, medical services, as well as the demand for education and recreational activities.

High grade black and white photos, cleansed of all distracting detail, allow Molitor to direct a sober regard on the aesthetics of the architecture. As a result of a slightly elevated positioning, the buildings, with their clear lines, curved façades and glass corners, almost seem to float in timelessness.

Bauhaus, Design and the Livable Anthropocene

This event celebrates the innovative approach to design and architecture developed at the Bauhaus Art School, founded in 1919. The aim is to reflect on the historical impact of this approach and explore its potential for addressing the design challenges of the Anthropocene. The exhibition is graciously being lent to us by the Vancouver Consulate of Germany.

Date and Time: TBA

Location: Mearns Centre for Learning - McPherson Library, Main Hallway, Room 129

To attend the Colloquium, register here (free ticket, registration required).

Contact person: Thomas Heyd, Philosophy,

Anthroprocene Website

Event Website

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11:30-11:35 Opening of the Colloquium by University Librarian Jonathan Bengston

11:35-12:20 Keynote Speaker, Dr. Ulduz Maschaykh (Architectural History), “Dwelling Architecture – An Exploration of Housing Solutions for Challenges In the 21st Century”

12:20-12:35  Benno Hubregtse (Visual Arts), “Bauhaus, Dieter Rams and Good Design”

12:35-12:50 Cody Poulton (Asian and Pacific Studies), “Bauhaus and Japanese architecture”

12:50-13:00 Break

13:00-13:15 Tom Saunders (History), “Bauhaus and European History”

13:15-13:40 Panel discussion (Ulduz Mashaykh, Benno Hubregtse, Tom Saunders), “Relevance of Bauhaus for design in the times of the Anthropocene”

13:40-14:00 Questions from the floor

14:00-14:15 Inauguration of Art Show, opening words by Chris Goto-Jones, Dean of Humanities, Marcus Millwright, Chair of Art History and Visual Studies, Elena Pnevmonidou, Director of European Studies

14:15-14:25 Opening statement by Vancouver Consul of Germany, Dr. Klaus Otto Schmidt

14:25-15:00 Reception / Viewing of the Art Show


With thanks to the Consulate of Germany, the Mearns Centre / MacPherson Library, the Faculty of Humanities, the Department of Art History and Visual Studies, European Studies, the Department of German and Slavic Studies, the Centre for Global Studies, the Faculty of Public Administration, the Department of Philosophy, PICS and UVic in the Anthropocene, as well as to the speakers, Ulduz Maschaykh, Benno Hubregste, Cody Poulton and Tom Saunders. Special thanks to the Vancouver Consulate of Germany for lending us the bau1haus exhibition and sponsoring the Reception, in particular to Dr. Schmidt and Ms. Daiminger for their support throughout the planning of this event, and to Michael Lines and Lisa Abram from the Mearns Centre / MacPherson Library.


Territory Acknowledgement

We acknowledge with respect the Lekwungen-speaking peoples on whose traditional territory the university stands and the Songhees, Esquimalt and WSÁNEĆ peoples whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day. This acknowledgment entails a commitment to ongoing dialogue and reconciliation with the peoples of these lands.