In March and April 2019 the first roadshow, organized by the German Design Museum Foundation, visited twenty-six cities in eleven federal states throughout the US. The program of hands-on workshops with the theme ‘Discover Design – Discover Bauhaus’ reached around forty schools and cultural institutions. The public events attracted over 1500 children, young people and their teachers – as well as other visitors, young and old, who were thrilled to take part in the program of activities for the Year of German-American Friendship. ‘We are delighted that this pioneering project, which promotes transnational dialogue between Germany and America, has been such as success’, reported Lutz Dietzold, Managing Director of the German Design Museum Foundation. ‘The response to our concept of connecting the centenary celebration of our Bauhaus heritage with current design issues and design in practice has been overwhelming. Our offer, to lead a discussion on developments in modern design and then give participants the opportunity to try their own hand at creating something, has been taken up with lively enthusiasm.’
Design workshops promote cultural exchange
The workshops have enabled a new form of cultural exchange – not only in major cities like Chicago and Houston, but also in rural areas. Professional designer Dirk von Manteuffel took on the task of leading the program. In his role as coach and German ‘Design Ambassador’, he travelled from the East Coast to Texas, putting on a total of sixty-five events for different target groups. Among other places, the roadshow visited schools and colleges, Yale University and the Goethe House in Wisconsin. Dirk worked with participants of all ages who represented a diverse range of interests. Some participants already had some previous knowledge of Bauhaus and design, while for others this was their first introduction to issues surrounding modern design. Despite the hugely varied circumstances, every single workshop reached its educational goals: ‘All of the participants gained new knowledge of design, which helped them to unleash their own creativity and raised their awareness of Bauhaus and our shared heritage. This serves as a practical foundation for a future built on dialogue’. These same goals will be pursued in the second roadshow by the German Design Museum Foundation, which will take place in autumn. From mid-September to mid-November the program will be on the road again, this time covering the West Coast of America. And, of course, the organizers will be able to draw on their practical experiences from the first tour. Since the inception of the ‘Discover Design’ campaign in 2014, the German Design Museum Foundation has been constantly developing its awareness of the sociocultural and cognitive needs of its target groups. The US Roadshow 2019 is the first development program the Foundation has run outside Europe. Partners and sponsors to the program include the German Federal Foreign Office, the Goethe Institute and the Federation of German Industries.
Discover Design – Discover Bauhaus!
In keeping with the interdisciplinary approach of the Bauhaus movement, the workshops bring American school students and teachers together with German designers. Working as a team, they explore the basic questions of modern design, and apply the fundamental principles of Bauhaus in a practical design exercise. After some creative exercises, the participants come up with their own designs based on the 10-minute chair model. They also design a poster to present their main creative ideas. The workshops are free, and all of the necessary materials are provided. The Year of German-American Friendship puts the spotlight on the growing partnership between the two countries, and conveys a multi-faceted image of Germany today. It serves to strengthen German/American partnership – which we are going to need to solve the global challenges of the future. The Year of German-American Friendship is based on an initiative of the German Federal Foreign Office. It is implemented by the Goethe Institute, which has been active throughout America for over fifty years. The program is supported by the Federation of German Industries, an interest group for the German economy. The new tour, scheduled to take place from September to November is currently in the planning stage. There will be regular updates. We would like to invite American educational institutions who are interested in this offer to read our website for further information on the program and how to apply. Information: www.deutschesdesignmuseum.de/en
Interview with Dirk von Manteuffel, July 08, 2019
Roadmap of the workshop tour from March to April 2019
Stiftung Deutsches Design Museum
Julia Kostial, Managing Director
60327 Frankfurt am Main
Tel: 49 (0) 69 - 24 74 48 638