Bauhaus’s purity of abstract and modern form may seem to be an opposition to the powers of the state & church during its early days, but today, in many parts of the world, it has been used to oppress indigenous culture to be turned into modernist built environment that only satisfies the ego of ‘the architect & master planner’ and the power of the elites, in the name of “advancement of civilization” dominated by the west/global north. Even Gropius explicitly excludes building users because they are deemed to be “intellectually undeveloped,” resulting in the non-participatory/at best pseudo participatory nature of modern architecture. In general, modern architecture within Bauhaus seem to disregard socio-cultural diversity and intersectionality. Not to mention the environmental cost of modernist form and industrial materials that favor hardscapes over nature, and high-emission materials such as concrete and steel.
I am happy to see that many projects in this competition try to address these pitfalls of Bauhaus, but in general I was surprised to see a lack of direct criticism/opposition towards Bauhaus’s ideals within design concepts, while in my opinion Bauhaus’s unsuitability towards contemporary society is actually the most highlighted element within the brief. I’d love to hear opinions about why respecting and extending Bauhaus ideals within the school’s design without radically criticizing and redefining it is a path more suitable for the new school, and I hope there can be an interesting debate.
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