Archive for May, 2012|Monthly archive page


In Uncategorized on May 21, 2012 at 12:21


Last Friday I visited the Bauhaus: Art as Life exhibition at the Barbican Art Gallery. 

The exhibition has been unexpectedly popular, a steward told me, (as an explanation for the fact that there were no remaining exhibition guides). I enjoy exhibitions in this gallery space, which I think lends itself very well to ‘story telling’ with its clearly demarcated rooms and levels. 

Looking at the works on show reminded me of a quote I recently read by Misha Black who said that ‘Even the justly famous Bauhaus in Germany was of more importance in laying a theoretical basis for the present than its actual design achievements’. As such, the work was elegantly peppered with archival material that laid an emphasis on the social, political and extra-curricular elements of the Bauhaus school. Individual students (both famous and unknown) were brought into focus through lively drawings, self-portraits and sketches and there was an abundance of material on display that gave a real flavour of the exciting and rather eccentric personality of the school. I particularly enjoyed the display of birthday cards between students and teachers and photographs of the Bauhaus Jazz Band on the lower level of the exhibition, which was strikingly resonant of some archive material I have seen relating to the Design Research Unit, in which head staff members Milner Gray and Misha Black cultivated a strong sense of community and shared identity through social events, greetings cards and the publication of a DRU Bulletin. This personality and character of the early design profession will form an important part of the early sections of my PhD thesis.