June 6 2016

Class of 2016

Weimar is a Thuringian beauty. Pretty much everybody who comes here falls in love with this city. Maybe not the usual teenie school class who is forced to come here by their German literature teachers. Still, writing this, the idea of a Digital Bauhaus Class of 2016, seems compelling. 150 people gathered here from June 3rd-4th to reflect upon ways how to design our new society, how to engage with new ways of production and automation, new concepts of value chains and how to tackle capitalism that is making its way into cyberspace, hi-jacking ideas that once were for the common good. One possible answer is to be found in Luxury Communism.

Architects, designers, activists and academics stuck their heads together for two days, presented ideas, projects and thoughts that point in the direction of a balanced common good that embraces technological progress without fearing a looming dystopia beyond the horizon. It got more political than other editions of the Digital Bauhaus Summit because talking about platform capitalism for example, you will find that means of “production” and labor are in quite a disbalance which might lead to real class struggles. In some cases, the struggles are on already. Commodities for some people have always meant disadvantages for others. 200 years ago as much as today.

What is Bauhaus about all this? The notion, that a group of people discusses, imagines and proposes ways of how to deal with what’s there and tries to use it for the purpose of the common good. Be it in design or architecture, the political has been inherent in the Bauhaus, it is inherent in discussions of the Digital Bauhaus Summit, we just need to translate it into common languages and actions and free our discourses from high brow attitudes, which the Bauhaus hardly ever had. Weimar is at the core of this tradition, that is why it’s home to the Summit. On the way to Bauhaus 2019, the Digital Bauhaus Class of 2016 left its mark.

Yet, we have to think bigger here, it shall not remain a class only. Actually, we are on our way to a new school of interdisciplinary thinking, bearing Bauhaus traditions in mind, finding, what we can do with it today. There is a lot more to be discovered beyond 2019.

Photo: Thomas Mueller
Photo: Thomas Mueller

Under the patronage of

Deutsche UNESCO Kommission

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