Can design change society?

Can design change society? How can we integrate emancipating ideas into a continuously progressing modernization? Has the aspiration of the Bauhaus and the classical avant-garde to positively change society through design been validated?

By what means can we approach design change and the future in a new way today? What are targeted, but open-ended work forms? What role does co-production play? How does one design one’s own existence? What is the role of the designer? Would the absence of design offer liberation?

The symposium and the exhibition place valid positions in the context of historical models and present them for discussion. At the center of such discussions are the goals, roles, design methods, and the social processes in which designers are embroiled.

Andreas Bernard, Gui Bonsiepe, Heinz Bude, Bureau d’Etudes, Thomas Flierl, John Grin, Boris Groys, Dorothea Hauser, Reinhold Martin, Henk Oosterling, Philipp Oswalt, Planbude Hamburg, Birger Priddat, Christian Salewski, Tomás Saraceno, Bernd Scherer, Lara Schrijver, Luigi Snozzi, Wolfgang Ullrich, Margarete Vöhringer, Karin Wilhelm, Zones Urbaines Sensibles a. o.

About the project bauhaus
The international initiative project bauhaus was founded in January 2015. Its members include designers, curators and researchers from Europe, the USA and Asia. The platform’s objective is to conduct a lively debate on the currency of the Bauhaus. In the five years leading up to the centenary in 2019, the aim is to take critical stock of the ideas of the Bauhaus. From 2015 to 2019, project bauhaus offers a new question to debate every year. We begin in 2015 with the following question: Can design change society?

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A pop-up exhibition in the Haus der Kulturen der Welt presents projects that exemplify the topic – from both historical and contemporary perspectives. This lounge-like installation in the foyer complements the conventional symposium format and allows for an open-ended reception – a supplementary, ampliative or also alternative engagement with the question, “Can design change society?”


The January 2016 issue of the journal ARCH+ will also be devoted to the subject and will refer to the conclusions of the symposium.

ARCH+ Verein zur Förderung des Architektur-und Stadtdiskurses e.V. in cooperation with the Haus der Kulturen der Welt and the University of Kassel.

Supported by the Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung / bpb