How Bauhaus is your house?

This great animated video is the story of the Bauhaus squashed down into 2 minutes. Ewen McGregor narrates the story of the Bauhaus which gives the viewer a summary of the huge influence this school had on design the world over.  The Bauhaus was the forerunner of the “art school as an alternative way of life.” It was a place for unparalleled, and to some, indecent experimentation, and the results were by turns groundbreaking and silly.

There is a little bit of Bauhaus in many New Zealand homes due to the closure of the school by the Nazi Movement and selected students claiming refugee status in New Zealand.

The video is part of series of 6 videos created as teasers for students to engage in a free online course for design thinking.  Each video is stunning in itself and follows a range of different key themes: Gothic Revival, Arts and Crafts, Bauhaus, Modernism, American Industrial Design and Postmodernism.

How would I use this in my classroom?

Firstly – as a model for having students go through the process of taking something complex (such as a novel or science concept they are studying) and simplifying it into a 2 minute animation.  This act of synthesis and rationalisation is applicable in any setting.

Secondly – as a quick way of having students understand a large concept that was not the focus of my students’ learning but integral to their understanding of perhaps a film, a poem or a piece of literature we were studying. Students (and sometimes their teachers) don’t know the relevance of references to large scale movements such as these and simple, animated, well told stories help to do that in a very accessible way.

Thirdly – have your students do the design thinking course – it is free, it is relevant and it could leave them at the cutting edge of design thinking in New Zealand!