Spinning Triangles:
Ignition of a school of design.

On the occassion of the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus, SAVVY Contemporary seeks to challenge and act against the inherent, neocolonial power structures in design practices, theory and teaching with its project SPINNING TRIANGLES. It takes up the founding moment of the Bauhaus one hundred years ago and starts from its reality as a school of design to reverse and reshape it.

First and foremost, the Bauhaus was a school of design. It aimed to educate a new generation of designers, makers and thinkers that would face the challenges of their “now”. SPINNING TRIANGLES takes up this founding moment of 1919. Not in order to repeat it but to twist it: we will create a school of design that has what it takes to tackle the challenges of our “now”, and might, precisely by this, turn into an “Un-school”. This school will not be developed by the geopolitical west, but through the accelerated movement between three deeply interwoven places – Germany, D.R. Congo, China – and will confuse their prescribed roles as idea provider, raw material supplier and champion of production.

The first spinning of this longterm project will have taken place in Germany (Dessau and Berlin) and will accelerate into its second spinning in Kinshasa, the capital of a country without which our smartphone-modernity, creative economy and data collecting mania is unthinkable but which also bears the highest costs: the past twenty years alone have amassed six million corpses caused by the ruthless mining of minerals and its associated conflicts – official numbers that can be deemed as cautious estimations.

Here, the idea and concept for a school of design emerges, whose form and format might surprise more than can currently be imagined. It is created for the context in which it emerged (Kinshasa) but will be considered for “export” in order to further the reversing movement (the third spinning). This time, an educational system and its inbred philosophies will be exported from the geopolitical south to the geopolitical north and not the other way around, presuming nonchalantly that it may not be the south that needs development but the north. 

For practical reasons the first “new territory” is determined in advance. The country is Germany, the city Berlin and the space SAVVY Contemporary–The Laboratory of Form-Ideas. From mid July until mid August 2019, this space will temporarily vanish to make place for a school of design led by five “masters” who will “teach” and transfer knowledge. Here forty students will “unlearn” and “learn.” A new form of sharing and co-living will be negotiated among the participants. The infrastructure of studios and workshops in Berlin-Wedding will serve as a cooperative base for students. Every week, three public lectures, or in its widest sense “contributions” (performances, DJ-Sets etcetera) are held by practicing artists and designers from around the world. The school will have open days in which the public has access to the space and can potentially talk to students and staff. These open days can also be used by students to present their work.

Thus, words and actions aim to challenge and transform Bauhaus traditions and narratives of modernity and modernism, before the school moves to Hong Kong in October 2019.