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Students performing Bauhaus style

BBC’s Bauhaus Rules: CSM students explore the ways of the legendary art school

Written by John Wallace
Published date 21 August 2019

Students from Central Saint Martins, UAL have taken part in the BBC’s new programme ‘Bauhaus Rules’, as part of centenary celebrations of the of the modernist design group, which has had a huge and lasting impact on design.

The weeklong immersive art experiment that the students take part in was designed to give viewers a glimpse of what life was like at the influential design school. Jim Moir, better known as funny man Vic Reeves, fronts the programme.

Bauhaus Rules brings the radical principles of the Bauhaus to a new generation, to discover if the school’s ground-breaking approach to training artists still holds its power 100 years on. Over the course of a week, six Central Saint Martins students from a range of disciplines including fine art, fashion, graphic design and architecture courses are challenged each day to create a new work of art, design or performance, adhering to strict rules inspired by the artists who taught at the Bauhaus.

The Bauhaus is best known for its striking modernist architecture, attention-grabbing typography and stylish form-meets-function design. But beneath all this was a pioneering art school that revolutionized the way we teach art - placing collaboration, experimentation with materials, and the flouting of art convention at centre stage.

Jim Moir in costume in Bauhaus style
Jim Moir. Photos courtesy of BBC.

But what exactly is Bauhaus style? Like all design classics, form follows function with each element stripped down to its bare essentials. Everything is fit for purpose and the results can be austere or not immediately noticeable.  One hundred years on, what was seen as radical has disappeared into the décor of our daily lives.

Director of BBC’s Arts Lamia Dabboussey, says that it’s “always important” to look at design but that it’s “often overlooked because it does its job so well it can often feel invisible”.

“We really just want to get people talking and thinking about design and to start noticing it all around them,” she says.

Bauhaus Rules is just one part of UAL’s enquiry into the movement. In June, students from across all disciplines at Central Saint Martins transformed Granary Square in Kings Cross into a unified work of art, bringing together performers and public alike.

This September students and staff from Camberwell College of Arts BA Fine Art Painting will travel to Dessau, Germany to perform at celebrations to launch the new Bauhaus Museum.

The performances can also be seen at OurHaus, (21-25 October 2019) a major festival which will celebrate UAL’s relationship with the Bauhaus.

The festival, which is open to the public, marks the culmination of a year-long project at UAL and will include performances, workshops, exhibitions, screenings and talks by internationally renowned voices and emerging practitioners across Camberwell College of Arts and Central Saint Martins.

Profile shot of Jim Moir in Bauhaus costume
Jim Moir. Photos courtesy of BBC.

To find out more and book your spaces, visit the OurHaus event page.

To watch Bauhaus Rules visit the BBC’s website.

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