The Institute of Design was pleased to host delegates from the State of Thuringia, home to the original Bauhaus School in Weimar on May 17, 2017. As part of it’s tourism agenda, Thuringia is actively participating in the 100th year Centennial of the Bauhaus in 2019. They brought several parliament members; ministers of economics, tourism, and transportation; and representatives of international affairs and development to see the evolution of Bauhaus in Chicago. Also in attendance was the director of Weimar’s Bauhaus Institute. Dean Denis Weil and various faculty shared how our school’s legacy has developed since our founding as the New Bauhaus by Laszlo Moholy-Nagy in 1937.

At dinner at IIT’s Paul V. Galvin Library, Thuringia Minister President, Bodo Ramelow, spoke about the region’s many historical figures, including Johann Sebastian Bach, Goethe, Martin Luther, and Walter Gropius, founder of the original Bauhaus School. He noted how the residents of Weimar thought that the school’s unconventional students and faculty—infamous for bathing nude in the town’s river—were crazy. “But you have to be crazy in order to change the world.”

The spirit of experimentation and pushing the boundaries of conventional thinking and social norms has been an ongoing legacy as the Bauhaus extended its reach globally, including to Chicago as the New Bauhaus.