Philipp Oswalt appointed as new director of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation

Philipp Oswalt gained international renown with the research projects Shrinking Cities and Urban Catalyst, and the interim use of the Palace of the Republic in Berlin (Volkspalast 2004). Born in Frankfurt am Main in 1964, he was editor of the architecture magazine archplus for many years. After working for OMA Rem Koolhaas in 1996/97, he opened his own office in Berlin. He won the first prize for the design of the former women’s concentration camp, Ravensbrück, where the first building phase has now been realized. Oswalt taught at several universities, most recently at University of Kassel as Professor of Architectural Theory and Design. He is the author and editor of numerous books on contemporary architecture and urban development.


Founded in 1919 in Weimar, the Bauhaus celebrates its 90th birthday in 2009. In collaboration with the Bauhaus institutions in Weimar and Berlin, the Foundation is therefore working on the exhibition Modell Bauhaus, which opens on July 21, 2009 in Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin, and will thereafter be presented at the MoMA in New York.


The first Bauhaus Dessau Foundation projects initiated by Philipp Oswalt will include the publication Bauhaus in Conflict, the exhibition/film installation Bauhaus in Action and a symposium on the correlation between the financial market (crisis) and architecture. Also planned is an artist-in-residence program along with research projects on climate change and the theme of Bauhaus and migration. The conceptual development of architectural tourism for the cultural world heritage of the Bauhaus city is also on the agenda. The Bauhaus Dessau is to be further developed as an international and interdisciplinary platform for researchers and designers.


With his appointment, Philipp Oswalt will also become manager of the International Building Exhibition (IBA) Urban Redevelopment Saxony-Anhalt 2010, which with its conclusion next year will present models relating to sustainable perspectives for the city in times of demographic change. In 2001, commissioned by the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation, Oswalt co-authored the study Less is More, and proposed experimental laboratories for urban redevelopment in East Germany. On this basis, the Bauhaus developed the concept for the IBA Urban Redevelopment 2010.


The Bauhaus Dessau Foundation is located in the world famous Bauhaus Building, which was built by Walter Gropius in 1926 and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. With over 60 members of staff, the Foundation is engaged in cultivating and mediating the legacy of the Bauhaus, and updates the Bauhaus with its contemporary work. From 1999, within the framework of the Bauhaus Kolleg, the Foundation has also offered a one-year interdisciplinary learning program for postgraduates worldwide. In addition, a ten-day International Summer School will be held again this year.


On June 8, 2009, the new director will introduce his program for the first phase of his appointment in press conferences in Berlin and Dessau.