In preparation for my summer course, I’ve been researching the Bauhaus and their philosophies toward teaching and design. My course, titled Printmaking & Modern Design, beings the first of August. I’m taking the two most graphic of printmaking mediums – screen and relief printing and pairing it with an elementary 2D design curriculum and an introduction to typesetting. A lot to cram into five weeks.
My undergrad education in the fine arts was modeled on the Bauhaus. I remember the first week of school well… and learning that Bauhaus was more than just a band name. Here is a model of Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius’ ideal course structures and student pathways over the course of six years:
This model summarizes why I have a difficult time grasping the idea of a true liberal education. I’ll always be a proponent of specialization studies. I’d rather take a lifetime to get to the true center of one circle than constantly orbit the peripheries of several.
In my research on design and the Bauhaus, I’ve rediscovered my love of author, designer, and educator Ellen Lupton. I’ve used her book Thinking With Type on several occasions when I have prepared letterpress and typesetting demonstrations. I purchased a few more of her texts for use in my summer course including Graphic Design: The New Basics and The ABC’s of Bauhaus and Design Theory. She’s a great writer and researcher, which I appreciate. I also picked up another book called Teaching Graphic Design which will hopefully assist in my course development.
Next academic year, I am officially teaching half time, or a total of 6 courses, 2 each quarter. I’ll be teaching one printmaking course and one drawing course each quarter. It’ll be a lot of work but hopefully rewarding. Now I have to start researching and collecting drawing syllabi and reference materials…. At least I know what I’ll be doing over summer vacation.