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At the invitation of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, we were granted opportunity to participate in the realization of the international research and exhibition project BauNet. The project is to last two years and it has been envisioned as comprising several phases of realization. The first phase required us to devise and create the project's visual identity and a simple presentational page. The second phase involved producing a more complex web page to allow viewing of the results of archival research and digitized material. In the final and currently on-going phase we are developing the database as the central point of future research in interrelations and influence of artists and the movement itself on the development of the wider context of artistic practices in the region.

Baunet - identitet - linije

Bauhaus – Networking Ideas and Practice

The objective of the project is to thoroughly explore and present the activities of artists from the region who were schooled at the renowned international Bauhaus school of architecture, design and visual arts.

Art rises above all methods; in itself it cannot be taught, but the crafts certainly can be. W. Gropius

The project follows the concepts and pedagogical methods of the Bauhaus school, which was founded in 1919 in Weimar, the work of the school in Dessau (1925 - 1932) and Berlin until its closure in 1933, and the influence it had on the post-war contemporary art, design and architecture. The project particularly focuses on the EXAT 51 group from Zagreb, the architectural work of the Bauhaus’ student arch. Hubert Hoffmann in Graz and of “B-Course” from Ljubljana.

Tradition as a starting point

The Bauhaus school of arts, architecture and design was launched in 1919 “and its core objective was a radical concept: to reimagine the material world to reflect the unity of all the arts”. Even today the influence of the Bauhaus remains part of the inevitable global artistic heritage, which served as inspiration and a strong starting point in considering visual guidelines.

BauNet - promocija

Initial research discovered that the actual title of the project would end up drowned in the list of results related to the construction industry, and this is why we decided to base the visual identity on a clear visual link with the familiar tradition of the Bauhaus.

Baunet - identitet

Using customized original typeface of Herbert Bayer we designed the logo to match the well-known inscription on the building of the Bauhaus in Dessau. Vertically stacked letters we decided to complement with a dynamic element of the red line inspired by experimental work of Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, one of the Bauhaus’ famous professors. Elaborating the identity produced a duotone of black and red as the core element of the visuals and clearly achieved recognisability of the Bauhaus tradition. As the primary script we chose Courier prime, a new improved version of Courier by designer Alan Dague-Greene, which further underscored the documentary aspect of the project. This additionally served as the foundation of further development of the visual identity through digital applications.

Baunet - identitet - 2

Through experiment to new solutions

To systematically implement this visual identity in a digital medium was a particularly interesting task. Due to its verticality the project’s logo required a different approach to solving the main navigation. We had to abandon the classical horizontal navigation which prompted us to experiment and design a functional vertical navigation.

BauNet - web 1

Following a large number of iterations with a focus on UX we managed to create a navigation which satisfied the primary, functional aspect of the project, as well as the, no less important, aesthetic one. The site is also responsive which enables customized viewing of the content on multiple platforms (desktop, tablet, mobile) and its strong visual style reflects the image of printed media in the digital world.

Baunet mockup

The focus of the design is the presentation of content and digital archive that will grow over time. The site relies on a custom made Content Management System which enables easy management and addition of content, and it represents a firm basis for the next phase, an upgrade in the form of an interactive database with an interface for browsing the researched material’s interrelations.

BauNet - web 5

Designing is not a profession but an attitude

The cooperation with the client has been successful from the very beginning - the systematic process of consideration, the time and understanding they awarded us were more than conducive to creativity. Design is always the strongest when it has an attitude, when it conveys a clear message. Digging through history and the momentous importance of the Bauhaus as the most influential artistic movement of the 20th century turned out not to be an encumbrance it had seemed it might become in the beginning; rather, it was an incentive to experiment and play around, which contributed to the clarity of vision and positive comments and compliments from project collaborators. We look forward to the contemplation, further development and elaboration of the project in the phases yet ahead of us.

Our collaboration with the creative team of 'revolutionaries' evolved through intensive dialogue and culminated, as every revolution indeed must, in thorough change. We believe that working with Revolucija on the BAUNET project we will make a shift forward in design, even if it be a small one, and we are even now bolstered in this effort by abundant praise that we receive coming from different languages.

— Vesna Meštrić, Head of Project BAUNET, Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb