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yU+co Partners with Getty Research Institute on Interactive Online Bauhaus Exhibition

Digital innovation studio creates 3 online experiences designed to showcase the the famed German art instutute's lasting impact on design.

HOLLYWOOD -- Digital innovation studio yU+co and the Getty Research Institute have joined forces in a new digital initiative that celebrates the 100th anniversary of The Bauhaus, Germany’s renowned institute of art and design. Through an online exhibit that accompanies the physical exhibition at the Getty Center, “Bauhaus: Building the New Artist” explores the school’s vision in new ways, allowing users to actively engage with the techniques of the Bauhaus masters, and to test their theories with three interactive exercises inspired by the lessons passed from master to student at the school.

Founded by Modernist architect Walter Gropius in 1919, the Bauhaus represented a new model of education that would unite the divisions between the fine and the applied arts. The goal was for various forms of artistic practice, painting, sculpture, architecture and design, to work in harmony to produce the socially-oriented and spiritually gratifying “building of the future.”

“The Bauhaus: Building the New Artist” online exhibit was led by yU+co’s director of museum and special projects, Robert Checchi, who joined the company last year following 12 years as the J Paul Getty Museum’s Sr. exhibition designer.

“This project incorporates all of yU+co’s wide range of skillsets -- design, 3D, modeling, animation, web design, production, video, editing, etc. Much like the Bauhaus school’s objectives for all artistic disciplines to work in harmony,” Checchi commented. “All of our skillsets came together on this one project.”

Click here to experience the “Bauhaus: Building the New Artist” online. The exhibiy consists of three chapters devoted to the school’s teaching methods within which yU+co created three very distinct interactive modules.

Three chapters to the school’s teaching methods:

  • The Kandinsky Form and Color Exercise invites users to pair shapes with colors in much the same way Bauhaus professor Vassily Kandinsky did. Users can drag colors to shapes and instantly see how their choices compare with Kandinsky’s theory of the relationship of primary shapes to primary colors.
  • For the Albers Paper Exercises, yU+co created a series of video tutorials showcasing Bauhaus master Josef Albers’ challenge to his students to think deeply about the art of construction by using a single sheet of paper to create a dimensional sculpture. After watching the videos users can download the paper templates and build their own sculptures at home.
  • The third interactive exhibit, Schlemmer's "The Triadic Ballet," proved to be the biggest challenge for the yU+co creative team. Oskar Schlemmer’s iconic stage production techniques highlighted the interconnectedness of costume, choreography, color and music. Performance of these elements expressed the total work of art -- a central principle of the Bauhaus. The Triadic Ballet interactive allows online visitors to create their own unique version of Schlemmer’s famed dance production by combining 3D models with choreography, costumes, and music that culminates in a unique performance. The result is a real time animated dance that incorporates all of the user’s choices and is viewable in a digital 3D space in 360 degrees.

“What’s really exciting is that we’ve created a customizable performance for the Triadic Ballet that was previously impossible for audiences viewing a single ballet paired with a specific costume,” added Checchi. “Now, because the interactive is web-based, anyone can combine the three ballet animations with five 3D costumes and three music selections to experience the Bauhaus principles in action anywhere in the world.”

Interactive Learning Pioneers:

More than just an online exhibition, “Bauhaus: Building the New Artist” offers users an opportunity to learn the leading ideas of Bauhaus thought through interactive features drawn directly from the lessons of its masters. The interactives engage users both physically with Albers’ hands-on paper sculpture exercises, as well as virtually, by creating their own digital version of the Triadic Ballet. Together, these activities produce an understanding of the Bauhaus that goes beyond the traditional online exhibition and honors the principles of the Bauhaus as a complete educational tool.

For yU+ co-founder/creative director, Garson Yu, this latest project for The Getty Research Institute, reflects the growing need for cultural institutions to engage with its audience beyond its actual walls and in the digital world.

“This collaboration represents an exciting new direction for yU+co, and we feel especially privileged to have played a part in helping the Getty Research Institute bring it to life,” Yu commented. "The desire of museums and cultural institutions to engage the public in new ways is the perfect opportunity to combine new technologies with our experience in storytelling in order to create something groundbreaking and enriching.”

The online exhibition was conceived in tandem with the gallery exhibition “Bauhaus Beginnings,” on view at the Getty Center in Los Angeles June 11 – October 13.

Source: yU+co