31 August 2024
Strollology – Walking as Creative Practice
The Swiss sociologist and founding Dean of Bauhaus-University’s Faculty of Art & Design in the early 1990s, Lucius Burkhardt, was also a leading scholar on walking as an academic and creative practice. Much simplified, to Burkhardt walking is a means to wholistically experience and reflect aesthetics, in particular the aesthetics of landscape. Burkhardt’s research was subsequently supplemented by others, including e.g., the British anthropologist Tim Ingold, who extended Burkhardt’s focus on how walking affects the perception of aesthetics towards a notion of walking as a way of generating “meaning” at a level that precedes language.
To walk is to be immersed in the environment, perceiving it, feeling it with your senses and inherently, quasi-automatically attribute meaning to those experiences. For Ingold, Burkhardt and others in this line of research, the power of meaning making is inherent to movement, not settings or objects.
Coincidentally, in parallel to the more abstract, conceptual investigations of Burkhardt, Ingold and others another strand of quantitative psychological research has been developing in the last decade convincingly suggesting that the activity of walking significantly increases cognitive creativity. I.e., when walking we’re more creative than e.g., while sitting.
Accordingly, the purpose of this course is to consider walking as an activity supporting the processes of reflection, understanding and ultimately coming up with new ideas. From Flânerie, to Dérive and urban wayfaring, to themed walks and walking activities we will test different walking techniques to inform interdisciplinary creative processes and practice. Based on the materials produced during the exercises, students will build a portfolio of works that facilitate an enhanced sense of where and how we are in place and time. Finally, the experiences will be developed into a personal “walking recipe” for future creative practice.
Peter Benz (President of the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar)
Open to all people interested.
Health benefits of walking are well established, but walking can also be used to explore places, to build community and to be creative. Indeed, there seems to be good evidence that walking enhances creativity. This course will put this hypothesis to the test through a series of walking activities that will result in a set of experiential designs/art works.
EUR 890: The course fee includes:
Programme according to description
Bauhaus Summer School ID card and a Welcome package
Daily Lunch at the University Cafeteria (Monday - Friday)
Internet access at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar
Free use of library
Free entrance to museums belonging to Klassik Stiftung Weimar
EUR 690: Students and BUW alumni