Study Rooms 2024: After Industry

The fusion of design and industrial production was very important for the orientation of the historic Bauhaus Dessau. Energy had to be generated and resources extracted for the production of new materials and the development of new technologies. Intrusions in landscapes to extract raw materials and the emission of environmentally harmful substances are the consequences of the industrial age.

But what comes after industry? How can structural change be organised in a socially and ecologically just way? The Bauhaus Study Rooms will take place in 2024 in cooperation with the Festival OSTEN in Dessau and Bitterfeld-Wolfen and are dedicated to the post-industrial conditions of design.

After the opening on 1 June, various workshops, lectures and walks will take place on 2 June and on 14 and 15 June during the festival in Bitterfeld-Wolfen, presenting design practices that incorporate the legacy of industrial production and show changing perspectives on a region and landscape in transition.

The event on 14 June at the Bauhaus Museum Dessau is linked to the Friday Group event series. It takes the Festival OSTEN as its starting point and discusses artistic and design practices that provide impetus for sustainable coexistence. With the aim of developing anti-extractivist alternatives to the exploitative approach of modern production, the programme is dedicated to material cycles and processes of co-design in which human and non-human activities interact.


Sat, 1 June 2024, 4 pm


Festival OSTEN

Sun, 2 June 2024, 3 – 6 pm

Interwoven Identities. A textile landscape of Bitterfeld-Wolfen

Laya Chirravuru, Maria Dinca
// Workshop
Alte Feuerwache Wolfen

The chemical waste from the GDR still pollutes the natural environment in and around Bitterfeld-Wolfen. At the same time, the lakeside town is now a popular local recreation area. The designers Laya Chirravuru and Maria Dinca weave the town’s different, sometimes contradictory identities into carpets and invite you to weave in personal stories.

In their workshop, Laya Chirravuru and Maria Dinca develop large-format, woven carpets that make the past and present of the region visible and tangible. They use old clothes and former products from the film and fiber factory. When woven together, they create new contemporary patterns. The textile works of Bauhaus artist Gunta Stölzl serve as inspiration. Her abstract style was the result of weaving experiments with unconventional materials, techniques and patterns. The act of collaborative weaving invites conversation – the different materials are interwoven with the personal stories of the participants. At the end, artists and workshop participants decide together how the “landscape” they have created should be used – as a tapestry with symbolic character or as a seating area that invites further dialog on the festival grounds?

No previous knowledge of weaving is required.
Concept: Laya Chirravuru, Maria Dinca and Kathrin Rutschmann
Language: German and English

Fri, 14 June 2024, 3 – 6 pm

Think like a forest. Co-Design with mycelium

Elena Maldonado
// Workshop
Alte Feuerwache Wolfen

How does nature reclaim abandoned industrial landscapes? The workshop invites participants to take a walk through the post-industrial landscape of Bitterfeld-Wolfen and take part in a practical exercise. Participants can learn from fungi and speculate on new industrial solutions.

 Where once there were factories, trees and shrubs are now growing again. Designer and design researcher Elena Maldonado invites participants to think like a forest and focus on collaborative creation and co-design. The forest owes its ability to recover from industry to an underground network of fungi. The workshop emphasizes the importance of imagination and fiction in the interaction between humans and nature: By learning from nature, especially from the regenerative, natural environment in Wolfen, we can enter into an active dialog with its flora and fauna.

Language: German and English
Registration required
In collaboration with PCH Innovations.

Fri, 14 June 2024,  6 – 9 pm

Friday Group: Art + Environment

Bauhaus Museum Dessau


Sat, 15 June 2024, 3 – 4:30 pm

Securing traces. Echoes from dust

Ines Glowania, Rebekka Hehn
// Workshop
Alte Feuerwache Wolfen

Bitterfeld-Wolfen looks back on an eventful history. Economically, ecologically, socially and politically, the town has undergone structural changes that are still ongoing today. Designers Ines Glowania and Rebekka Hehn invite you to explore the post-industrial echo and press bricks from industrial dust.

Together with the participants, they collect material samples at sites of structural change in Wolfen – the legacies of the past: dust, building rubble, lint and the like. What is collected is not understood as waste from industrial production in a negative sense, but rather as a material resource from which something new can be created with regard to the future. The dust represents time and forms a reference to the places the designers deal with in their workshop. Once the fragments of the past have been harvested, the collected material is processed into small bricks. This way, each of the sites is given a new brick that symbolizes its history.

Language: German and English

Sat, 15 June 2024, 3 – 5 pm

Step Gently

Lili Carr and participants of the Master program COOP Design Research
// Walk
Meeting point: Alte Feuerwache Wolfen

Landscape architect Lili Carr and students at the Bauhaus Dessau invite the festival audience to go on a series of walks through the changing landscapes of Wolfen. Equipped with our senses and a variety of sensors – tools for noticing – we will question what shapes the soil and what relations we share with the plants and beings that inhabit it.

Since the late 17th century, the soil of Bitterfeld-Wolfen has continuously been transforming. Lignite mining and industry churned through geology, radically altering the course of streams and groundwater, and irreparably changing the composition of the soil. These changes are documented in memories, stories and physical ephemera – photographs, letters, buildings, objects. They are also archived in the present-day physicality of land and by its ecologies that have been erased, persisted, or emerged anew. The participants of the Master program COOP Design Research at the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation/Hochschule Anhalt guide the audience through the changing landscapes of Wolfen to collectively find out, what stories they tell us.

In German and English

Sat, 15 June 2024, 6 – 7 pm

Compulsive Desires. On Lithium extraction and rebellious mountains

Marina Otero Verzier
// Lecture
Rathaus Bitterfeld-Wolfen, Hörsaal

In her lecture “Compulsive Desire: On Lithium Extraction and Rebellious Mountains”, Marina Otero Verzier examines the social, mental and ecological consequences of lithium mining in northern Portugal.

Lithium is a raw material for both the so-called green energy transition and for mood stabilizers. It is used in the batteries of phones, computers and electric vehicles as much as it is used in the treatment of exhaustion, mania and depression. Lithium keeps machines running and working bodies productive; as such, it keeps the capitalist dream of endless growth alive.

The mining of lithium leaves lacerations in the landscape. One of the examples for such lacerations is Covas do Barroso, Portugal – a region with biodiversity and centuries-old culture – where lithium started in 2016. The residents of Covas are fighting back. They know that lithium mines have a long-term impact on the quality of air, water and soil. Their resistance follows that in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, the Czech Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Spain and many other regions. It transforms violence into a force for survival and a longing for life. Such resistance temporarily puts a stop to the compulsive desires of capitalism.

By and with: Marina Otero Verzier
Language: English
Duration: 60 min

Lili Carr’s contribution is supported by the Creative Industries Fund NL


Lili Carr, born in the United Kingdom, is an architect and landscape architect. Her work explores the unintended ecological impacts of the industrialized environment and asks how place-based practices of knowledge and storytelling rooted in the earth of the land can inform work on other infrastructures. She previously took part in the Bauhaus Lab (2021) residency ‘Vegetation under Power’, a project that traced the material transformations of the region through the collection of the Kreismuseum Bitterfeld.

Laya Chirravuru is a design researcher and fashion designer focusing on developing social design strategies to support the fashion industry through research for sustainable impact. She explores the nuances of cultural sustainability within textile craft ecosystems and the potential of digital means to rethink cultural preservation. In her practice, she explores craft as a practical medium for critical social commentary. She is Community Engagement Lead at Roots Studio (NY), where her work focuses on cultural knowledge sharing and creative exchange to facilitate cross-cultural fashion partnerships. She is a graduate of the Master Program COOP Design Research at the Bauhaus Dessau and lives in Leipzig, Germany.

Maria Valentina Dinca is a student of textile art and design. Her work aims to interweave history and storytelling, while also addressing issues of sustainability, reuse and recycling in the textile industry. Currently on an Erasmus exchange program at Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design Halle, she is mainly based in Bucharest, Romania.

Ines Glowania is a freelance designer from Cologne with a Master’s degree in Information Design from the Design Academy Eindhoven (2019). In her interdisciplinary projects, she combines journalism with design and explores the cultural, political, ecological and economic systems in which we live. She writes articles for DAMN Magazine, has exhibited at the Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven and was part of the Bauhaus Lab 2020.

Rebekka Hehn works as a designer in the field of organizational development and graphic design and lives in Cologne. She completed her Master’s degree in COOP Design Research at the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation/Anhalt University of Applied Sciences in 2019 and previously studied Integrated Design at the Cologne International School of Design. In her artistic and design practice, she focuses on researching materials.

Elena Maldonado Suarez is an industrial designer, product development engineer and design researcher. Her personal focus is on proposing new ways of living within design practice. Through observation and curiosity, she strives to connect transformative narratives with contemporary challenges. Elena currently works at PCH INNOVATIONS, a creative engineering studio made up of engineers, designers, coders, philosophers, researchers, storytellers and roboticists.

Medium Research Publications 

Marina Otero Verzier is an architect and researcher. In 2022, she received Harvard’s Wheelwright Prize for a project on the future of data storage. Otero has curated various exhibitions, including “Compulsive Desires: On Lithium Extraction and Rebellious Mountains” at Galería Municipal do Porto (2023), “Work, Body, Leisure”, and the Dutch Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale (2018). Together with Juan Herreros and Andrés Jaque, Otero is a member of the newly founded architectural advisory board of the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (MNCARS) in Madrid.


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Key Visual
Lili Carr, Yvonne Tenschert

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