From Bauhaus to Brauhaus

From Bauhaus to Brauhaus

RMIT students have joined the celebrations for 100 years of Bauhaus – the German art, architecture and design movement – by creating a pop-up micro brewery in Cologne, Germany with students from Köln International School of Design.

The students from RMIT's Master of Design, Innovation and Technology (MDIT) worked with their peers from Köln International School of Design (KISD) to research and experiment with a range of concepts and ideas for the design, build and operation of a temporary micro brewery: Brauhaus.

The project was designed to capture the importance of the traditional local pub as a social meeting space for interaction, activism and creative collaboration.

The RMIT and KISD students began the project in Melbourne and continued to collaborate online before working together again in Cologne for the two-week building phase of the microbrewery.

RMIT's Malte Wagenfeld, MDIT Program Leader, said the students worked in teams to tackle different design challenges.

"The students developed scale design models, explored materials and construction techniques, graphic design proposals, service design and user experience, as well as a full virtual reality visualisation of the space," he said.

RMIT students have joined the celebrations for 100 years of Bauhaus – the German art, architecture and design movement – by creating a pop-up micro brewery in Cologne with students from Köln International School of Design

The student collaboration between the two universities presented opportunities to see how processes might converge or diverge as well as seeing new ways of learning to approach design challenges.

RMIT student Jerome Lewis said the project involved building scale models and virtual reality walkthroughs to test and develop ideas, allowing them to hit the ground running when it was time for the construction in Cologne.

"We were interested in how our pop-up Brauhaus could be used to help address issues of the modern world, such as the increasing social isolation faced by many due to changes in lifestyle, economy and urban living.

"We asked ourselves how can design be used to foster positive face-to-face interactions between people as well as facilitate relationships to help establish robust local communities," he said.

The scope of the project encompassed design, social and cultural history as well as explored contemporary concerns – working to address these through design, marketing and business strategies for the pop-up Brauhaus.

The student groups also developed furniture, wall paintings, tableware, serving utensils and lighting – all inspired by the Bauhaus movement.

It resulted in a rich cultural exchange with many learning outcomes including the challenge of students working collaboratively to build a real project within a short period of time, said RMIT's Wagenfeld from the University's School of Design

"It's a tremendous outcome for the students to stand back and see what they have achieved and created," he said. 

For the students, there were many highlights of this global experience.

Lewis said he most enjoyed working with his peers at both RMIT and KISD.

"There is no doubt that from this experience, both personal and professional relationships have been built that will last a lifetime," he said. 

“Realising our ability to diligently focus on the tasks at hand and produce results, despite the demand for attention to detail at all angles, has been incredibly rewarding.

"Every minute of it has been an absolute blast,"Lewis said. 

Follow from Bauhaus to Brauhaus on Instagram.


Story: Sara Bosch Brinques and Karen Matthews


  • Design
  • RMIT Europe
  • Student experience

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Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.