In October 1929, visionaries from all over Europe, including Swiss architect Le Corbusier and Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius came together in Frankfurt to attend the second International Congress of Modern Architecture (CIAM). Attendees at the 1929 conference were urged to create housing for "society's poorest classes." This effort, according to the literature distributed to participants, was "at the forefront of the public interest in almost all civilized countries."
Now that the Bauhaus is back after its unfortunate interruption, it is picking up where it left off and sponsoring an architectural competition to encourage young architects to come up with "The minimum subsistence level housing."
According to the Bauhaus website:
With the 5th Bauhaus Award, the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation continues its research into "Updating Modernism". In doing so, a central topic of the historical Bauhaus is taken up and put into the context of a contemporary discourse: solutions are sought for the subsistencelevel housing of today. The same title was chosen for the second conference held by CIAM (or International Congress of Modern Architecture) in Frankfurt am Main in 1929. Here, new models and prototypes for small apartments were presented and discussed by, among others, the Bauhaus directors Walter Gropius and Hannes Meyer"
Almost eight decades later, this historical Bauhaus theme is more pertinent than ever. Societies worldwide are confronted, in the social, ecological and cultural respect, with the problem of housing shortage. The 5th International Bauhaus Award will look at modern standards in the field of housing and examine these in the light of the current parameters of housing shortage. Creative designs or concepts and models or scenarios for housing policy are sought for the social strata, which live on the subsistence minimum and are therefore unable to establish themselves on the housing market.
The urban ways of life associated with poverty lead to existential housing shortages, which, given the ecological conditions of climate change, will only become more extreme. How is the ever-critical relationship between poverty and the housing shortage resolved? Individuals or groups may tender entries of work developed in the last five years — design outlines, plans, research projects, films, concepts, etc. Participants may include designers, artists and academics who are under 40 years of age by the project completion date. The first prize is 6,000 Euro, the second 4,000 Euro and the third 2,000 Euro."