Photo Credit: Lea Tucker

Heike Hanada is both an artist and architect whose stylistic concerns are self-described as “minimalism and evocative materiality.” Hanada’s lecture at the Aspen Art Museum focused on the minimalist, concrete Bauhaus Museum Weimar that she designed in the city where the school was founded over 100 years ago.

“We didn’t want to be so museum-like,” she explained. “Bauhaus is an avant-garde movement… it’s still in progress and like a workshop”.

To be seen in the dark, LED strips were embedded in the horizontal lines that run across the outside facade of Hanada’s simple, light gray, square building design. An extremely long staircase inside the Museum connects the galleries. And while there are very few exterior windows — interior windows connect the exhibition spaces as well. Hanada employed simple unpolished handles to complement the steel doors. A lounge was built on the lower level with a beautiful view of a park where one can sit inside looking out or spend time outside under trees. Hanada chose the view to the park instead of the alternative of Weimar’s Nazi-era Gauforum Square.

Photo credit: Jordon Curet

In addition to the lecture, Hanada led the Aspen Art Museum’s Bauhaus-themed Teen Workshop for the week — an art activity connecting humans and nature. The students created an artwork that embodies human relationships to the environment. “Can I draw the earth, because that is nature?” asked one student artist. Hanada and the teens laid down on a large canvas and traced each other’s bodies with wax crayon, then filled in the outlines with black Chinese ink to create a dense forest of bodies across the canvas. Colorful flowers were added around the human figures tying in another natural element.

One of the teens queried, “What if this painting makes us famous?”