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Tag it Central

Veniamin Bampilis

“Tag It Central” acts as a vehicle transporting the Bauhaus movement into the next century. The hybrid façade fusing digital technology with an industrial feel projects a high tech, urban image, yet inside it exhibits strong Bauhaus vibes. The complex accommodating and educating graffiti artists alongside a factory producing an environmentally friendly nontoxic ink is as radical an idea as the original Bauhaus school of thought. The plaza adjoining the Bauhaus Archiv in Berlin inspired a design that is not only psychologically akin to the pivotal architectural movement, but the physical proximity of the plot called for a new-build that could stand alone in its own right yet respect and complement the state archive. It was intended that any visitor could walk seamlessly the future of arts and craft as it is being showcased in a hub of graffiti-related activity within “Tag It Central” into the past of the Bauhaus housed under the iconic shed roofs of the Archiv. The extensive glass outer shell and elevated ground floor of the modern structure ensure transparency and as the artists and visitors look to the future, a healthy reminder of the past forms the backdrop.
Many would argue that two components of the Bauhaus movement, namely typography and art marry to create graffiti, a less subtle way of conveying a message than the Bauhaus style strived to achieve. As an educational establishment, the graffiti school aims to nurture amateur graffiti artists in a controlled environment, thereby unleashing their creative potential in a legal and profitable way. Art is propelled into industry by the vision. The ink itself for the spray cans can be mass produced on site but the art itself is bespoke and available to the masses in one of a kind creation.
Meyer’s social approach to the Bauhaus principles is equally mirrored by “Tag It Central”. Berlin in general benefits from “Tag Its” philosophy. The carbon footprint of the German city is reduced as CO2 emissions are removed from the atmosphere to make a pigment for the ink whilst the streets are cleaned up of unwanted graffiti as this artistically misunderstood sector of society is given the opportunity to spread its wings. Through teaching and supervision, the standard of graffiti should be raised to such an extent that graffiti can stand tall amongst the inequality of the classical art forms. “Tag It” doesn’t stay true to a limited amount of materials. Any new or recycled material can be sprayed with the ink and the notion of vertical surfaces is abandoned. Everyday objects and unwanted surfaces can be given a new functionality and the status of a simple thing is enhanced and marketed to produce self-funding for a centre that is as independent as the Bauhaus founder and successors themselves. The legacy of the Bauhaus with its socially egalitarian principles of art and design is continued with a modern adaptation as sustainability is added to the equation. In short, “Tag It” propels the unification of arts and crafts into the future with a smart use of resources, the embracement of technological advances whilst quirkily championing zero net carbon emissions and longevity of the artwork and environment in tandem.

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