7-1 | Making Sense of the Modernist Muse


Making Sense of the Modernist Muse
Creative Cognition and Play at the Bauhaus

Phillip Prager


In a review of the methodology of the Bauhaus (Germany’s famous art school of the Weimar Republic era) in light of more recent scientific research on creativity and especially in light of the work of László Moholy-Nagy, the author examines the emphasis the school placed on play and positive emotions and concludes that it evinced a highly sophisticated understanding of creative cognition half a century ahead of science. He thus questions the modernist and rationalistic paradigms into which the Bauhaus has been enshrined and discusses its true relationship to the idea of play. Key words: Bauhaus; cognition; creativity and play; László Moholy-Nagy; philosophy; photography