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Bauhaus

The Staatliches Bauhaus known as the Bauhaus, was a German art school operational from 1919 to 1933 that combined crafts and the fine arts. The school became famous for its approach to design, which strove to combine beauty with usefulness and attempted to unify the principles of mass production with individual artistic vision; the Bauhaus was founded by architect Walter Gropius in Weimar. The German term Bauhaus—literally "building house"—was understood as meaning "School of Building", but in spite of its name the Bauhaus did not have an architecture department. Nonetheless, it was founded upon the idea of creating a Gesamtkunstwerk in which all the arts, including architecture, would be brought together; the Bauhaus style became one of the most influential currents in modern design, Modernist architecture and art and architectural education. The Bauhaus movement had a profound influence upon subsequent developments in art, graphic design, interior design, industrial design, typography; the school existed in three German cities—Weimar, from 1919 to 1925.

Although the school was closed, the staff continued to spread its idealistic precepts as they left Germany and emigrated all over the world. The changes of venue and leadership resulted in a constant shifting of focus, technique and politics. For example, the pottery shop was discontinued when the school moved from Weimar to Dessau though it had been an important revenue source. After Germany's defeat in World War I and the establishment of the Weimar Republic, a renewed liberal spirit allowed an upsurge of radical experimentation in all the arts, suppressed by the old regime. Many Germans of left-wing views were influenced by the cultural experimentation that followed the Russian Revolution, such as constructivism; such influences can be overstated: Gropius did not share these radical views, said that Bauhaus was apolitical. Just as important was the influence of the 19th-century English designer William Morris, who had argued that art should meet the needs of society and that there should be no distinction between form and function.

Thus, the Bauhaus style known as the International Style, was marked by the absence of ornamentation and by harmony between the function of an object or a building and its design. However, the most important influence on Bauhaus was modernism, a cultural movement whose origins lay as early as the 1880s, which had made its presence felt in Germany before the World War, despite the prevailing conservatism; the design innovations associated with Gropius and the Bauhaus—the radically simplified forms, the rationality and functionality, the idea that mass production was reconcilable with the individual artistic spirit—were partly developed in Germany before the Bauhaus was founded. The German national designers' organization Deutscher Werkbund was formed in 1907 by Hermann Muthesius to harness the new potentials of mass production, with a mind towards preserving Germany's economic competitiveness with England. In its first seven years, the Werkbund came to be regarded as the authoritative body on questions of design in Germany, was copied in other countries.

Many fundamental questions of craftsmanship versus mass production, the relationship of usefulness and beauty, the practical purpose of formal beauty in a commonplace object, whether or not a single proper form could exist, were argued out among its 1,870 members. German architectural modernism was known as Neues Bauen. Beginning in June 1907, Peter Behrens' pioneering industrial design work for the German electrical company AEG integrated art and mass production on a large scale, he designed consumer products, standardized parts, created clean-lined designs for the company's graphics, developed a consistent corporate identity, built the modernist landmark AEG Turbine Factory, made full use of newly developed materials such as poured concrete and exposed steel. Behrens was a founding member of the Werkbund, both Walter Gropius and Adolf Meyer worked for him in this period; the Bauhaus was founded at a time when the German zeitgeist had turned from emotional Expressionism to the matter-of-fact New Objectivity.

An entire group of working architects, including Erich Mendelsohn, Bruno Taut and Hans Poelzig, turned away from fanciful experimentation, turned toward rational, sometimes standardized building. Beyond the Bauhaus, many other significant German-speaking architects in the 1920s responded to the same aesthetic issues and material possibilities as the school, they responded to the promise of a "minimal dwelling" written into the new Weimar Constitution. Ernst May, Bruno Taut and Martin Wagner, among others, built large housing blocks in Frankfurt and Berlin; the acceptance of modernist design into everyday life was the subject of publicity campaigns, well-attended public exhibitions like the Weissenhof Estate and sometimes fierce public debate. The Vkhutemas, the Russian state art and technical school founded in 1920 in Moscow, has been compared to Bauhaus. Founded a year after the Bauhaus school, Vkhutemas has close parallels to the German Bauhaus in

Demosistō

Demosistō is a pro-democracy political group established on 10 April 2016 as a political party. It is led by the former leaders of Scholarism, Joshua Wong and Agnes Chow, along with former secretary-general of the Hong Kong Federation of Students Nathan Law. Scholarism and the HKFS were the two student activist groups which played an instrumental role in the 79-day occupy protests known as the Umbrella Revolution in 2014. Demosistō advocated a referendum to determine Hong Kong's sovereignty with the goal of obtaining autonomy after 2047, when the One Country, Two Systems principle as promised in the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Hong Kong Basic Law is supposed to expire, it won a seat in the 2016 Legislative Council election with its 23-year-old chairman Nathan Law becoming the youngest candidate to be elected. In 2017, Law was disqualified from the Legislative Council over the oath-taking controversy and was imprisoned with Joshua Wong for the storming into the Civic Square during the Umbrella Revolution.

After a series of disqualification of the Demosistō candidates, the party passed a resolution in January 2020 to abandon its advocacy on "democratic self-determination". The major missions of the group ′Demosistō′: Development of civil society: Demosistō wants to encourage people of Hong Kong discuss their political views and the youth develop parties and civil movements; the same time, May 2018, Demosistō changed their status from party to the group, when its candidates were banned on election in the Legislative Council of Hong Kong. The name is derived from the Greek "demos" and Latin "sisto". Translated as "people to stand" in English, it means "stand for democracy", or "stand for the people"; the Chinese name means "the will of the people". The idea of forming Demosistō was inspired by Taiwan's New Power Party, formed by the Sunflower Movement leaders and fared well in the 2016 Taiwanese legislative election. In February 2016, core figures of the student activist group Scholarism – Joshua Wong, Oscar Lai and Agnes Chow – who played an instrumental role in the 2014 Hong Kong protests, announced their plan of forming a new political party with other Umbrella Movement leaders, including Nathan Law, former secretary-general of the Hong Kong Federation of Students, to run in the September Legislative Council election.

Scholarism ceased functioning on 20 March 2016 as the group disallowed any party affiliation. The party was established on 10 April 2016 with former secretary-general of Hong Kong Federation of Students Nathan Law as chairman, former spokesman of Scholarism Oscar Lai as vice-chairman, former convenor as Joshua Wong as secretary-general and former core member Agnes Chow Ting as deputy secretary. Founding party members included Shu Kei, Dean of Film and Television at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts as party's executive committee member, teacher Ng Mei-lan and Hong Kong Unison's Fermi Wong Wai-fun as member of the Kowloon East team; the Company Registry and police have yet to allow them to register as a company or society, as the registry had asked Demosistō to explain if it adheres to the Basic Law in pushing for Hong Kong's "self-determination" when the then-political party tried to register as a company. It was thus unable to set up its own bank account to raise funds as other parties and organisations did and had to rely instead on individual members' personal accounts.

Joshua Wong accused HSBC of exercising "political censorship" in rejecting his request to open a joint savings account to handle the business of his political party. Demosistō planned to field chairman Nathan Law in Hong Kong Island and vice-chairman Oscar Lai in Kowloon East. In July 2016, Oscar Lai decided to drop his candidacy in Kowloon East due to the lack of funding; the mailings of the campaign pamphlets of chairman Nathan Law, running in Hong Kong Island, were delayed as the Hongkong Post had to seek legal advice from the justice department regarding Law's pamphlets mentioning phrases such as "self-determination". Law, 23 became the youngest candidate to be elected to the Legislative Council after he received 50,818 votes, the second-highest among all candidates in the constituency. Demosisto's electoral allies, environmentalist Eddie Chu and university lecturer Lau Siu-lai who ran with a similar platform of "self-determination" won seats in New Territories West and Kowloon West. In the Legislative Council, Demosistō and its allies joined the 27-strong pro-democracy caucus.

In the 2017 Chief Executive election, the party and other radical democrats backed the League of Social Democrats legislator Leung Kwok-hung to run against the two former government officials Carrie Lam and John Tsang, backed by the mainstream pro-democrats. Leung dropped out after failing to grab enough signatures in an unofficial civil petition. In July 2017, Nathan Law was ousted from the Legislative Council over their manners at the oath-taking ceremony at the inaugural meeting with three other pro-democracy le

Robyn Blumner

Robyn Ellen Blumner is a journalist, civil rights expert and the current president and chief executive officer of the secular educational organization Center for Inquiry and executive director of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. She holds a J. D. degree and worked for several years as director of local affiliates of the American Civil Liberties Union advocating for civil liberties and civil rights before becoming a newspaper columnist and editorial writer in Florida. Blumner was born May 1961 in Queens, New York City, her parents were teachers and politically active union members, her mother being a registered Democrat, her father being an independent voter who voted Republican. Her grandmother had been awarded a law degree but had not practised, as women in those days were unable to obtain an apprenticeship to practice law. Both her parents were Jewish, with her father practising. In an interview with the Richard Dawkins Foundation she states that she began questioning religion around age 11 and stopped attending Hebrew school and did not have Bat Mitzvah.

She acknowledges a shared Jewish identity and said, “A belief in god is not essential to being Jewish. Humanist values were far more important than religious practice to Jewish identity.”She was raised in Glen Cove, Long Island and became interested in politics from a young age, leafleting for Senator George McGovern during his 1972 presidential campaign and organizing the Young Democrats while at school. In 1982 she was awarded a BA in labor relations from Cornell University. From there she went to New York University School of Law and in 1985 completed a J. D. degree. While studying for her that degree she began working for the American Federation of State and Municipal Employees and the Staten Island Rapid Transit Operating Authority where she became assistant director of labor-management relations. Around the same time Blumner first became active as a volunteer in the American Civil Liberties Union where she became absorbed by The Reproductive Freedom Project and soon decided that civil liberties was a field she wanted to pursue.

From 1987 Blumner held the position of executive director at the American Civil Liberties Union In Utah where she acted as spokesperson on topics such as freedom of speech and abortion rights. From 1989 she was director of the ACLU for Florida where she campaigned on various civil liberties issues such as reproductive rights, right to demonstrate, First Amendment rights and sexual discrimination; that organization gave her the Gardner W. Beckett, Jr. Civil Liberties Award in 2001 and the Irene Miller Vigilance in Journalism Award in 2010 to honor her work. Controversially while with the ACLU, Blumner stated she is against affirmative action, saying “I can no longer sit silently while my cohorts defend a discriminatory policy that favors groups of people on their gender, skin color or national origin... An advantage granted me due to my sex demeans my individuality, reducing me to a walking immutable characteristic.” From 1998 to 2014 Blumner was an opinion writer for Tampa Bay Times, was syndicated in papers across the country and is described as a columnist and editorial writer.

In 2012 Blumner, along with John Hill, Joni James and Tim Nickens, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing for their work at the Tampa Bay Times in conducting an extensive investigation of a state governor and the effects of his inexperience on the state. Blumner is an author and contributor to several publications including Center for Inquiry in association with the Council for Secular Humanism and Time magazine in her capacity as CEO and president of CFI, for her experience in civil liberties, she has contributed forewords to several published works by other authors. From 2008-2009 she was a regular contributor to Huffington Post. In 2004 Blumner was awarded the Emperor Has No Clothes Award from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, which describes it as an “award celebrating ‘plain speaking’ on the shortcomings of religion by public figures.”In February 2014 Blumner joined the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science as executive director, replacing interim director Edwina Rogers who in 2013 had been director of the Secular Coalition for America when it and RDFRS formed a partnership.

In 2016, following the merger of the RDFRS with the Center for Inquiry, Blumner took over from Ronald A. Lindsay as CEO and president of CFI, a position which Hemant Mehta speculated would make her “one of the most powerful women in the world of organized atheism.”Blumner speaks at science education and atheist conferences including CSICon, Reason Rally, Apostacon and DLD. In 2016 Blumner, as president of the Center for Inquiry, championed a new global initiative called Secular Rescue which aims to protect and provide emergency support to non-believers and apostates, if necessary giving them an escape route from violence and death threats as well as diplomatic and legal assistance. "It’s an underground railroad of sorts for non-believers in countries where expressing doubt about religious belief is a criminal offense or where it may lead to grave physical harm." Blumner addressed the 36th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on September 20, 2017 following a surge in discrimination against atheists in Malaysia, bringing pressure to bear on the issue of freedom of conscience.

As of January 2018, Secular Rescue claims to have provided emergency aid to 30 individuals, including PEN Pinter Prize winning writer Ahmedur Rashid Chowdhury. Blumner describes herself as an atheist, a seculari