Many topics that interest me as a publisher are connected with discovering what knowledge and which principles we apply to shaping our present-day world and envisioning the future. The German philosopher Odo Marquard (1928–2015) put it succinctly: “The future needs the past.” The paradigm shift brought about by the digital transformation has detached many people from history. I hold fast to the belief that our present day is steeped in modernity. A critical assessment of the opportunities and risks of the foreseeable future thus calls for engaging with the history of modernity so that we can better understand it and move beyond it if necessary. This is why I welcome the attention that is being devoted to the Bauhaus centenary. In collaboration with the Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin, I am reprinting for this program publications that bear witness to the authentic thinking and actions of the Bauhaus protagonists one hundred years ago.
These annotated reprints of printed materials from that period that are nearly impossible to find today are summarized in a program called: XX The Century of Print. With this title I pay tribute to the fact that the insights and innovations of the 20th century found their way to the public as printed works on paper—and have thus left behind indelible testimonies.
On this basis, the annual program presents publications featuring research and reflection on current issues in architecture and urban planning, art, design, and society. Expressed on paper, these books are tools of the present discourse and will soon attest to their own time of origin. With this in mind, it is also worth taking a look at our backlist.