Bauhaus gave a new dimension to what design can do for society. The Bauhaus school where the architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe taught and served as the director since 1930, formed a new concept for the use of design.
The Bauhaus school first opened in Weimar in 1919. Its original mission was to create a place for mixing craftsmanship with the arts in the service of architecture. With time the mission changed and focused on uniting art with industrial techniques. As soon as Mies took over the directorship in 1930, it became mainly a school for architecture.
Bauhaus Lesson 1
Sometimes the vagueness of a purpose can help a brand became more popular. Let a philosophical idea became your professional moto.
Bauhaus movement needed less than a decade to become the symbol of modern style & culture. Bauhaus redefined the idea of progressiveness across the world. It actually opened the doors of art and let society use its principals to reform the everyday life of world’s working classes.
Bauhaus Lesson 2
The end of an era is not the end of the world. Changes are part of evolution, so learn to embrace them.
The given circumstances at these difficult years lead Mies and other Bauhaus masters to close the school in July 1933. They gathered together at the studio of the interior designer Lilly Reich in Berlin. They analyzed and discussed the financial and political situation of the school and came to the conclusion that it wasn’t possible to keep it open. The proposal was accepted with unanimous agreement, and the Bauhaus closed its doors.
This was the end of the Bauhaus school but not the end of Bauhaus. It triggered the birth of a design myth. Many architects and designers that began to flee Germany act as Bauhaus Ambassadors.
These well educated refugees pushed forward the principles of Bauhaus. As former teachers or students they had deep knowledge and the skills to implement Bauhaus into the society across Europe.
It was a historical alignment of good luck and need to adjust to new demands. Different countries and governments were trying to find ways to improve the city life. From building’s structure to floor designs and lifestyle changes to economy reformation.
Bauhaus Lesson 3
Design can change the world. When it comes to professional decisions, trust the designers more than your personal taste of aesthetics.
Modernism had became the new hot trend of their time. People wanted to get rid of the old and bring in the new. Bauhaus movement found the perfect conditions to bloom. It was translated into different languages and went viral among a wide spread of geographical locations. It expand as an idea of transformation into a modern way of thinking & design and became a milestone in the history of mankind.
In that specific point, Aesthetics could transform the society inside its deep core. Design took the leading part of social transformation. And this overwhelmed the world. Goverments approved new buildings with the new Bauhaus design all over them. In that context, architecture & designers produced the foundations for the revival of the society by adopting a new way of living.
Bauhaus Lesson 4
A great idea doesn’t need anyone’s approval to thrive. It’s above and beyond our personal power to control what happens after we create something.
As it usually happens, the first years, every designer had their strong opinion about what Bauhaus really was. Thousands of versions started to rise in different cities all over the world.
Naturally, the process was remarkably out of control. Over time, Bauhaus buildings and objects showed up in London, New York, Chicago, Tel Aviv., Germany, Russia, Greece, Italy, Spain etc.
The principal founder of Bauhaus, Walter Gropius, made his next step to Massachusetts as a professor at Harvard. The well know second director of Bauhaus, Hannes Meyer, continued his life to the Soviet Union. After the end of the WW, some remained in their new homelands and some returned back to the divided Germany.
In 1937 the New Bauhaus was founded in Chicago. Today is known as the
Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Some years later, another Bauhaus institute was founded in the city of Ulm, West Germany, in 1950. It is known as the Ulm School of Design.
For historians, it is no surprise, that West Germany choosed the Bauhaus as their official symbol of democracy. In the following years, East Germany used it as a symbol of progress.
Bauhaus started as a idea of improvement among architectures and designers in 1919 and succeed to become a globally recognizable symbol of social & political transformation.
Bauhaus lesson 5
Simplicity is more complicated and sustainable than complexity. Less is more. Always. And stays forever.
I was born in Germany in 1973. Nowadays I live in Greece, but I keep visiting my birth country quite often. Last week I visited the remaining sites of Bauhaus, for the 100th anniversary of its opening.
The Bauhaus was one of the most influential modernist art schools of the 20th century. The foundation of its teachings were based to the relationship between art, society, and technology. It had a major impact both in Europe and in the United States long after its closure under Nazi pressure in 1933.
The Bauhaus was influenced by 19th and early-20th-century artistic directions such as the Arts and Crafts movement, as well as Art Nouveau and its many international incarnations, including the Jugendstil and Vienna Secession.
“All of these movements sought to level the distinction between the fine and applied arts, and to reunite creativity and manufacturing; their legacy was reflected in the romantic medievalism of the Bauhaus ethos during its early years, when it fashioned itself as a kind of craftsmen’s guild. But by the mid-1920s this vision had given way to a stress on uniting art and industrial design, and it was this which underpinned the Bauhaus’s most original and important achievements. The school is also renowned for its extraordinary faculty, who subsequently led the development of modern art – and modern thought – throughout Europe and the United States. ” Source: The Art Story
Google’s Doodle for Bauhaus 100th Anniversary
Both a school for the arts and a school of thought, the Bauhaus was founded by architect Walter Gropius exactly 100 years ago in Weimar, Germany, gathering many of Europe’s most brilliant artists and designers with the aim of training a new generation of creatives to reinvent the world. Today’s animated Doodle celebrates the legacy of this institution and the worldwide movement it began, which transformed the arts by applying the principle “form follows function.”
Gropius envisioned the Bauhaus—whose name means “house of building”—as a merger of craftsmanship, the “fine” arts, and modern technology. His iconic Bauhaus Building in Dessau was a forerunner of the influential “International Style,” but the impact of the Bauhaus’s ideas and practices reached far beyond architecture. Students of the Bauhaus received interdisciplinary instruction in carpentry, metal, pottery, stained glass, wall painting, weaving, graphics, and typography, learning to infuse even the simplest functional objects (like the ones seen in today’s Doodle) with the highest artistic aspirations.
Steering away from luxury and toward industrial mass production, the Bauhaus attracted a stellar faculty including painters Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee, photographer and sculptor László Moholy-Nagy, graphic designer Herbert Bayer, industrial designer Marianne Brandt, and Marcel Breuer, whose Model B3 tubular chair changed furniture design forever.
Though the Bauhaus officially disbanded on August 10, 1933, its students returned to 29 countries, founding the New Bauhaus in Chicago, Black Mountain College in North Carolina, and White City in Tel Aviv. Bauhaus affiliates also took leadership positions at the Illinois Institute of Technology, the Harvard School of Architecture, and the Museum of Modern Art. Through all of these institutions, and the work created in their spirit, the ideas of the Bauhaus live on. Source: Google Doodle
Happy 100th anniversary, Bauhaus!
Read more about Bauhaus:
- How Bauhaus Redefined What Design Could Do for Society
- Bauhaus Movement, The Art Story
- Bauhaus Movement: Every Time You Sit Down, Thank the German Art School
- Google Doodle honours 100th anniversary of Bauhaus
- Bauhaus Movement: Google Doodle honours 100th anniversary of Bauhaus – what is it?