Anniversary of Bauhaus

OV Digital Desk

Image Courtesy: Wikipedia

Bauhaus was a school of art, design, and architecture that operated in Germany from 1919 to 1933. It was founded on 12 April 1919 by architect Walter Gropius and was characterized by its interdisciplinary approach, combining crafts, fine arts, and technology in the pursuit of creating functional and aesthetic objects.

The Bauhaus school aimed to unite art and industry, with a focus on the integration of design, craftsmanship, and modern industrial production. It emphasized the principles of simplicity, functionality, and practicality, and rejected ornamental and superfluous elements. The Bauhaus style, often referred to as “Bauhaus Modernism,” had a profound impact on modern design and architecture, and its influence can still be seen in contemporary aesthetics.

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.

The curriculum at Bauhaus included a wide range of disciplines, including architecture, painting, sculpture, printmaking, textiles, metalworking, and theater, among others. The school attracted renowned artists and designers as faculty, including Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, and László Moholy-Nagy, who brought their innovative ideas and artistic visions to the school.

One of the key concepts of Bauhaus was the idea of the “Gesamtkunstwerk,” or the total work of art, which aimed to integrate various art forms into a unified whole. This interdisciplinary approach, along with the emphasis on experimentation and practical application, challenged traditional notions of art and design and pushed the boundaries of creativity.

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.

The legacy of Bauhaus can be seen in various aspects of modern design and architecture. Its principles of functionality, simplicity, and integration of art and technology have influenced fields such as industrial design, graphic design, architecture, and interior design. The Bauhaus approach to design, which prioritizes the needs of society and the user, has become a foundation for modern design thinking. The Bauhaus school also fostered a collaborative and interdisciplinary approach to creativity, which has influenced many educational institutions and creative practices today.

Overall, Bauhaus remains a significant cultural and artistic movement that has left an indelible mark on the history of design, architecture, and art, and its influence can still be seen in contemporary aesthetics and design principles.

on 12 April 2019, Google celebrated the 100th Anniversary of Bauhaus with Doodle.