2019 marks the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus architectural movement – one of the most influential movements of the 20th century. Established in the Weimar in 1919, the Bauhaus school was a design academy founded by Walter Gropius and ultimately, shut down by the Nazis in 1933. During that brief 14 year period, the Bauhaus school of design conceived and developed ideas that have had a lasting impression on art, design and architecture across the decades continuing to shape our concept of good, intuitive design. It essentially planted the seeds of modernism as we know it today. Think Laszlo Moholy-Nagy’s telephone paintings, Breuer’s Wassily chair or any work attributed to Mies van der Rohe.
At its core, Bauhaus sought to unite fine art with more practical pursuits like architecture and design, thus, moving away from the decorative Art Nouveau style popular in the early 20th century. Frivolous ornamentation was cast aside in favour of cleaner, more functional design and materials.
Gropius’ movement was ultimately committed to the democratization of design and continues to have a profound affect on the way we live today. For example, Bauhaus ideals informed Terence Conran’s vision to bring good design to the high street with his Habitat stores and Ikea’s great success is also built upon affordable, modernist design. Even the late Steve Jobs cited the movement’s influence on Apple’s product designs.
For architects, Bauhaus has revolutionised how many conceptualize their work, using function or purpose as the starting point for designing buildings. The streamlined, hard edged visual style of Bauhaus and its love of simple geometric forms still appeal to design-minded people today.
The Bauhaus Centenary is being marked with a world tour that will cover five continents, bringing exhibitions, events, tours, and innovative training formats as well as three brand new museums to the original homes to the Bauhaus: Weimar, Dessau, and Berlin.