Bauhaus – The most influential art and design school in history



Bauhaus is a famous creative school and design movement that marked the twentieth century. According to many, it is the most influential art and design school in history. It was created as a school for architecture and applied art, and was founded by the architect Walter Gropius in 1919 in Weimar.

In the 19th century in England, ideas arise about connecting artists and industrial production to make products more beautiful and more functional. The connection between art and industry was initiated in England by William Morris (Arts and Crafts) in unique and decorated objects. In 1907, the Deutsche Werkbund, the union of industrial manufacturers, was founded with similar ideas in Munich. Their goals were also the standardization and improvement of materials and techniques.

In such an atmosphere, Bauhaus was founded by Walter Gropius in Weimar. The idea was to gather all the arts under one roof. Bauhaus soon becomes one of the most important directions of modern design, from architecture and art, industrial design, and interior design. Famous artists worked within the school, among them: Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, and László Moholy-Nagy…

The school teachers tried to awaken creative talents among their students and jointly search for new techniques, materials, and forms that will be applied in architecture, furniture, and other subjects. Wood, textiles, ceramics, but also graphic and photographic techniques were used… Practical work takes on a new meaning, but students also studied theory along with advanced programs. The ultimate goal was to release creative energy of young artists.

The influence of the school was magnificent from the very beginning, and one of the main representatives of the direction is the group of buildings of the Bauhaus school, designed by Walter Gropius himself. The school consists of three large blocks for classrooms, workshops, and studios. The first two are connected by a concrete bridge. The most dramatic is the workshop block, presented in the form of a prism with glass walls. And this is precisely one of the greatest achievements of the Bauhaus. Walter Gropius designed school in Dessau to reflect the Bauhaus values. The Bauhaus promoted a unified vision for the arts that made no distinction between form and function, and therefore Gropius wanted the school’s architecture to reflect these values. The radical change became possible thanks to steel and the construction skeleton, which assumed a supporting role several decades before. Thus the walls are freed from their initial function. Bauhaus thus sees walls as ordinary curtains, or climate barriers, and for the first time, they can be completely made of glass. This principle has remained a significant feature of many modern buildings and interiors to this day. Bauhaus style implies simple geometric shapes like spheres or triangles, without accompanying decoration.

Buildings, furniture, and fonts have rounded corners and sometimes circular surfaces, like rounded walls. The furniture includes metal pipes that bend at the corners (instead joined by welding). Glass, which provides a view of the interior and the structure of the building, is certainly one of the most important elements.

The Bauhaus legacy is still alive today, and its influence can be seen in its significant impact on modern design.

Image: Moritz Kindler, unsplash

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