Radically breaking with the past, the Bauhaus School, initially based in Weimar and Dessau, Germany, launched the Modern movement in both design and architecture. To begin this journey, the movement founders collected all the design arts under the wing of architecture... [more]
Radically breaking with the past, the Bauhaus School, initially based in Weimar and Dessau, Germany, launched the Modern movement in both design and architecture. To begin this journey, the movement founders collected all the design arts under the wing of architecture by bringing together in 1919 the Weimar Art Academy and the Weimar Arts and Crafts School. Until 1933, they fully dedicated themselves to utopian collectivism under the guidance of the founder, Walter Gropius. Their art was practically a religious expression for the group, especially the teachers (known as masters), who included Joseph Albers, Marcel Breuer, Herbert Bayer, Lyonel Feininger, Johannes Itten, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Hannes Meyer, Mies van der Rohe, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, and Georg Muche.
The working premise was to move towards a more comprehensive integration of art and technology, which would lead to the betterment of both. The Bauhaus school could be considered one of the first "design consultancies," with clients in a variety of industries and trades. The campus was a hotbed of innovation as they built workshops and homes of prefabricated pieces and utilized new materials and technologies as they came available. Attention to signage, logos, flyers and announcements was also emphasized, and the Bauhaus is well known for its typographic creations.
The influence these very new ideas have had on the direction of design cannot be stressed enough. Even for those unfamiliar with the artists and designers, their work is generally recognizable and familiar. The Wassily chair, designed by Marcel Breuer in 1926, is considered a design classic today. It incorporates a continuous bent tubular steel frame with canvas as support. The Barcelona chair by Mies van der Rohe is made of bent flat stainless steel and upholstered leather. Both chairs utilized simple manufacturing techniques to achieve an amazingly modern look and quality and both constituted a trend towards joinery and fine materials. Much like the Volkswagen (People's Car) which came later, the Bauhaus movement aimed at making quality furniture and designs available to all people.