All across the world artists, designers and critics are celebrating the 100 year anniversary of the Bauhaus School. Founded by the architect Walter Gropius in 1919, the school was both a place for learning and development of a philosophical approach to life.
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The school collected many of Europe's top thinkers at the time whose work and ideas continue to inspire generations. Today the Google Doodle celebrates this incredible institution with an animated ‘doodle’ that captures some of the school's design principles.
Form follows function
Gropius is most famous for his idea that “form follows function.” A statement that would see architecture turn away from ornament and instead consider the user as an integral part of its design.
The word Bauhaus means “house of building”. He envisaged his school to be a place where craftsmanship, fine art, and modern technology could come together to create new ideas and forms.
Changed architecture forever
The schools original building in Dessau was a prime example of what would become known as the “International Style”, an architectural language that spread across the world.
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But it wasn’t just architecture that Gropius's ideas reached. Students at the school also taught and developed new methods and ideas in carpentry, metal, pottery, stained glass, wall painting, weaving, graphics, and typography.
They were trained to consider how functionality could be an art form. The Bauhaus can boast such visionaries like the painters Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee, photographer and sculptor László Moholy-Nagy, graphic designer Herbert Bayer, industrial designer Marianne Brandt, and Marcel Breuer.
Bauhaus inspired design everywhere
If you don’t know Breur’s name you have almost certainly sat on one of his Model B3 tubular chair’s. The Bauhaus was officially closed in 1933 after it faced significant pressure from the German Nazi regime who considered the school the center of communist intellectualism.
Despite the school's closure, it's student and teachers took its ideas around the world. Former students founded other influential institutions like the New Bauhaus in Chicago, Black Mountain College in North Carolina, and White City in Tel Aviv.
While there has been much focus on the Bauhaus leaders, Walter Gropius, Hannes Meyer, and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe; recent archivists of the Bauhaus have been able to shed light on many of the female teachers and practitioners.
Women finally being remembered
Despite the school being seen as a leader in educational gender equality, the school was also attacked for its misogynistic views and its insistence on female students concentrating on ‘domestic’ mediums such as textile and fashion design.
Key female figures from the Bauhaus included Anni Albers, a German-born American textile artist and printmaker and Gunta Stölzl a textile designer that would become the school’s only female teacher.
The anniversary of the Bauhaus is being celebrated all over the world with exhibitions, books, and retrospectives that examine the legacy this visionary institution has.