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Kate Vogel

Introduction The Bauhaus school was founded in 1919 by Walter Gropius at Weimar, Germany with the idea of creating a ‘total’ work of art in which all arts, would eventually be brought together. The Bauhaus style became one of the most influential currents in Modernist architecture and design. The Bauhaus had a profound influence upon subsequent developments in art, architecture, graphic design, interior design, industrial design, and typography. The school favored simplified forms, rationality, functionality and the idea that mass production could live in harmony with the artistic spirit of individuality. At a time when industrial society was in the grip of a crisis, the Bauhaus stood almost alone in asking how the modernisation process could be mastered by means of design.














Graphic Design




Bauhaus Manifesto by Walter Gropius

The ultimate aim of all creative activity is a building! The decoration of buildings was once the noblest function of fine arts, and fine arts were indispensable to great architecture. Today they exist in complacent isolation, and can only be rescued by the conscious co-operation and collaboration of all craftsmen. Architects, painters, and sculptors must once again come to know and comprehend the composite character of a building, both as an entity and in terms of its various parts. Then their work will be filled with that true architectonic spirit which, as “salon art”, it has lost. The old art schools were unable to produce this unity; and how, indeed, should they have done so, since art cannot be taught? Schools must return to the workshop. The world of the pattern-designer and applied artist, consisting only of drawing and painting must become once again a world in which things are built. If the young person who rejoices in creative activity now begins his career as in the older days by learning a craft, then the unproductive “artist” will no longer be condemned to inadequate artistry, for his skills will be preserved for the crafts in which he can achieve great things. Architects, painters, sculptors, we must all return to crafts! For there is no such thing as “professional art”. There is no essential difference between the artist and the craftsman. The artist is an exalted craftsman. By the grace of Heaven and in rare moments of inspiration which transcend the will, art may unconsciously blossom from the labour of his hand, but a base in handicrafts is essential to every artist. It is there that the original source of creativity lies. Let us therefore create a new guild of craftsmen without the class-distinctions that raise an arrogant barrier between craftsmen and artists! Let us desire, conceive, and create the new building of the future together. It will combine architecture, sculpture, and painting in a single form, and will one day rise towards the heavens from the hands of a million workers as the crystalline symbol of a new and coming faith.


TIMELINE 1919 • Weimar Republic Established at end of WWI.

• Germany’s foreign minister is assassinated.

• Walter Gropius founds state Bauhaus in Weimar

• “New European Graphics” is the first major Bauhaus publication.

• Preliminary courses begin with Johannes Itten.

1920 • Walter Gropius’ Sommerfeld house is opened. • The Kapp Putsch, an attempt to restore the monarchy, is defeated through a general strike.

1921 • Value of a German mark begins to fall with the weight of WWI reparations. • Former academy of art employees secede from new Bauhaus school. • Preliminary courses become mandatory.



• Gropius makes monument for Kapp Putsch. • Wassily Kandinsky is a new faculty member. • International Congress of Constructivists and Dadaists is formed in Weimar as a direct challenged to Bauhaus.

1923 • Berlin stock market hyperinflates and closes. • First major exhibition at the Bauhaus. • Laszlo Moholy-Nagy is a new faculty member.



• Conservative parties gain majority in Thuringian parliament.

• Opening of Gropius’ Masters’ Houses and Bauhaus Building in Dessau.

• Dawes Plan enacted. American loans temporarily stabilize German economy.

• Bauhaus magazine begins publication.

• Circle of Friends of the Bauhaus is founded to establish the school’s financial independence. • Thuringian govermenment withdraws its support of Bauhaus.

1927 • Left-wing coalition parties lose seats in Dessau city council. • New faculty member Hannes Meyer.

1925 • Bauhaus moves to Dessau. • Catalogue of Designs is published, shifting the Bauhaus to designer of prototypes for manufacture. • New faculty members including Herbert Bayer, Marcel Breuer and Joost Schmidt.

1928 • Hannes Meyer takes over for Walter Gropius as director of the Bauhaus.

1929 • New York stock market crashes, setting off worldwide economic instability. • The Museum of Modern Art opens to the public. • Bauhaus signs a contract with wallpaper manufacturer Emil Rasch, which will be its most profitable commercial endeavor. • Meyer organizes a traveling exhibition of work which functions as an important promotional tool for the new Bauhaus. “Young people come to the Bauhaus!”

1930 • Destruction of Schlemmer’s wall designs made for 1923 exhibition in Weimar. • Hannes Meyer and Hans Wittwer inaugurate their ADGB building, the main focal point of achievement of Meyer’s directorship. • Because of Meyer’s Communist sympathies and affiliations, he is dismissed as director and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe is appointed.

1931 • Mies van der Rohe organizes “The dwelling in our time,” an exhibition including full-scale houses and rooms designed by Albers, Breuer, Gropius, Kandinsky and Reich.

1932 • National Socialist/German Nationalist coalition wins regional elections in Anhalt government and support of the Bauhaus is withdrawn. • Mies van der Rohe declares the Bauhaus a private institution and moves the school to a rented telephone factory in Berlin.

1933 • Hitler is named German Chancellor. • Berlin police and National Socialist militia seal off the Berlin Bauhaus. • Bauhaus faculty unanimously votes to dissolve the school due to economic difficulties.



PeoPle of the



Product design


Seeing the potential of massproduction, Gropius wanted German designers to work with the new industries to establish a reputation for high quality manufactured German goods, and believed that this lay in fundamental product design rather than decoration. Mechanised production was incompatible with ornament, and to facilitate the integration of designers with industry, he brought artists and manufacturers together in the organization he called the Werkbund. Designers needed to produce smooth forms reduced to their essential function, and to this end, he advocated the hands-on approach to design teaching. He encouraged new training workshops which would teach the students to actually make things as well as design them. Muthesius was also an advocate for the establishment of homogeneity and universal standards in building, particularly the standardisation of building components, and their mass production.



The twenty-one buildings vary slightly in form, consisting of terraced and detached houses and apartment buildings, with strong design consistencies. These include simplified facades, flat roofs terraces, window bands, open plan interiors, and the high level of prefabrication. The estate was advertised as a prototype of future workersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; housing ignored the technical challenges of standardized mass construction. Bombing damage during World War II destroyed the homes designed by Gropius and many others, but eleven still survive today.



The Weissenhof estate was built for the Deutscher Werkbund exhibition of 1927 in Stuttgart. On behalf of the city, Mies Van Der Rohe was put in charge of selecting seventeen European architects to build twenty-one buildings comprising sixty dwellings. He budgeted and coordinated their entries, prepared the site, and oversaw construction.

Ar ch i t ec tu re

The Barcelona Pavilion, created by Mies Van Der Rohe, was the German Pavilion for the 1929 International Exposition in Barcelona, Spain. This building was used for the official opening of the German section of the exhibition. It is an important building in the history of modern architecture, known for its simple form and its spectacular use of extravagant materials, such as marble, red onyx & travertine. The German Republic entrusted Mies with the artistic management and erection of not only the Barcelona Pavilion, but for the buildings for all the German sections at the 1929 Universal Exhibition. Mies dealt with economic constraints, but persevered until the economy began to turn around in years following World War I. The pavilion represented the new Weimar Germany: democratic, culturally progressive, prospering, and thoroughly pacifist.


Villa Tugendhat is one of the pioneering prototypes of modern architecture in Europe, designed by Mies van der Rohe. Built between 19281930 for Fritz Tugendhat and his wife Greta, the villa soon became an icon of modernism. The free-standing three-story villa is built of reinforced concrete and is situated on a sloped terrain. Roheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s design principle of â&#x20AC;&#x153;less is moreâ&#x20AC;? and emphasis on functional amenities created a groundbreaking example of early functionalism architecture. Revolutionary iron framework enabled Mies to disperse supporting walls and arrange the interior in order to achieve a feeling of space and light. One wall is a sliding sheet of plate glass that descends to the basement the way an automobile window does. The villa interior walls are made with naturally patterned materials such as the captivating onyx and rare tropical woods. The onyx wall is partially translucent and changes appearance when the evening sun is low.


Moholy-Nagy and his Czechborn wife Lucia worked together in developing the photogram, a photographic image made without a camera when objects on coated paper are exposited to light. they developed photomontages, sometimes with drawn additions which had enormous influence on 1960’s graphics. At the same time, Moholy-Nagy was one of the first designers to realize the potential of photography in advertising and commercial art. Austrian Herbert Bayer was trained in the Art Nouveau styles but gained interest in Gropius’ Bauhaus-Manifest. He enrolled in the Bauhaus and studied there for four years. After passing his final examination, Bayer was appointed by Gropius to direct the new Printing & Advertising workshop to open in the new Dessau location. In 1925, Gropius commissioned Bayer to design a typeface for all Bauhaus communiques. He took advantage of his views of modern typography to create an idealist typeface. The result was “universal,” a simple geometric sans-serif font.


graphic design


Colophon Bauhaus Manifesto Timeline Information People & Architecture Information Product Information Graphic Design Information All images found through Google Images


Š 2012 Kate Vogel All Rights Reserved


Š 2012 Kate Vogel All Rights Reserved


A modern design influenced by the principles of the Bauhaus, about the people, graphic design, product design and architecture developed in...