I couldn’t let the 100th Anniversary of BAUHAUS go by without at least dropping a short blog post about the single most influential movement in modern design (imho). I will never forget sitting in my college art history class and seeing the Bauhaus School of Design pop up on the overhead projector, after studying the romantics, realists, and impressionists of the 19th century. Like everyone, I had seen the iconic color blocks of red, blue, and yellow plenty of times before, and had heard the name mentioned in other art classes, but I had never before made the association of this modernist movement to the influence it has had on contemporary design. I was love struck as we delved even further into the history and revolutionary concepts that went into the founding of this remarkable school. It certainly didn’t hurt that I was surrounded by architectural buildings in the town that I lived in, which were designed by German Architects in the 1930’s and 40’s who in turn were heavily influenced by the modern Bauhaus style. Seeing the evidence first hand, I was able to draw the connections between the social-emotional ideas behind the movement and the impact it was still having on our modern everyday life.
Art and design prior to the 20th century was far more flamboyant and extravagant than what we see in the Bauhaus-Modernist movement, which focuses on breaking things down to their simplest forms, and “bridges the gap between art and industry, design and functionality”(Bauhaus); the crux of good design today.
This movement was born on the heels of the industrial revolution, as a “revolution [itself] against materialism”(Andrews), not at all unlike what we are seeing with the minimalist movement today with the idea that less is more. Modern design is one of those things that you either love or hate, but whether you’re a fan or not, no one can deny the massive impact it has had on architecture and design over the past century.