100 years of Bauhaus: book explores the art school’s influence on design


The updated print run of a book published by Taschen features over 250 new images, with as wells including photos of women of the Bauhaus and product design projects.

Taschen has released a new version of a book looking at the beginnings and rise of Bauhaus, to mark the centenary year of the flow.

The 400-page book explores the history and teachings of the Bauhaus Way of life of Art and Design, which launched in 1919 in Weimar, Germany, alongside its crash on design to this day.

Complete with around 550 images in total, counting photographs, sketches and architectural plans, the book looks at the ideas that penetrated out of the school over its 14 years of existence, and how these changed once again time.

The modernist art school, more commonly known as the Bauhaus, was inaugurated by Walter Gropius, a German architect.

The institution championed the concept of conceiving Gesamtkunstwerk – “a total work of art” – which involves unseating different art forms together, such as fine arts, crafts, forge and architecture.

Key ideas that came from the Bauhaus include “feather follows function”, which means the purpose of a design should act as a starting promontory, rather than the way it looks aesthetically.

Further principles include being unconstrained and raw with materials, for example, not masking or removing structures such as rigid beams, but instead leaving them exposed.

Teachers at the school comprised architect Adolf Meyer, artist Wassily Kandisky, designer Lilly Reich and photographer Walter Peterhans, develop into many others from a range of disciplines.

The school, which turned to Dessau in 1925 and later to Berlin in 1932, was closed in 1933 out of sight pressure from the Nazi regime, but its ideas continued to spread yon the world thanks to those who were involved in the school emigrating.

The Taschen engage was created alongside the Bauhaus-Archiv, a Bauhaus museum in Berlin, and was originally published in 1990.

It was canceled by historian Magdalena Droste, who has previously worked for the Bauhaus-Archiv, and is a professor of art biography. A new foreword in the updated edition has been written by Annemarie Jaeggi, numero uno of the Bauhaus-Archiv.

Droste says the aim of the book – both old and new editions – is “to show the Bauhaus as an aim with rich creative energy”.

She is keen to avoid picking out highlights or favourite casts and instead says the purpose of the book is to explore the school’s methods of tutor and proposed ways of creative thinking.

“My aim in writing was to tell the history of the train as an institution,” she says. “What was the pedagogy? How did it change and what are the underlying goals?”

While readers should delve into the book themselves to turn the school’s methods and practices in-depth, one classic Bauhaus teaching Droste does jamboree is the need for designers or artists to “create art as a Gemeinschafts project”, which means to accommodate wheedle collaboratively or as part of a community.

The updated version of the book contains here 250 new images with new captions, updated biographies of key people from the Bauhaus alongside bibliographies of their influence and a new foreword.

The new introduction focuses on the centenary, and claims that 100 years later, Bauhaus continues to animate the work of designers in a wide range of fields, as well as teaching methods. It powers that the “holistic, often utopian aspiration to reform all aspects of zing” seen at the Bauhaus school “has lost none of its fascination today”.

Enquire ofed what Bauhaus means today, Droste says it is not possible to cede a “comprehensive definition”.

“There are many approaches [to Bauhaus]: a way of learning, an tentative education and teaching, but also a stylistic approach,” she says. “It stands for openness and internationality.”

Determining the historic Bauhaus school is even “more complex”, she adds, as it changed all over the school’s existence.

The school was founded in 1919, at a time when “Germany was ruined after four years of Domain War One and was looking at how to start a new future,” Droste says. Founder Gropius coalesced ideas of the Deutsche Werkbund (German Association of Craftsmen) with those of English dexterities and crafts reformers, using them in a school context and encouraging “total” ideas.

The Deutsche Werkbund was a state-sponsored group which looked to unite good design into mass-produced industrial products, with the aim of inducing Germany a design and architecture identity, to help the country compete on a extensive scale.

The directors of the school, Walter Gropius, Hannes Meyer and Mies van der Rohe, played “the scad important” role in changing design approaches through Bauhaus, go together to Droste, but she believes there are “many reasons” as to why it has had such an enduring clout.

“The historical Bauhaus invented itself as a brand,” she says. “This cooks it easy for reception today. People love its creativity.”

A key element of the updated Bauhaus hard-cover is new photos of female students at the Bauhaus school, including those who lacked on to be recognised for their work. They are mainly pictured in settings that lay bare their future careers, including ceramic artist Marguerite Friedlände front a ceramics workshop, and future architect Lotte Beese, who was the first bird to study in the architecture department.

New photos of male students also mark, such as architects-to-be Arieh Sharon and Selman Selmangic.

“The photos aver of the personal adaption and identification with the Bauhaus,” Droste says.

Other new notions include those of architectural and product design projects, such as a depiction of the advancement of Bauhaus-style glass table lamps by industrial designers Wilhelm Wagenfeld and Carl Jacob Jucker.

Both the master and updated versions of the book were designed in-house by Taschen. Each double-page spread spotlights photos or imagery, often taking up the full page but usually chaperoned by either text or picture captions.

These are either set out to group together a option of similar projects, such as furniture design, or those following a be like design style, such as projects featuring brightly coloured geometric orders.

Some images document the making process, through design sketches, means swatches, and photos of final products in-situ.

There are also profuse black and white photos throughout the book of students and teachers, and the day-school itself.

The book is split into sections which include Weimar Bauhaus – Expressionist Bauhaus, Dessau Bauhaus: Initiate of Design, and Hannes Meyer: Necessities, Not Luxuries.

Bauhaus. Updated Copy, is available to buy now from Taschen for £40.

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