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GIO looks at The Bauhaus Movement in Design

The Bauhaus Movement is an important era in the realms of architecture and design. It derives its name from a design school founded by Walter Gropius in Weimar, Germany and operated between 1919 – 1933.  Prior to the Bauhaus movement, fine arts such as architecture and design were held in higher esteem than craftsmanship. The vision of the movement was to bridge the gap between art and industry by combining crafts and fine arts. Gropius asserted that all crafts, including art, architecture, and geometric design, could be brought together and mass-produced, and he argued that architecture and design should reflect the new period in history (post World War I) and adapt to the era of the machine.

Even though the influences of the movement are clearly architectural, the Bauhaus school did not actually offer classes in architecture until 1927. Instead they explored the style through the use of artistic design and sculptures. They insisted on using only primary colors, very simple geometric shapes, and taught “truth to materials” as a core tenet, which means that any material should be used in its most honest form. These principles led to a distinct ideology of what the Bauhaus Style designs should resemble.

The Bauhaus movement captured the attention of many respected artists, designers, and architects such as Le Corbusier, Eileen Gray, Mies Van der Rohe, Marcel Breuer and Florence Bassett Knoll.

The school closed in the 1930s under pressure from the Nazis, but the movement still influences modernist architecture and design today. While Bauhaus has made its mark on art, industry, and technology, it has also been significantly influential in modern furniture design. Bauhaus bridges the gap between art and industry, design and functionality.

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