> My article in CALAMUS 95 is about The Bauhaus School. Between
> 1919-1933 the bauhaus emerged as a new radical art school. It had a
> major impact on the way advertising was made as well as on art and
> the design of everyday things. Some of the teachers at the bauhaus
> were Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky and Oscar Schlemmer.
> Design & Functionalism
> The bauhaus school existed 1919-1933 in Weimar, Dessau and Berlin.
> The schools goal was to educate craftsmen and artists that were to
> shape the human enviroment. From the shaping of everyday things to
> the arcitechture of buildings. Among some of the design that was
> made at the bauhaus is the steelchair by Marcel Breuer. This you can
> still find in furniture shops around the world.
> Due to the increasing industrialization in the beginning of the
> century many craftsmen and artists disapeared in into the factories
> and monotonous works. In England and later on in Germany voices were
> heard against this development. Writer John Ruskin was among the
> first. He wanted to improve the english conditions by abolishing
> factorywork. William Morris, one of Ruskins proteges was to convert
> his ideas into practice. Morris founded workshops where craftsmen
> again could make use of their skills. Theese workshops made various
> objects for utility in a handmade way. This was to be the starting
> point for the Arts & Crafts- movement.
> Reforming of the educational system
> Also in Germany workshops were founded. As in England they made
> among other things furniture, textile and objects of metall. The
> reforming of schools demanded homogenous educational systems and
> working-schools. In the art-schools craftsmanship was again taken
> into consideration. In the beginning of 1919 circumstances were
> positive for a recontruction the college of educational art in
> Weimar. Four of the principal school-masters chairs were vacant and
> the school for arts and crafts was temporarely closed. The two
> schools were joined together in a fusion under the name "Staatliches
> Bauhaus in Weimar under first principal headmaster architect Walter
> Bauhaus, the building of the future Gropius formulated the schools
> program in the bauhaus-manifest that was made public in the whole of
> Germany. Artistst and craftsmen would together build the building of
> the future - Bauhaus. Bauen, the german word for building elevated
> the education into a higher symbolic dimension. Different artforms
> where brought togheter in the making and shaping of the building of
> the future. Gropius managed to get famous artists to the school as
> teachers, for example painter and art-pedagog Johannes Itten,
> painter Lyonel Feininger and sculpturer Gerhard Marcks. After some
> time other artists were employed. Some of them were Paul Klee,
> Wassily Kandinsky and Oscar Schlemmer. The students were callde
> trainees and could become apprentices and youngmasters. On the
> schedule were for example the sciences of contrast, form and colour.
> The science of form sprung from out from the three basic elements of
> form, the circle, triangle and square, each of them were told to
> have specific emotional charactaristics and function. Bauhaus bought
> the the production made by the best students. In that way students
> could finance their years in school and at the same time contribute
> to the school-finances. The students had their own
> magazine"Austauch" (Exchange) in wich they arranged internal
> contests. They worked in the firm convintion that from the basic
> elements create type-models as the definitive chair, pot or
> architecture. The function was as obvious as the basic elements and
> colours. This struggle for functionalism and design appeared in the
> whole of the production and became the bauhaus-style. Bauhaus
> defined a goal to strenghten the schools economy. They wanted to
> create trendy contemporary design that was adapted to the industry.
> What we today would call industrial design.
> The ultimate typeface A radical change in the schools image occured
> when Laszlo Moholy-Nagy entered bauhaus and created the first modern
> printed matter. He was heavily influenced by the russian
> constructivism. In the printed matter bauhaus used consecuently
> acsidens-grotesque in different sizes. Later on the school began to
> work on their own typeface- Bauhaus. This was thought to be the
> ultimate typeface, easy to read and international. All of the
> schools printing was now done according to "The new typgraphy". The
> layout was consecuently assymetric with use of thick lines to
> emphasize what was important. Black, white and red were the
> dominating colours. The printed matter that bauhaus made for itself
> and for for external commissionaires changed radicaly the way in
> which modern advertising was to be seen.
> Architectur and design In 1924 bauhaus in Weimar was closed down due
> to increasing defiency in money and of political counteraction. But
> bauhaus was ressurrected when the city of Dessau decided to take
> over the school. Students and teachers now started the planning and
> sketching of the new bauhaus-building in Dessau. In this complex the
> schools idea was to integrate work, living, eating, sports,
> theatrical and festival ceremonies into one unit. All of the
> interior was made in the bauhaus workshops. Here the steelchair by
> Marcel Breuer was first shown. Idea and concept was inspired from
> the stearingbar of a bicycle.
> Changes in the school When Walter Gropius retired as headmaster of
> the school, he was succeded by the Swiss architect Hannes Meyer.
> During his three years at bauhaus he inforced some major changes.
> Among other things he started the compulsary course in Design and
> Standard. Bauhaus started now to cooperate with the industry. Meyer
> wanted to create a limited range of standarized products at
> reasonable prices for the population. Licencemoney for lamps and
> wallpaper became now a large source of income. Meyer was obliged to
> leave his headmasters chair due to his leftwing political view.
> Ludwig Mies Van der Rodhe, one of the worlds most famous architects
> became now headmaster of the school. Bauhaus turned now into a
> school for architects with planning and construction of buildings
> and housing-areas. In the plan of studies was also interior design
> and advertising.
> Nazis onward march In the beginning of the thirties in Germany the
> nazis began to gain ground. When they got power in the city of
> Dessau the bauhaus school was shut down. Nazis claimed that the
> school represented bolsjevism and decadens. They classified
> modernism as "non-German". Mies Van der Rodhe decided to move
> bauhaus to Berlin and continue as a privat school. But a new law
> just implented made it possible for the nazis to get in charge of
> the school. Gestapo occupied bauhaus and demanded that it would
> accept a nazi-oriented course of study and the eviction of some
> teachers, among them Kandinsky. The 19:th of July 1933 the bauhaus
> teachers had their last gathering. The political and financial
> situation was now impossible for the schools further existence. Mies
> asked and got the teachers permission to dissolve bauhaus in a last
> action of freedom. However, the bauhaus-style is still living. In
> 1937 the New bauhaus in Chicago was founded by Laszlo Moholy-Nagy.
> The school is known today as The institute of Design.
> Pictures from the bauhaus museum in Berlin.