Where the Bauhaus Began:
The influence of the Bauhaus school in Dessau, Germany is evident in more than just architecture, for which it is most known. The school existed for a short period, from 1919 – 1933, but in that short time the school managed to have a century long impact, which is still ongoing today across all expressive mediums – architecture, art, design, fashion, furniture, the list goes on. The immense recognition and success of the Bauhaus’ design philosophies are largely indebted to the professors, who were brought together by their status as master’s in their respective fields of study. Professors were diverse, hailing from a variety of design disciplines. The intention of this decision was to offer an understanding of design through the dissemination of each part involved in a work, carefully selecting each shape, colour, material, or style that suited the function.
The Bauhaus held architecture in high regard as the culmination of all design efforts, but most of the classes taught were wholly auxiliary to architecture. The school itself has been, and remains today, instrumental in the creative designs of artists crossing all mediums. In our own architecture, we value the primary tenet of the Bauhaus school, that “form follows function”, therefore how something functions is quintessential in design, and will ultimately answer how it should be formed.
The Goals of the Bauhaus Philosophy
The Bauhaus sought to unite art and craft, during a period where mass-manufacturing was largely devoid of art. The famous Wassily Chair was designed by Marcel Breuer at the Bauhaus, intended for mass-manufacturing – a good example of the blurring line between art and craft. Today it is clear that the manufacturing industry as a whole has shifted as to accommodate art and design into the process.
How the Bauhaus Has Influenced Canadian Architecture
Students and professors left the Bauhaus both before and after its closure in 1933, many driven out by the right-wing politics that become dominant in the area, conflicting with the largely leftist populace at the school. This was advantageous for North America, where many of the professors relocated and began educating in schools that became well known for design in their wake. Other professors and students entered into the industry of design itself, leading to a long string of Bauhaus inspired designs spanning the globe. these designs can be seen in many major cities, which has since led to the adoption of Bauhaus design philosophies by other designers in the decades following. Generally, the Bauhaus design philosophy is attributed to modernism and minimalism, though neither are able to articulate the diversity found at the school itself.
Matt Johnston, head architect at Architecturally Distinct Solutions, has studied at the Bauhaus in Dessau, bringing their visionary ideals into his work each day. Find out how he can shape your vision, reach us at 250.448.7801 today.