Monday, May 14, 2007

bauhaus: form follows function

The 1920’s saw the emergence of the Bauhaus art movement, which was to resonate in the world of artists and designers from last century to today and beyond. In 1919 architect Walter Gropius opened the school of Bauhaus and its ideology was to impact on almost every area of the arts, as we know them. From architecture to advertising, from fixtures to furniture and from textiles to graphic design and typography. Embracing industrialization (rather than rejecting it like precursive movements such as the Arts and Crafts movement) the Bauhaus sought to create a unity between art and industry. Thus design was revered in its own right and the fine arts were no longer limited to painting, architecture and sculpture.

The design of chairs, lamps and teapots for instance were elevated to a status like never before. Form, in the famous words of Walter Gropius, truly followed function. To that ideology he propounded that function paralleled technology and the marriage of decorative with constructional techniques was consummated. Bauhaus can undoubtedly be dubbed as the beginning of Modernism and is indeed the beginning of design in its own right.


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