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What was the Bauhaus and why is still so influential to modern design? The Bauhaus was the first model of a modern art school in Germany also considered the most influential art school of the 20th century. It was created just after the war in 1919 by Walter Gropius, a German American architect. Germany’s failure in ww1 lead to political reforms, the German monarchy fell and the abolition of the censorship under the new, liberal Republic allowed an upsurge of radical experimentation in all the arts, previously suppressed by the old regime. This is what ultimately lead to the creation of the Bauhaus. As a designer Walter Gropius aimed to bridge the gap between art and industry by combining crafts and fine arts by bringing artists and craftsmen together under one roof. “The Bauhaus fights imitation, inferior craftsmanship and artistic dilettantism.”This is a quote from Walter Gropius id referring to the combination of artists and craftsmen working together stating it is superior to the previous methods of design. The Bauhaus lead to experimental art becoming widely accepted, fine arts where no longer held in higher esteem than craftsmanship thanks to Gropius and his fellow artists. Although Gropius went about things differently The Bauhaus ideas grew from inspiration of previous 19th and 20th century art movements. This inspiration combined with this own ides and other artists involved meant the Bauhaus could redefine 20th century design.The Bauhaus drew inspiration from the ideals of the revolutionary art movements and design experiments of the early 20th century. The arts and crafts movement started from an idea of reviving creativity and fine craft during the Victorian period to prevent industrialisation from affecting traditional design methods. Pioneered by John Ruskin and William Morris this movement removed the barriers between workmen, designers and artists the Bauhaus aims were very similar in a way, the soullessness of manufacturing products meant that art could lose its place in society. Modernism was another influence, originating from the United States in the early 20th century, it is an art movement that deliberately challenged traditional art styles of the time using new and interesting materials. Modernism gave artists a chance to create something more expressive in their own styles, it gave them options instead of sticking to the norm of oil paintings and portraits. Constructivism was Russia’s most influential art movement of the 20th century. The constructivists believed that that there should be a direct link between art and modern industry. Constructivism called for people to re evaluate how materials are used and the properties they have as well as how they can be used together. The form artwork would now be directed by the materials used as a pose to the materials being chosen in accord to a piece of artwork. Constructivism acted as a beacon for russian artists to express their ideas in new ways with the belief that art should directly reflect the modern industrial world. All three of these movements had a large influence in the Bauhaus as all of them followed the same principle, form, function and unity. Despite closing in 1932 the Bauhaus left a large impression on the design world. For years to come it continued to influence artists and architects who continued to work with the same ideas and values. Artists such as Josef Muller Brockmann, Robert Brownjohn and Wolfgang Weingart amongst others all have clear influences from Bauhaus. At the time these men were some of the most famous Bauhaus inspired artists. Brockman uses a limited colour palette to create geometric artwork with a mix of text and image. Brownjohn is most known for the James Bond, Goldfinger, title sequence. His work was created with a very similar composition to Bauhase. Weingart was a typographer who was known for his detailed typography who also used a very similar text layout to that of Bauhaus. Architecture was also part of the Bauhaus legacy influencing architecture trends in Europe, Israel and The united States. An influx of artists from the Germany where fleeing the nazis and with them they took what they had learned from the Bauhaus. ‘Form follows function, ornament is a crime’. A phrase coined by an American Bauhaus inspired architect Louis Sullivan. Each element is stripped down the the bare essentials inside and out and everything left is there to serve a purpose. The result is a geometrix, clean and simple looking method of design which is very pleasing to look at. ‘Less is More,’ is a great way of describing the bauhaus style of design.This quote sums up what the Bauhaus was really about. By bringing artists and workmen together they are able to create a new style of modern building  in a style that alone would not be possible. 86 years on and the influence of bauhaus is as strong as ever, but why? The impact of the Bauhaus was incredible. Influencing young artists in the years, not only in the years it was open as the ideas still live on to present day design. The bauhaus truly changed the way we will forever look at design. They affected everything from black, white and grey color schemes with a lone red or yellow wall, to fonts, to the tallest buildings in America. Without this ideology to design I can imagine a very different picture of our home and cities that wouldn’t include large glass building is a modern geometric design. The Bauhaus ideology of ‘form follows function’ showed us that creating a building for a purpose does not mean the style has to be sacrificed. Influence of Bauhaus is still present in almost every new modern building erected. When designing a building there is two clear options in modern day architecture that you will find everywhere in cities like London. You can choose to either replicate one of the many modernist buildings that already exist. Alternatively you can create something original and creative by using the some of the Bauhaus principles, using geometric shapes and strange angles.

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