The field of art and design is one of the most evolutionary fields that have a rich history and has undergone a number of evolutions in history. There have been many changes in the field that have resulted to its evolution as well as advancements. The field of art and design is also well known for its massive influence on todays products. The ideas and concepts in the field are deeply rooted in ancient individual artists and designers as well as design organizations and institutions. An example of an institution that has greatly contributed to the history of art and design was the Staatliche Bauhaus school of design, simply referred to as the Bauhaus.
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The Bauhaus, also referred to as Staatliche Bauhaus, was a school in Germany that employed a combination of elements of fine arts, crafts, design and education. Droste and Bauhaus-Archive also clarify that the Bauhaus is an ancient German school that combined crafts with fine arts and education. The Bauhaus was famous for having a unique approach to design that it had highly made public and taught. Lane explains that Bauhaus is a German word meaning a house of construction or school of building. The main objective of the Bauhaus was to create a radical concept that would restructure and redefine the material world in order to facilitate a comprehensive reflection of the unity of all the arts. According to Whitford, the founder of the Bauhaus school, Walter Gropius, asserted that his vision was to unite art and design. Walter Gropius envisioned a school whose vision was to proclaim a description of a utopian craft guild that combines architecture, sculpture and painting into a single creative expression.
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History and Evolution of the Bauhaus
The Bauhaus was founded in early 1919 in the city of Weimer by German architect Walter Gropius. It operated for nearly fourteen years. The founding of the Bauhaus received a sponsorship from the state. According to Bergdoll and Dickerman the Bauhaus was created in order to bring together the artists and the craftsmen by building a bridge between art and industry. Henry Van de Velde was a Belgian headmaster at the school of Arts and crafts in Weimer, Germany, but was asked to leave the country after the beginning of World War I. Van de Velde was replaced by Walter Gropius who later renamed the school as Bauhaus school of design in late 1919. Since the Bauhaus school of design was established at a time of intense political and economic crisis, the mass slaughter of the imperialists during the First World War led to the closure of the school by the Nazi regime. Consequently, the artists who had been a part of the unique experiment at the Bauhaus were forced to leave. They scattered throughout the United States of America and Europe. Gestalt the proponent behind the connection between material (form) and function (content) plays a great psychological role in the evolution of the Bauhaus school of design. At around 1930s, painting and other artistic activities were in danger of becoming isolated and the Bauhaus school was responsible for architectural and industrial designs only. Upon realizing this danger, the council requested that teachings and lectures about the Gestalt should be given. The request was granted and Durkheim came from Leizig to give a series of lecturers. It is after this that they came into realization that art, as such cannot be taught, and emphasis was laid to shift focus to visual education. It was based on Gestalt psychological insight that they came to incorporate the fact that whole makes more than some of its parts. This led to the development of the meaningful approach to art and design as explained by Josef Albers.
Influences of the Bauhaus In the Contemporary World
The Bauhaus has had significant influences in the contemporary world. It has brought about a lot of advantages to the modern world with regard to art and design. According to Foster, nearly all modern designs put up today draw their insights from the Bauhaus. Saletnik and Schuldenfrei also affirm that the Bauhaus has facilitated the development of highly sophisticated and peculiar design today. To begin with, the Bauhaus has made an outstanding and remarkable contribution to the design of modern furniture. For instance, the ubiquitous cantilever chair and Wassily chair that were designed by Marcel Breur are highly trending and widely used at homes as well as in most offices today. Secondly, the White City f Tel Aviv is another major achievement of the Bauhaus. The White City of Tel Aviv refers to a world heritage site developed by German Jewish architects during the early 1930s. According to Whitford, the White City stands out as an outstanding example of the planning and architecture of new towns in the early twentieth century. Thirdly, the Bauhaus has influenced almost every aspect of art and design ranging from the color schemes of architectural designs, to fonts and even the tallest buildings in various parts of the world especially in the United States of America and Europe. According to Colini and Eckardt, Anne Alexander Sieder explained the Bauhaus existed for only fourteen years but it left behind significant influences that have changed our approaches to and views of art and design forever.
In my view, the society has been embracing analogies, ideas and works of the Bauhaus and has been allowing it to be transmitted from one generation to another thus leading to the fulfillment of its social goals and objectives. This is evident by the large numbers of art gallery put up in various places around the world in order to uphold the brilliant idea of art and design developed by the Bauhaus and to maintain its original form hence protecting it from potential erosion by modernism. For instance, the Bauhaus Art as Life, a Barbican Art Gallery in London in the United Kingdom is a good example of a centre of preservation that strives to preserve or safeguard the original Bauhaus designs.
In the early 1960s, Dieter Rams embraced many of the same principals and ideas founded in Bauhaus design. Florence Knoll also used the Bauhaus design in her own American spin to start and build one of the largest and most respected furniture companies that has ever existed in history. Similarly, Apple Inc., one of the greatest technologically advanced companies in the world, also borrowed most of its design works from the Bauhaus. For instance, Weber asserts that almost everything that Apple Inc. developed, from Mac Operation System (Mac OS) logo, to its most recent array of high-tech computers, mobile phones, tablets and related accessories, came up as a result of innovations brought about by the Bauhaus school of design.
The Bauhaus also designed a chess set in 1922. The chess set is currently widely used in almost every part of the world today. Bauhaus cradle also come about in the mid 1920s. The cradle is currently used by thousands of people across the globe as amazing holder at homes as well as in supermarkets. Other designs of the Bauhaus that have largely contributed to todays technology include the Bauhaus door knob, the Barcelona chair, the Bauhaus tea infuser and the Bauhaus camp.
I would finish off by asserting that the Bauhaus school of design has had a profound and significant influence upon the subsequent growth, development and advancements in fine art, architecture, graphic design, interior design and typography. Throughout the ages, the Bauhaus has been undergoing historical, social, psychological and political evolution. Moreover, due to modern advancements in technology, the Bauhaus design has primarily been improved and modified in almost all aspects in order to meet the current needs of the people and to suit the ever-changing needs and preference of the masses as well as to suit their new ways of livelihood.