100 Years of Bauhaus: Alive and Well - Fueled by a Century of Amazing Design

100 Years of Bauhaus: Alive and Well - Fueled by a Century of Amazing Design

It has been a hundred years since the revolutionary Bauhaus perspective was first introduced by German architect and founder of the Bauhaus School, Walter Gropius. In 1919, architect Walter Gropius founded a revolutionary way of thinking for architects, artists and industrial designers in Weimar, Germany. The Bauhaus Academy was all about a new perspective and it opened up the way for experimentation in arts and crafts, design, architecture and education - driven by the power of intuition.

Bauhaus Academy

The Bauhaus Academy moved to Dessau in 1925 in search of an environment with a more progressive climate. Because of the continuing spread of ‘national socialism’, the school then moved to Berlin seven years later, where it again had to close its doors after only one year for the same reason - growing national socialism. Many of the school’s teachers emigrated to the USA where they shared the ideals of the Bauhaus perspective through their teaching methods and philosophies.

Although the Bauhaus Academy only existed formally for 14 years, it lives on as the most influential school of art and design in modern history and continues to inspire design thinking around the world. The distinctive teaching method of the Bauhaus perspective is foundational to the curriculum of contemporary architecture schools throughout Europe and America today, with an accent on ‘intuition’. When it comes to design, the Bauhaus style can still be seen in the interiors and exteriors of buildings - new and old. Take the 1932 example of the tubular chair by Marcel Breuer and Mart Stam. This chair remains a recognizable and revered addition to corporate boardrooms across the world.

The tubular chair by Marcel Breur and Mart Stam

Bauhaus Characteristics

Teachers at the Bauhaus Academy included Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. They believed that a focus on simplicity of design and functional excellence in architecture would lead to an environment and a world that is better for people. The Bauhaus style, based on optimal functionality expressed in simple shapes and clean lines, was ideally suited for mass production and revolutionary in making cutting edge design affordable and accessible to everyone.

Black Mamba Desk Lamp

Bauhaus X Blom & Blom

Our Heritage Collection includes lights that have been influenced by the Bauhaus movement. One example is the Black Mamba (see photo above), this fixture was inspired by the notorious lamps that Bauhaus-craftsman Christian Dell designed in the early 1930s. The Black Mamba has a distinctive black bakelite shade and features an extendable scissor-construction, which are excellent examples of how the appearance of the fixture is determined by its functionality. The lamp was initially wall-mounted, but is now available as a standing lamp with a solid base made of Azobé wood.

Another example of the popular embrace of Bauhaus design is the stool shown below. It is simple yet elegant and originates from Robert Wagner’s company in Chemnitz, better known as Rowac. This Rowac stool was designed during the 1930’s. Rowac products represented functional excellence, and were intended to provide the highest quality of ‘ergonomic’ seating available. Robert Wagner’s designs were so respected by the founder of the Bauhaus movement, Walter Grophius, that he had all Bauhaus Academy classrooms and workshops equipped with Rowac furniture.

The Rowac Stool.

Rowac Stool in interior.

These are just two examples of the Bauhaus ‘effect’ from our Heritage Collection, but we have many more. We also have lights in our Editions Collection that are based on the fundamental elements of the Bauhaus perspective. Have a look at our Copperhead fixture, a lamp that we have designed as an expression of our fascination with the pure elegance of copper piping. The streamlined shape and lines of the Copperhead incorporate the trademark fluorescents that we often come across in abandoned factories - within the classic simplicity of design found in our Bauhaus favorites. In our inspiration, we have taken the best of both and then added our own touch. Thank you Bauhaus!