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Days of note, News  |  23 August 2019

Bauhaus centenary.

Bauhaus Centenary Festival, Berlin.
Bauhaus Gunta Stolzl tapestry.
Bauhaus School Dessau.
Walter Gropius office. Photo by Fabrice Fouillet.

In the first piece in our “Sources of inspiration” series we look at the Bauhaus centenary.

We share some of the key events taking place in the UK and Internationally and consider the impact and influence of the Bauhaus on the design world.

2019 marks the 100th Anniversary of the school and manifesto of the Bauhaus. Founded by German architect Walter Gropius in 1919 the original movement and art school only lasted 14 years before it was closed as a result of the rise of National Socialism in Germany prior to World War Two. However, the impact, aesthetics and philosophy of the Bauhaus have inspired and shaped the design industries ever since. The Bauhaus’ influence has spread far and wide and is as relevant and modern today as it was 100 years ago.

Bauhaus literally translates to ‘construction house’ and founder Walter Gropius was an architect who sought to bring the worlds of (often under — appreciated) applied arts and (the more highly — regarded) fine arts together to create a new “under one roof” outlook on design. He created the school in answer to the new era that emerged after the First World War, a movement that would embrace and come to terms with the increasing industrialisation of the world around it and find new ways to design buildings, products and art. This was in stark contrast to the highly decadent and decorative design movements that pre-dated it namely Art Nouveau and Art Deco.

Students at the Bauhaus were trained as a new breed of artist able to turn their hands to anything. They were taught to look at the world around them in different ways and to regard (as Gropius did) objects as being defined by their nature. Gropius thought for an object to serve its purpose it must fulfil its function in the most practical way, so he urged his students to first study the nature of the pieces they were looking to create. This is one of the first instances of the mantra “form follows function” and has helped to shape modern design over the last century.

Today Bauhaus influences can be seen everywhere from architecture and furniture to graphic design. Ironically the spread of the Bauhaus movement and aesthetic resulted in part due to the forced closure of the school by the Nazi’s in 1933. The closure and increasingly uncomfortable atmosphere in Germany led to many of the school’s artists and students moving far and wide and continuing the work of the Bauhaus in their new home countries.

A direct line can be drawn between subsequent influential art movements and the Bauhaus. The minimalism trend (still one of the world’s most popular design styles to day) has much to thank Bauhaus for as do the Scandinavian, industrial and mid-century modern styles. The influence of the Bauhaus has become so firmly established in the design world and so familiar that today we might even fail to notice it as we interact with everyday objects that owe a debt in design terms to the Bauhaus.

At Kiss House we find ourselves heavily influenced by both by the philosophy and aesthetic of the Bauhaus. There is a natural fit between the way in which the Bauhaus movement embraced technology and mass production to make great design more accessible and less elitist, and our ambitions to use modern manufacturing techniques and great design to improve housing. Add to this the obvious link between our aesthetic and that of the Bauhaus and the connection is clear for all to see. What you won’t know is how deep the influence of the Bauhaus is for us. For example during our recent rebrand when we were working on our new colour palette, we took much of our inspiration from the colour work in the rugs and tapestries of Bauhaus artist and faculty member Gunta Stolz.

In celebration of the Bauhaus centenary there are exhibitions, documentaries and special events taking place all over the world. Below we’ve listed a selection both in the UK and internationally.

We hope you get to visit some.

With best wishes
Carli

Bauhaus events.

UK

Sascha Lobe on Bauhaus
Design Museum — London
Wednesday 18 September 2019
For London Design Festival 2019, award-winning graphic designer and new Pentagram partner Sascha Lobe will give an evening lecture at the Design Museum on typography and the Bauhaus.

The Forgotten Women of the Bauhaus
British Library — London
Tuesday 24 September 2019 19.15-20.30
Digging through the audio-visual archives, and profiling some of the most exciting artists of the 1920s avant-garde, novelist Naomi Wood will explore the life and work of the Bauhaus women who deserve to be put back in the record books.

Silver Sunday at the Design Museum
RIBA and Design Museum
Sunday 6 October 2019
Aimed at 65yrs and older
A model making workshop is followed by an illustrated talk on the legacy of Hampstead’s Isokon Building by authors Magnus Englund and Leyla Daybelge through the lens of their new book, Isokon and the Bauhaus in Britain.

Bauhaus and Women
Spike Island — Bristol
Wednesday 16 October 18.30-20.00
What was the impact of the women of the Bauhaus? And what can we learn today from their lives and work?

Gunta Stölzl and Textiles in Space
Royal Academy of Art — London
Friday 8 November 2019 18.30
Join a designer and architect to explore the role of textiles in architecture and design. Focusing on Gunta Stölzl’s masterful experiments in the Bauhaus weaving workshop, we’ll consider how the relationship has evolved.

Bauhaus 100th — London Jazz Festival
Barbican Centre — London
24 November 2019
How the Bauhaus manifesto could be translated into sound today through Jazz.

Ireland

Bauhaus 100: The Print Portfolios
20 July — 1 December 2019
National Gallery of Ireland — Dublin
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Bauhaus, the Gallery is borrowing a complete set of four Bauhaus portfolios of prints from the Staatsgalerie in Stuttgart.
These significant portfolios, comprising 52 woodcuts, etchings, lithographs and linocuts, will bring a seminal achievement in Germany to the attention of an Irish audience

Bauhaus Spirit: 100 Years of Bauhaus in Dublin
10 November 2019 12:30
National Gallery of Ireland — Dublin
The Bauhaus as a social utopia is the starting point of this film, which surveys the movement’s evolution, transformation, and power to inspire over the course of the last hundred years.

Young People 16-25 — NowHaus!
5 October 2019 14:00-16:00
National Gallery of Ireland — Dublin
Join us for this Bauhaus-themed creative careers event for young people, focused on what it means to have a creative career.

Bauhaus Family Workshop
10 November 2019 10:00-15:00
National Gallery of Ireland — Dublin
Join for a free Bauhaus-inspired creative workshop, to celebrate our exhibition Bauhaus 100: The Print Portfolios.

Germany

Find a great overview of #Bauhaus100 events throughout Germany can be found on the Travel Germany website.

Bauhaus Week — Berlin
31 August — 8 September 2019
Berlin celebrates 100 years of Bauhaus: on the street and on the flat roofs of the city.

Henry van de Velde: Pioneer of the Bauhaus on the crossroads of modernism
15 March 2019 — 15 January 2020
House Schulenburg Gera — Gera

Bauhaus Museum Dessau opening
8 September 2019
Bauhaus Museum Dessau — Dessau-Roßlau
The opening of the Bauhaus Museum Dessau one of the highlights of the centenary. For the very first time the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation’s unique collection will be displayed in a comprehensive way and at the same time the museum will be established as location for contemporary positions that also connects the Bauhaus Buildings.

Original Bauhaus: The Centenary Exhibition
8 September 2019 — 27 January 2020
Berlinische Galerie — Berlin
Marking the centenary of the Bauhaus’s founding, the Bauhaus-Archiv / Museum für Gestaltung’s exhibition at the Ber-linische Galerie is presenting famous, familiar and forgotten Bauhaus originals and recounting the history behind the objects.

USA

Bauhaus in Chicago
16–28 September 2019
IIT — Chicago
The inaugural design festival celebrates Illinois Institute of Technology’s — and Chicago’s — legendary, yet largely unknown, Bauhaus heritage.

Bauhaus (on the) Beach
25 September 2019 19:00-21:00
BCT Architects — Baltimore
Since 2003, Tel Aviv’s inventory of modernist buildings dating to the 1930’s has been an acknowledged UNESCO World Heritage Site. Those responsible for Tel Aviv’s “White City” included architects who had trained at the Bauhaus. With a nod to the Bauhaus’ centennial year, this presentation will review the history of Tel Aviv’s pre-WWII architecture.

Bauhaus Beginnings
11 June — 13 October 2019
Getty Research Institute — Los Angeles
Marking the 100th anniversary of the school’s opening, Bauhaus Beginnings investigates the school’s early commitment to spiritual expression, its innovative first-year curriculum, and its use of diverse media to introduce the work of students and masters to international audiences.

Evening at Gropius
20 September 2019 19:00-21:00
Gropius House — Lincoln
During this evening slide show and house tour, see how Walter Gropius’s innovative lighting scheme comes to life at night. Gropius was one of the most influential architects of the twentieth century. This year marks the centennial of the Bauhaus, the revolutionary design school Gropius founded in Dessau, Germany.

Australia

Bauhaus Now
26 June 2019 — 20 October 2019
Buxton Contemporary — Melbourne
In the year of its centenary the Bauhaus returns to haunt our museums. How do contemporary artists re-imagine a relationship to this legendary school? Are they scavengers raiding the ruins of modernism, appropriators of ‘good design’ kitsch or acolytes of an unholy sect? Bauhaus Now! explores its legacy in Australia — both for contemporary artists and for art education — highlighting its visionary, collectivist ideals and its radical practices.

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