Relevance of the Bauhaus to Twentieth Century Design

Introduction Bauhaus was a German school that operated between 1919 and 1933 and which introduced a different form of architecture. It was run by talented artists and architects, and although for the first few years it did not have a department of architecture, it made considerable contributions to this field.

It taught different forms of Art and had a great influence on 20th-century designs. Even after it was closed down, its ideas continued to influence the decisions of designers throughout the world. This paper is going to look at how relevant this school was to the 20th-century design.


The Bauhaus made attempts to bridge the gap between industrial needs and Art. The combination of talented teachers taught important courses that emphasized the use of geometry, color, and form. This largely influenced the way designing was conducted in the 20th century.

Many of the works of Art that exist in contemporary society were first introduced at the Bauhaus, ranging from modern-day typography, photography, advertising, and graphics all have roots in this school. Others include the use of stained glass, textiles, carpentry, and pottery, and the 20th-century furniture designs. This was known as the international style (Bergdoll

Geometrical shapes used by children during play were part of the curriculum at Bauhaus, and they are relevant to date. The architectural department at the Bauhaus Dessau influenced architectural designs of the 20th century. During its existence, the Bauhaus assisted the government in housing people.

It created affordable architectural designs which assisted in eliminating housing shortage in cities. The designs created at that time still continue to be used, particularly due to their cost-effectiveness and applicability (Weber 106).

The skills taught in this school informed students on the ways in which they would combine their personal feelings and the artwork they performed. This method sharpened their skills and was copied by many artists in the 20th century, thereby making the Bauhaus very relevant in the designs created within the 20th century.

After the school was closed down due to political interference, most of the artists and architects fled to Israel, Canada, the United States, and Western Europe were they introduced their ideas. This helped to spread their ideas to different parts of the world through the erection of Bauhaus buildings (Kentgens 32).

Between 1926 and 1931, there was a Bauhaus journal published periodically, which strongly influenced design during that period and the periods that followed. Artists would get tips and new ideas from it, making it very influential in Art related decisions. Art students from other institutions were able to access the journal, which consequently influenced their designs.

The Bauhaus attracted a large number of foreign visitors, especially during its existence in Germany, which boosted its reputation as a center of design, Art, and architecture education.

This school brought together the concepts of Art and technology. Machinery was seen as an important tool for mass production, thereby simplifying Art and facilitating mass production. In the 20th century, men dominated artistic careers. This was due to the influence of the school as it restricted the number of female students enrolled. There was a rigorous entry policy that favored men.

Female students were only restricted to bookbinding, pottery, and weaving rather than those fields that were more closely related to architecture. There were only a few exceptions like Marianne Brandt, who took a course in metalwork and lighting.

Due to this gender segregation, women-only dominated in the weaving workshop while all the other designs of the 20th century were created by men. Weaving, therefore, generally presented a feminine touch.

The museum of modern Art in New York was based on the Bauhaus, and it had a large influence on artistic production and public taste. Having been founded in 1929, it had graphic arts, film, photography, architecture, interior design, and sculpture.

Its influence on public taste was relevant to the 20th-century design as new artists created similar designs for their clients. Designs of most modern furniture were taken from Bauhaus. Some were an advanced kind of Wassily and cantilever chairs from Bauhaus (Droste et al. 51).

The Bauhaus movement was introduced to create buildings and objects which would be appropriate for mass manufacture. It used methods that ensured artistic objects were created within a short duration of time. Relatively simple and efficient forms of decoration were used. This movement also believed in the manufacture of objects that were functional, and that would be relevant to society.

It, therefore, facilitated the showcasing of Art while at the same time enjoying the utility of the object. Some of its followers created objects that were suitable for people from all regions. The movement was, therefore, relevant in fostering the functionality of the design. Since the methods used encouraged mass production, it encouraged more people to use Art as a source of income by establishing profitable businesses (Kentgens 76).

The Bauhaus had a big impact on theatre in the 20th century. In the 1930s, Hollywood movies, particularly those produced by Paramount, spread its works of Art. Bauhaus architecture portrayed in the movies influenced the way buildings were constructed throughout the century.

The Bauhaus also advocated for the use of concrete, glass, and steel as appropriate building materials. Since then, the materials have continued to be used for both industrial and residential building purposes. House designs that were created in the 20th century were, therefore, those that would allow for the usage of these materials that were both readily available and affordable.

The use of industrialized construction technology was an important invention at the Bauhaus and was utilized throughout the 20th century. The grid logic, which was first introduced at the Bauhaus, had special relevance to textile design. The logic was used by cloth designers throughout the 20th century (Bergdoll


It is therefore clear that the Bauhaus was the starting point of contemporary Art and architecture. Its relevance to the 20th-century design was enormous not only in Germany but throughout the world.

This was particularly made possible by the war that led to the exile of teachers, artists, and architects from the school as they were able to introduce their ideas to other regions. Journals that were published at Bauhaus were made available to other regions, therefore, presenting their ideas to a large number of people.

Machine aesthetic became common due to the influence of the Bauhaus. Its influence was also aggravated by the fact that it did not only concentrate on one type of Art but in almost all aspects of Art, ranging from cloth design to construction.

Works cited

Bergdoll, Barry Bauhaus 1919-1933. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 2009.Print. Droste, Magdalena and Bauhaus- Archiv. Bauhaus: 1919-1933. Köln: Taschen, 2002.Print. Kentgens, Margret. The Bauhaus and America. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1999. Print.

Weber, Nicholas. The Bauhaus Group. New York: Knopf, 2009.Print

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