The Bauhaus was one of the most significant schools in the field of architecture, art and design. It was originally founded by Walter Gropius during 1919-1933 with the initial idea of expressionism. This has been subsequently changed with the concept of rationalism and constructivism in the later period. These concepts were considered to be the greater period of mechanism that greatly influenced the newer style of the architecture and school. Owing to the political issues, there were three movements of the Bauhaus, which happened in 1919-1925 Weimar periods, 1925-1932 Dessau periods and 1932-1933 Berlin period1.
The purpose of this analysis is to understand about the relevance of the Bauhaus in the modern times and to comprehend the ways in which they differ from the school’s approach and directions in the current times.
From 1919-1925, Grand Ducal School of Arts and Crafts in Weimar had paved the way for the foundation of the Bauhaus2. As the headmaster of the school, Walter Gropius released the Bauhaus Manifesto to show his core teaching concepts. This was to create a future that would have no boundary among architecture, sculpture and painting. All crafts were brought together to achieve this goal3. One of the most famous art pieces, Cathedral of the Future by Lyonel Feininger, was produced based on the idea stated in the Bauhaus Manifesto. This represented the main idea of expressionism, namely using arts to express the genuine part of one’s thoughts8. Choosing wood as the main material of this project was a more appropriate representational example for crafting this idea. This was owing to the fact that during this period carpenters prevailed over the country. As the project showed, the medieval cathedral was delicately carved with three bright and shiny stars above it. In order to have a great reflection of the manifesto, three stars respectively represented the painting, sculpture and architecture. This was found to express the idea of combination of craft elements. It was done by carving the lights connecting them with each other1. Furthermore, the medieval cathedral was a symbolic piece that indicated the kinds of art works which would finally be available in architecture with the spirit of teamwork.
Another important work was the Diagram of the Bauhaus Curriculum, which contained the main teaching principle and the approach of the Bauhaus before 1923. It was initially based on Gropius’s thought. However, later on greatly influenced by Johannes Itten, who helped Groupius to effectively develop the craft-based curriculum, students were firstly taught to understand the colour, shape and materials through the basic-training, namely the preliminary course9. They were encouraged to get rid of boundary of traditional European academic thought. It was the natural materials and abstract forms that inspired students to find their deep inner ideas8. Under the idea of expressionism, the students would create hand-craft art pieces with their true thoughts. Students also specialized in different kinds of hand craft works, such as metal working and weaving. It believes that the visual impact would be a way to inspire students’ ideas, and the colour wheel was created by Itten, which included specific contracts of colours10.