Bauhaus at Dessau
Words are not really required to describe the Bauhaus at Dessau. The building and workhouse of the Bauhaus Arts School (1919 – 1933) signifies the movement, the philosophy and the years of influence that were to follow.
The Bauhaus was developed at a time when radical expressionism was very real in Germany and across Europe after the First World War in 1919. The Bauhaus spearheaded the notion (alongside the government dept. Werkbund) that art should meet the needs of society and discussed the fluidity of function and form in daily life. By bridging the gap between craftsmanship and mass production, bringing art and technology together the Bauhaus believed what was created should be functional and simple.
Then and even now, many see the creations of the Bauhaus somewhat austere and plain – Brutalism – despite their detailed, minimalist yet aesthetic design hidden beneath the practical function of furniture, household items and architecture created out of the movement.
Due to the pending war and Nazification of Germany, founder and architect Walter Gropius, new director Hannes Meyer as well as leading teachers and artists Marcel Breuer, Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky, closed its doors – surviving briefly in Berlin – before dispersing around the world. The school became a symbol of the theory that is found throughout modern architecture and design today from Charles and Ray Eames to IKEA.
Photo essay made in collaboration with Benjamin Johnston.