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Bauhaus Draft

Kennan Huskison, Paxton Antrim & Timothy Graham

Beginning in 1919, based in Weimar, Germany, new design ideas and styles emerged from the school known as the Bauhaus. The founder, Walter Gropius, believed in the idea of gesamtkunstwerk, or ‘synthesis of the arts'. Gropius wanted to teach design as a combination of all art forms and translate that into a unified expression of art. Through the design intent of the Bauhaus, the world was given a new style of design that generated compositional forms into a new type of space that people interact with based on function over form.

Wassily Kandinsky was a professor at the Bauhaus and a painter by trade. Kandinsky’s most influential paintings were not of people or depictions of reality, but purely compositional. His paintings used shape, line, and color to create a piece rather than a world reference. This compositional strategy was the groundwork for the furniture, costumes, and buildings that would be produced in the Bauhaus ideal. As function was the focus of all the Bauhaus designs, unnecessary ornamentation, and cultural preconceptions were exchanged for basic geometry. This is where the consideration of human occupation comes in, with the form follows function ideas that are pulled from a geometric composition. A geometric composition can be interrogated as a floor plan or section to create a space that leans on hierarchy to create spaces that a person could move through quite logically. These compositions can be looked at as diagrams of such ideas that architects like Gropius translated to buildings. This composition to space is the same process we will incorporate through our own studies.

First, we will create a geometric composition that utilizes the same strategies that painters such as Kandinsky utilized so well. This will be our inspiration for the creation of our own composition. The colors blue, red, and yellow, which we have identified as important to the Bauhaus, will be utilized as a analytical notation tool within the geometry created. This color and geometry create a visual hierarchy for the composition, allowing a piece to be a stand-alone work, a diagram of something more complex, and something that is both a final product and a diagram. With this groundwork, we will interrogate the iterations to extract an idea for a 3D space. A translation from a simple form to one that can be occupied and functional. With the color previously mentioned, we can create a pavilion that uses hierarchy to make a space that is interacted with through elevational and sectional hierarchy. As the designers from the Bauhaus forgot any ornamental form in their pursuit of a new design style, we want to achieve the same thing using composition as a tool to attain clarity.

The Bauhaus style provides an incredible way to understand the process of design. It is a combination of the forms of drawing and painting translated to an architectural concept. A basic geometry to a human scaled space.

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