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Beyond: A Movement That Made Waves

Mia Todd, Valerie Li & Diego Milner

The Bauhaus was a multifaceted design school and movement that emphasized practicality, originality, and craftsmanship through a variety of mediums. All elements of design were considered. From typography to fine arts, to architecture, the movement was holistic. Through our project, we sought to capture many of these elements, as well as the philosophies and methods that were influential in their development.

Bauhaus founder, Walter Gropius once stated that his “guiding principle was that design is neither an intellectual nor a material affair, but simply an integral part of the stuff of life, necessary for everyone in a civilized society.” Gropius challenges the notion that good design is reserved for the uppers of society and that functional, durable, and efficient construction should be made available to the masses. Though Gropius and the Bauhaus prioritized elements of practicality, aesthetics were not overlooked. With these ideas in mind, we developed a furniture collection, composed of a chair, table, and tea set.

We each began by choosing one of the three primary colors to inspire our work. The distinct focus on using primary colors and shapes has been one of the defining points of the Bauhaus movement and was popularized by Wassily Kandinsky and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s color theory. Each of the primary colors was assigned a mood and feeling allowing them to be paired with shapes. The initial pairing of yellow triangles, red squares, and blue circles has become an important part of Bauhaus design as it allows for design and color to be seen in the same light. These color typologies became defining features of each furniture piece, allowing the viewer to easily reference them individually and as a whole.

The Bauhaus movement allowed for a more inclusive style and community-focused around the inclusivity of design. The use of primary colors, legible graphics, and efficient constructions all come together to create not only good design, but a design that is a merger of art, beauty, and functionality.

The movement has been a great inspiration for many artists of the time and still carries on inspiring artists of the modern day. Academic and cultural spheres revere much of the work of the movement and continue to bring light to it, and so many of the designs we’ve come to recognize today are children of the Bauhaus. The style, technique, and philosophy of the school have changed the way society views design, creating a more functional, accessible, durable, and resilient world.

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