1919: Bauhaus School
Innovation: Bauhaus School, Modern Architecture Movement
Location: Weimer, Dessau, Berlin, Germany
By: Walter Gropius, Hannes Meyer, Mies van der Rohe
The Bauhaus School in Germany was created after World War I, and was funded by the states to merge craft tradition with modern technology. The original founder of the school was Walter Gropius (from 1919-1928), and while he was teaching there was a more aesthetic approach to the arts and architecture. Gropius said he wanted the school to be about “architecture adapted to our world of machines, radios, and fast cars.”  The main goal of the school was to maintain functional and cheap architectural spaces and forms that were consistent with mass production. The Weimer Republic lacked the raw materials that other countries like the U.S. had, and therefore needed designers and a new art education focused on industrial work. The school led way to modernist styles in architecture, and experimented with flat roofs. When Hannes Meyer took over the school (from 1928-1930), he shifted focus of the teachings towards functionality of buildings. His taught the students how to meet the needs of clients and scientifically develop design solutions. Mies van der Rohe (headmaster from 1930-1933) adapted his own aesthetics about spatial implementation of intellectual decisions. The machine was viewed as a positive element, and was the inspiration for industrial and product designs. The school created a course called “Vorkurs”, which in modern day is the fundamental “Basic Design” course taught in architecture and design schools. The Bauhaus School changed contemporary German design, and led the world into a more modernistic design and view of architecture. The teachers fled Germany when the school was closed in 1933 by the Nazi regime, and spread their views in different countries. Mies van der Rohe set up a school in Chicago, now called the Institute of Design school at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT).