The Bauhaus occupies a place of its own in the history of 20th century culture, architecture, design, art and new media. One of the first schools of design, it brought together a number of the most outstanding contemporary architects and artists and was not only an innovative training centre but also a place of production and a focus of international debate. At a time when industrial society was in the grip of a crisis, the Bauhaus stood almost alone in asking how the modernisation process could be mastered by means of design.
Founded in Weimar in 1919, the Bauhaus rallied masters and students who sought to reverse the split between art and production by returning to the crafts as the foundation of all artistic activity and developing exemplary designs for objects and spaces that were to form part of a more human future society. Following intense internal debate, in 1923 the Bauhaus turned its attention to industry under its founder and first director Walter Gropius (1883–1969). The major exhibition which opened in 1923, reflecting the revised principle of art and technology as a new unity, spanned the full spectrum of Bauhaus work. The Haus Am Horn provided a glimpse of a residential building of the future.
In 1924 funding for the Bauhaus was cut so drastically at the instigation of conservative forces that it had to seek a new home. The Bauhaus moved to Dessau at a time of rising economic fortunes, becoming the municipally funded School of Design. Almost all masters moved with it. Former students became junior masters in charge of the workshops. Famous works of art and architecture and influential designs were produced in Dessau in the years from 1926 to 1932.
Walter Gropius resigned as director on 1st April 1928 under the pressure of constant struggles for the Bauhaus survival. He was succeeded by the Swiss architect Hannes Meyer (1889–1954) whose work sought to shape a harmonious society. Cost-cutting industrial mass production was to make products affordable for the masses.
Under Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886–1969) the Bauhaus developed from 1930 into a technical school of architecture with subsidiary art and workshop departments.
Less is More
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (March 27, 1886, Aachen – August 17, 1969, Chicago .He is commonly referred to, and was addressed, as Mies, his surname. Along with Walter Gropius, Le Corbusier andOscar Niemeyer, he is widely regarded as one of the pioneering masters of modern architecture.
Mies pursued an ambitious lifelong mission to create a new architectural language that could be used to represent the new era of technology and production. He saw a need for an architecture expressive of and in harmony with his epoch, just as Gothic architecture was for an era of spiritualism. He applied a disciplined design process using rational thought to achieve his spiritual goals. He believed that the configuration and arrangement of every architectural element, particularly including the character of enclosed space, must contribute to a unified expression.
The self-educated Mies painstakingly studied the great philosophers and thinkers, past and present, to enhance his own understanding of the character and essential qualities of the technological times he lived in. More than perhaps any other practising pioneer of modernism, Mies mined the writings of philosophers and thinkers for ideas that were relevant to his architectural mission. Mies’ architecture was guided by principles at a high level of abstraction, and his own generalized descriptions of those principles intentionally leave much room for interpretation. Yet his buildings are executed as objects of beauty and craftsmanship, and seem very direct and simple when viewed in person.
Every aspect of his architecture, from overall concept to the smallest detail, supports his effort to express the modern age. The depth of meaning conveyed by his work, beyond its aesthetic qualities, has drawn many contemporary philosophers and theoretical thinkers to continue to further explore and speculate about his architecture.
The Seagram Building NY