Purchase this book online here
Any self respecting design kind of person needs a book on the Bauhaus, and there are plenty out there to choose from. This book is concise and complete and serves as a good visual reference as well as documentary on the legacy of this short lived design school. The Bauhaus (Germany 1919-1933) represents the point in design history where design as an integrated and discreet discipline came into being. This powerful idea has energised the design world to this day and has had a far reaching influence on the kind of world in which we live. To talk of design as a discipline is to recognise the ideas of the Bauhaus. For at the Bauhaus art, architecture, craftsmanship were one, and any barrier between them was artificial. The concerns of the foundation course were form, colour, texture, space which were considered as necessary in order to develop a kind of ‘design language’. Further attempts were made to ‘scientise’ design which were taken quite seriously, but are historically quaint. Of greatest concern were the place of ornament, truth to materials and form following function. The end result was objects that spoke of a clinical, rational, industrial future – the kinds of objects that pass for ‘good design’ today.
One of the great things about the Bauhaus is that although some of the concepts espoused there may be difficult to explain to a class of year 7 students, they are embodied in the objects that were designed there – the ideas take on flesh, and I suppose this is one of the exciting facets of teaching design and that is ideas have shapes and these forms impose themselves on the way we live our lives. That is the real power of design. If you are teaching a subject that concerns itself with design then it’s helpful to see how this discipline came into being. The question of how to adequately develop workshop skills whilst giving students creative freedom to do design work is faced by all design educators. Too much emphasis on dovetail joints leaves little time and opportunity for real design work, and too much emphasis on creative freedom leaves students foundering because they don’t know how to make their design. The truth is that making skills need to inform the design process. It is possible to achieve, we see it in action in 1919 at the Bauhaus.
Comprehensive survey on all things Bauhaus.
By Magdalena Droste - 256 pages - 2006 - Bauhaus Archiv Museum fur Gestaltung - Berlin