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Fri 18.5.

Friday Food For Thought: Happy Bauhday Walter Gropius

Posted by Malgorzata Stankiewicz on 18.05.2012 - Tagged as: , ,

Graph of the educational curriculum at the Bauhaus, 1923 by Walter Gropius; image courtesy of Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin

Following our last week’s Friday Food For Thought post about the excellent ‘Bauhaus: Art as Life’ exhibition which recently opened at London’s Barbican, this week we revisit the famous art and design school once more but for a different reason. Thus, coincidentally, today marks the 129th anniversary of the birth of its founder, Walter Gropius (18 May 1883 – 5 July 1969).


To celebrate the birthday of one of the most influential and pioneering masters of modern architecture, here are some extracts of the then-revolutionary and hugely influential ‘Bauhaus Dessau – Principles of Bauhaus Production’, coined by Gropius in 1926:


‘The Bauhaus wants to serve in the development of present-day housing, from the simplest household appliances to the finished dwelling.


In the conviction that household appliances and furnishings must be rationally related to each other, the Bauhaus is seeking-by systematic practical and theoretical research into formal, technical, and economic fields-to derive the design of an object from its natural functions and

Walter Gropius (centre) with teaching staff on the roof of the Bauhaus Dessau building in 1926

‘Modern man, who no longer dresses in historical garments but wears modern clothes, also needs a modern home appropriate to him and his time, equipped with all the modern devices of daily use.


An object is defined by its nature. In order, then, to design it to function correctly – a container, a chair, or a house-one must first of all study its nature: for it must serve its purpose perfectly, that is, it must fulfil its function usefully, be durable, economical, and ”beautiful.


This research into the nature of objects leads to the conclusion that by resolute consideration of modern production methods, constructions, and materials, forms will evolve that are often unusual and surprising, since they deviate from the conventional (consider, for example, the changes in the design of heating and lighting fixtures.)’


follow this link to read the ‘Bauhaus Dessau – Principles of Bauhaus Production’ in full


to MoMA’s hugely resorceful ‘Bauhaus – workshops for modernity’ website


view ‘Bauhaus: The Originals’ theme on Architonic which presents a comprehensive selection of approved Bauhaus designs which are still or once more in production today

For technical support contact Alfred Giolai Friday Food For Thought: Happy Bauhday Walter Gropius