How one design school shaped the industry for a generation to come
2019 marks the centenary of the Bauhaus movement; the influential design movement known for its ubiquitous style which comprised crafts, fine arts and homewares. Despite incorporating several styles of avant-garde art, Middle Eastern and African influences and design, even 100 years later, Bauhaus is still one of the most instantly recognisable movements to date. Its legacy remains present today within the realms of technology, interiors and fashion – just three of the things we love the most!
To start, legendary German TV brand Loewe was in fact founded during the Bauhaus movement. The brand, whose founders were the inventors of the electronic TV as we know it today, drew on its Bauhaus roots to design its iconic bild 9 television. Its ability to blend geometric design with state-of-the-art technology and cutting-edge materials demonstrates Loewe at its finest, through its potential to combine both old and new. Although the bild 9 is no longer in production, its Colour Code concept series – also crafted by German designer Bodo Sperlein – can be made to order and incorporates many of the details found in traditional Bauhaus designs.
Above left – Loewe bild 9 TV; centre and right – bild 5 ‘Colour Code’ concept series
Meanwhile, luxury radiator brand Bisque has long looked to artistic movements for inspiration. Transforming the radiator from a humble piece of plumbing to a desirable design item in its own right, Bisque combines the very best materials with pioneering design. Plus, thanks to its bespoke colour-match service, it can be made-to-order – not to mention the 2000 stock finishes it holds. The Blok, pictured below, is one of its most popular models. This radiator has it all – the looks, the eco credentials (it’s crafted from recycled aluminium, which is far more effective than traditional models), stylish design and the ability to look great in just about any interior.
Similarly, iconic appliance brand Smeg has created a limited-edition version of its popular FAB fridge in this signature style. The clean lines of the FAB – perhaps one of the most, if not the most, instantly recognisable appliances out there – is complemented by the geometric shapes and patterns so familiar with Bauhaus-style. Over the years the FAB has undergone several transformations, most recently thanks to collaborations with the likes of Dolce&Gabbana and Disney, yet its timeless appeal never wanes.
Above left – Bisque’s Blok radiator, (above right – Smeg’s FAB28RDMC fridge)
Next up, having recently debuted 194 new RAL colour shades to add to its collection – offering over 28,000 different variants overall – luxury British bathing firm Victoria + Albert Baths is able to offer a selection of models suitable for those looking to bring a little Bauhaus to their bathroom. In particular, its striking shades of mustard, green and red are all characteristic of this iconic movement.
Chairs are, of course, synonymous with Bauhaus movement. In particular, American design firm Knoll has been particularly taken with the symbolic piece, channelling the tubular steel framework and titanium features who cleverly pioneered the use of these materials in furniture back in the early 1920s. The chairs represent a key principle of Bauhaus which liked to reduce objects to their very basic elements.
Finally, the fashion world is getting in on the act, too. Austrian eyewear brand Neubau’s latest collection, Walter & Wassily, has been directly inspired by the Bauhaus movement. The titanium frame references the steel tube often featured in Bauhaus furniture, whilst the rounded finishes pays homage to the circle – the renowned shape of the period. Named after the Bauhaus art school’s founder, Walter Gropius, and key artist, Wassily Kandinsky, the collection brings the Bauhaus ‘form follows function’ ethos to life.
Above – Neubau unisex ‘Walter & Wassily’ collection
Other fashion brands have also taken inspiration from Bauhaus to form the lines of their new collections; back in 2015, British designer Paul Smith saw a connection with the practicality and functionality embodied through Bauhaus that was vital to the very values on which he started in the industry. Through looking to the work of artists Josef and Anni Albers, Smith found the inspiration behind his AW15 collection.
Whether it’s the principles of basic functionality (a relief in today’s busy world!) or the experimentation with colour and geometry we still identify with, not many art movements have remained as current a century on – Bauahus’ influence is showing no sign of ending.