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The Bauhaus and Dieter Ram’s works Essay (Critical Writing)


Bauhaus school is one of the most renowned modernist art school that has been established. The term Bauhaus is a Germany term that refers to the house of building. Bauhaus school was established in 1919 in Weimar in Germany by an architect known as Walter Gropius. The school was founded in order to merge the applied arts and manufacturing. The school was regarded as the most influential modernist art school in the 20th century.

It is known for greatly influencing many artists in the United Kingdom as well as the United States of America for a long period after its closure. The school was established as a result of the anxieties that existed in the 19th century about the soullessness in the manufacturing of products. The artistic products that were being manufactured by then had lost purpose in the society.

During this period, the manufacturing process was done in a more mechanical manner without incorporating creativity. With advancement in technology, creativity was needed in the manufacturing industry in order to design products that addressed the aspirations of the cotemporary society.

Thus, the establishment of the Bauhaus school was important in order to rejuvenate designs in accordance to the changing consumer tastes and preferences. The transformation was to be realized by reforming the approach that was being used to teach art.

The school was very famous in the late nineteenth century as well as in the 20th century. This was the period when there was a need for differentiating between applied art and fine art as well as bringing creativity in manufacturing industries. Before 1920s, most art schools that existed concentrated on teaching the medieval crafts.

In the 1920s, the Bauhaus school changed its tactics and started emphasizing more on how to unite creativity with industrial designs, rather than stressing on medieval crafts (Kirsten 65). The change of its strategy from focusing on medieval crafts to concentrate on bringing creativity into industrial manufacturing was a very imperative move for the school.

Subsequently, the strategy enabled the school to differentiate its services appropriately which helped to make its services more competitive in the market. The school was greatly respected because of its highly competent artists such as Josef Albers, Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee among others. Its establishment resulted to foundation of more schools of arts and applied art in Germany.

By establishing the Bauhaus art school, Gropius had aspired to totally transform the existing fine art, media, industrial designs, typography, graphic designs, and interior designs as well as architectural designs (Arnason 25).

The demand for change forced the Bauhaus school to abandon much of the ethos of the old academic of fine art education. Instead, it focused on imparting the intellectual and theoretical skills as well as to link these skills to practical, crafts and techniques in order to come up with creativity that was necessary in the contemporary manufacturing industries.

In so doing, the Bauhaus school succeeded in leveling the traditional hierarchy of the arts, by enhancing craft to measure up with fine arts such as the sculpture and paintings. This brought solutions to ideas of many artists, who had for long struggled on how to overcome their artistic problems in the late 20th century.

The Bauhaus school emphasized more on experiments and problem-solving skills that greatly altered the manner in which art was being taught in the past. It helped to change how people perceived fine art. Initially, people considered fine art as a visual art. They generally regarded art as an extra humanity like history or Literature. By changing the approach of how art was being taught, people started considering art as a research science, rather than humanity.

Gropius adapted new concepts as well as styles in transforming the education of art. He adapted an original and influential curriculum that he opted to follow in order to be successful in reforming art education. Gropius described the new curriculum as a wheel diagram.

The outer ring represented a six months preliminary course known as the vorkurs that entailed mainly practical and formal analysis that consisted of contrasting properties of colors, forms and materials (Albers 45).

Subsequently, the two middle rings symbolized two- three years courses which are the formlehre that concentrated on problems that relate to form and the Werkre which is a practical workshop that stressed on technical craft skills. These two courses stressed mainly on functionalism by employing simplified geometric forms that facilitated new designs being delivered easily.

At the middle of the curriculum were those courses that had specialized on building constructions. These courses assisted the students to get opportunities for practicality as well as necessity through technological reproduction with a stress on craft and workmanship that was lost in technological manufacturing.

The aim of these courses was mainly to establish a competitive edge for the students by fostering their creative potential and a sense of Community and shared purpose (Ryan 4).

Dieter artist Rams is one of the most renowned designers of the contemporary society. His work is often referred as minimal, functional as well as reflective of the early Bauhaus designs (Asencio 5). His ideological approach to design is summed up in his 1994 decree ‘less but better’.

His ideology is reflected in every spheres of his life (Peder, 6). Starting from the design of the house where he resides, electronic devices, shelving system as well as the furniture present in his house. His greatest legacy is his work while he was working as the head of designer for Braun, a Germany electrical products manufacturer.

He worked there from 1955 until 1995. While working for Braun, he designed dozens of the current-iconic items for homes. His designs ranged from Hi-fi systems, coffee machines, and electric razors as well as food blenders that were tailored in the concepts of Bauhaus and modernist movement (Pawson 67).

The products he designed were produced in masses for a reinvigorated era, and were sold in millions and thus they greatly influenced the ideas of modern designs.

For instance, by tracing the 10 years development of the Apple from- iMacs to the latest version of iPhone, one will note the exceptional artistic skills that were possessed by Rams. It is a good example on how Rams’s aesthetic had persisted to influence the contemporary designers (Rossell 90).

Ram’s house stands conspicuously among the surrounding Bavarian-style mansions. Rams house has white painted walls and white ceramic floor tiles. The house has little ornamentations. Rams has opted to place the paintings in the hallways, but not in the house in order to avoid them disrupting him when he is working, relaxing or eating.

Surprisingly, one half of the floor is occupied by the main bedroom, lavatory as well as the bathroom. The other section is dedicated to an open-plan living space where there is a glass wall that opens to steps that lead down through a Japanese-style garden of mossy rocks and bonsai (Saito 7). The garden terminates where a swimming pool starts. Rams’s house is like a museum.

The house is full of Rams’s designs. The living room is equipped with universal shelving system and a compact seating system that Rams had designed for Vitsoe in 1962. The black leather recliner that is located in one of the corner is another example of his design.

Similarly, the television that is inside the living room that has a horizontal angle which is adjustable was also designed by Rams in 1986. Moreover, the handle on the door that leads to the kitchen was also his design (The Telegraph par. 10).

The Bauhaus school of art was very instrumental in equipping artists with necessary skills to help them design appropriate designs that could be used in manufacturing products in industrial scales. Prior to the foundation of Bauhaus school, manufacturers had very little knowledge on how to uses creativity when designing their products. Most of the products that were being manufactured lacked appropriate designs.

They often failed to address the concerns of societies. The concept of Gropius to establish a school that could teach artists the skills of how to bring creativity in the manufacturing industry was a great step fro designers.

The Bauhaus school enabled nurturing of imperative artists such as Rams who managed to use his artistic skills to design variety of products that ranged from furniture, electrical as well as architectural designs such as his residential house.

Works Cited

Albers, Josef Interaction of Color. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1975

Arnason, H.H. History of Modern Art. Englewood Cliffs New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1986

Asencio, Francisco. The Architecture of Minimalism. New York: Arco; Hearst Books International, 1997.

Kirsten Baumann. Bauhaus Dessau: Architecture Design Concept. Berlin: JOVIS Verlag , 2007

Pawson, John. Minimum. London: Phaidon Press Limited, 1996.

Peder, Anker. From Bauhaus to ecohouse: a history of ecological design. Louisiana: Louisiana State University Press, 2011

Rossell, Quim. Minimalist Interiors. New York: Collins Design, 2005.

Ryan, V. The Bauhaus in Germany 1919-1930s. 12 February, 2011. Web.13 Dec. 2011.

Saito, Yuriko. The Moral Dimension of Japanese Aesthetics. The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 2007, 65, 1, 85-97.

The Telegraph. Interiors: Dieter Rams’s Modernist home in Germany. 13 December, 2011. Web.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "The Bauhaus and Dieter Ram's works." May 16, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-bauhaus-and-dieter-rams-works-critical-writing/.

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