Bauhaus school

Bauhaus is the common term for the Staatliches Bauhaus, an art and architecture school in Germany that operated from 1919 to 1933, and for the approach to design that it developed and taught. The most natural meaning for its name (related to the German verb for "build") is Architecture House. Bauhaus style became one of the most influential currents in Modernist architecture.

The Bauhaus art school existed in three different cities (Weimar from 1919 to 1925, Dessau from 1925 to 1932, and Berlin from 1932 to 1933), under three different architect-directors (Walter Gropius from 1919 to 1928, Hannes Meyer from 1928 to 1930, and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe from 1930 to 1933). These changes of venue and leadership meant a constant shifting of focus, technique, instructors, and politics.

The school was founded by Gropius as a merger of the Weimar School of Arts and Crafts and the Weimar Academy of Fine Arts. The early intention was for the Bauhaus to be a combined architecture school, crafts school, and academy of the arts.

Gropius argued that a new period of history had begun with the end of the war. He wanted to create a new architectural style to reflect this new era. His style in architecture and consumer goods was to be functional, cheap, and consistent with mass production. To these ends, Gropius wanted to reunite art and craft to arrive at high-end functional products with artistic pretensions. The school’s philosophy basically stated that the artist should be trained to work with the industry. Under increasing political pressure the Bauhaus was closed on the orders of the Nazi regime in 1933. The Nazi Party and other fascist political groups had opposed the Bauhaus throughout the 1920s. They considered it a front for communists, especially because many Russian artists were involved with it.

The Bauhaus had a major impact on art and architecture trends in Western Europe, the United States and Israel in the decades following its demise, as many of the artists involved fled or were exiled by the Nazi regime.
One of the main objectives of the Bauhaus was to unify art, craft, and technology. The machine was considered a positive element, and therefore industrial and product design were important components. Vorkurs ("initial course") was taught; this is the modern day Basic Design course that has become one of the key foundational courses offered in architectural schools across the globe. There was no teaching of history in the school because everything was supposed to be designed and created according to first principles rather than by following precedent.
One of the most important contributions of the Bauhaus is in the field of furniture design. The world famous and ubiquitous Cantilever chair by Dutch designer Mart Stam, using the tensile properties of steel, and the Wassily Chair designed by Marcel Breuer are two examples.