Walter Gropius, chief visionary behind the Bauhaus Movement between the two World Wars, made the following proclamation:
“The mind is like an umbrella. Its most useful when open.”
One hundred and two years ago, Gropius and other visionary architects/artists put forward a new and unique plan for collaboration by pulling artists and craftsmen together within an academic setting. Gropius believed that the path forward in the first part of the 20th century was through cooperation amongst the creative forces. The world was changing rapidly due to the influence of technology within the larger force of the Industrial Revolution and the Age of the Machine! Gropius and his group felt there was a missing link and they sought to embrace the creative class and bring together artists, architects, designers, craftsmen, etc. within a school that nurtured experimentation and vision!
Gropius, trained as an architect, sought to do away with the so-called distinctions between artists and craftsmen. Gropius secured a healthy amount of state funding and was able to build a facility—the Bauhaus in Dessau—and hire the best artists and craftsmen to guide the next generation of the creative class. The founder of the Bauhaus stated: “Society needs a good image of itself. That is the job of the architect.” Gropius’ emphasis on “a good image” is drawn directly from the devastation that was WWI or the “War to end all Wars” as it became popularly known on 11 November 1918.
What are your thoughts on the Bauhaus’s Utopian vision as conceived by Gropius, and is the Bauhaus aesthetic still valid today, 102 years after its original founding?