Bauhaus: the school that changed design and its centennial events

The Bauhaus School was born in the fervent and difficult years before the rise of Hitler and Nazism. Walter Gropius, his first director, inaugurated the lessons in Weimar in 1919, but the Bauhaus found its true home only in Dessau: here the Bauhaus moved from 1923 to 1925, until the final closure at the hands of the new regime.


In those few years of activity, the school has not only dictated the guidelines of almost all German artists, architects and producers, but has also paved the way for much of art and mass industry as we know it today.


The lesson of Gropius and scholars was simple, effective and linked to a few basic principles:

  • design must be at the service of functionality
  • the materials must reflect the nature of the project or building
  • lines must be clear and square – in a nutshell: minimalist style

Thanks to these principles, for the first time in history it was no longer unthinkable to link art and mass consumption. On the contrary, both were part of an equation without which it was impossible for the Bauhaus to imagine the future.

Just a quote from Gropius to understand this:

Art, craftsmanship and industry must work together to make products available to everyone

Industry, craftsmanship, art, mechanization and technology were therefore the tools that Bauhaus used to shape the future. But behind these instruments there were above all great teachers and students with amazing talent: some became world-renowned painters (Klee and Kandinsky above all) and others became designers who have become essential for the development of modern taste – so essential that some of their works continue to be sold even today, after several decades. 

As in the case of the famous Wassilly chair by Marcel Breuer.

Sedia Wassilly
Sedia “Wassilly” di Marcel Breuer Image by IK’s World Trip Source:

The events of the Bauhaus centenary

For the design enthusiast, the centenary of the Bauhaus is also a great opportunity to embark on a tour of the symbolic cities of the German school and admire the best products of Gropius and other artists of the school. Obviously the focus is in Germany, and here we find the most interesting events:

  1. The Grand Tour of Modernism

    Monuments, buildings and spaces created by the best minds of the Bauhaus are scattered throughout Germany. If you are interested in a real “tour”, visit the Grand Tour of Modernism website: there you will find all necessary maps and directions.

  2. Learning From, Berlin: March 15th – June 10th

    Part of a global project (also hosted in China, Brazil, Russia, Japan), the Learning From exhibition organized by Bauhaus Imaginista explores the influence of the German modernist school in North Africa, Brazil and the United States.

  3. Bauhaus Museum, Weimar: since April 6th

    This new Museum in Weimar is entirely dedicated to the Bauhaus and will open its doors in April 2019. Inside you can admire the oldest collection of projects and works of the German school – among which more than 1500 pieces of functional design.

  4. Bauhaus Original, Berlin: 6 September 2019 – 27 January 2010

    This exhibition asks the visitor the question “What is typically Bauhaus?”. The answer will obviously come from the Berlinische Galerie exhibition itself and from its collection of famous, well-known but also forgotten Bauhaus works from different International collections.

  5. Bauhaus Museum, Dessau: since 8 September

    On the occasion of the centenary, the city of Saxony-Anhalt where the Bauhaus school was established inaugurates the new Bauhaus Dessau Foundation museum and the opening will be with the exhibitionVersuchstätte Bauhaus – The Collection which tells the story of Bauhaus through original works: furniture, lamps, textiles and visuals.