What the Bauhaus teaches us

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Time for a little general education. When I write here about Bauhaus, I don’t mean Obi and Co, but the school that was founded by Walter Gropius at the beginning of the 19th century. Many of the design principles and products that emerged from this institution are still highly topical today and influence the design world. To get to the bottom of their origins, however, I have to go a little further.

Only the industrial revolution made it possible to manufacture products in masses – before craftsmen had their hands full with it. The aim was to create products as quickly and cheaply as possible that resembled the craftsmen’s works. The examination of materials and production techniques was left by the wayside. In order to counteract this development, various counter-movements arose – including the Bauhaus. Founded in 1919 by Walter Gropius, the aim was to combine art and technology in a contemporary way. This means that the unity between design and production that still exists in the craft should also be recognizable in the manufacture of industrially produced products. The Bauhaus was made up of artists, craftsmen, industrialists and publicists who were committed to the interaction of art, craftsmanship and industry.

It is this community idea that is still present at the Bauhaus today and that influences the world of design. Working in project teams allows products to be viewed from different angles. At Cleverclip, everyone has their core competence – whether consultant, copywriter, visual artist or postproduction – but only if everyone works together can a really good product be created.

Another extremely important idea that emerged from the Bauhaus is taking risks. Theory was rather dispensed with in class, rather it was a matter of experimenting with different techniques and materials and then subsequently making an analysis of the results. At Cleverclip we find this in our own manifesto: “Try out new things and don’t be scared to fail”. This is an extremely important principle which helps our products and our company to remain innovative.

The idea of reduction to the minimum was also applied to products at the Bauhaus in Weimar. Unnecessary frills should be avoided. This is also an important guiding principle for us when it comes to conveying messages clearly and comprehensibly. When using purely aesthetic embellishments, one could run the risk of the target group no longer understanding the real message. That’s why reduction to the minimum is central – in terms of content, but also visually.

I hope that with this little history lesson I was able to bring you a little closer to the Bauhaus and I am sure that when you see a cantilever chair next time, you will think: “Marcel Breuer!

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Bauhausphoto credit: mhobl via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC