Monday, 21 May 2012


Manifesto’s: A manifesto is a set of intentions, that either someone or a group of people declare and stand by.  There are many forms of manifestos, political, artistic, they can even be life-stance related.  Its something that can be used as a guide, to show what the individuals or groups goals, aims and ambitions are.  Manifesto's can be motivational and quite inspiring depending on the content.  The Bauhaus Manifesto written by Walter Gropius declares his intentions for the art school, the work ethic that they will abide by and what he hopes to achieve with this new, innovative teaching style.  The overall aim of the Bauhaus was to unite creativity and manufacturing, 'The old art schools were unable to produce this unity; and how, indeed, should they have done so, since art cannot be taught? Schools must return to the workshop.'  The arts and crafts were to be brought together for a modern industrial society.
Walter Gropius put together a manifesto for the Bauhaus school, which over the years has become very well known, this is because it reflects very effectively the intentions of the school and the approach to design it taught.  The Bauhaus style has become very influential over the years, especially in modernist architecture and modern design.

Walter Adolph Georg Gropius:
(May 18, 1883 – July 5, 1969)
Gropius was appointed master of the school in 1919, he transformed the school into the well known Bauhahs with an impressive history of alumni.  Gropius experimented with modern materials and techniques, he wanted to combine an imaginative creativeness with technology and business so the design served a purpose.  His idea was to popularise product design by combining industry with art.  Gropius was able to put this theory into practice wen being appointed director of the Bauhaus.  This unique teaching method that the manifesto underlines offers practical training in the crafts department and theoretical teaching in design.

Walter Gropius's manifesto clearly states his intentions for the art school, the general over view is that realistically art students should strive to be involved in the mass production of 'arts and crafts' rather than individual freelance.  It states that all artists and designers (architectures, painters, graphic designers, typographers) should come together to combine their work disregarding the expected normalities of separated arts.  Studying design techniques should be the start of design development, progressing to a new innovative design style.  It encourages students to look forward, to the future of design and be successfully equipped for this new modernised industry to function in the design world, to be an essential part of the industry.  Bauhaus design is simple yet effective, Bauhaus has become the symbol of modern design.  Even though Walter Gropius took a new and innovative approach to teaching and design he still managed to keep some of the teaching traditions of academic fine art through intellectual and theoretical pursuits.  Art and craft were bought together in an attempt of problem solving form and function.  'Architects, painters, and sculptors must once again come to know and comprehend the composite character of a building, both as an entity and in terms of its various parts. Then their work will be filled with that true architectonic spirit which, as "salon art", it has lost.'  

The Bauhaus started at a time when Europe, particularly Germany, were struggling with the effects of the first world war.  The war had ended and germany had suffered badly .  Gropius claimed that a new history of design had evolved since the end of the first world war, he wanted to show this through architectural design.  His key ideas were to take design and make it functional and consistent with mass production.  Because of the effects of the war Germany did not have access to a range of raw materials so had to rely on hard labour and the export innovative and high quality goods.  The school stated that the artists should be experienced and trained to work in the industry.  The Social Democratic Party funded and supported the school but lost control of state parliament, this led to the closing of the Bauhaus in Weimar.


This is where the Bauhaus endured its most prolific period, Gropius designing a new building that has since become a landmark for modernist design and architecture.  Hannes Meyer became director after Gropius resigned in 1928.  However, Meyer vocally expressed his views about supporting communism, this was dangerous to the existence of the school as Germany was surrounded by tense political atmosphere.  Gropius fired him in 1930.
When the Nazi party came into power in 1933 they labelled the Bauhaus 'un-german' generating public controversy. The Bauhaus was something the Nazi party didn't agree with and ultimately the Bauhaus was pressured to close in 1933.

The Bauhaus was a massive influential movement that is still widely recognised to this day.  The manifesto written for the Bauhaus inspired a major movement and style.  Walter Gropius set out with ambitions and a clear idea of what he wanted from the school.  He was able to put this into practice over the years during the Bauhaus and successfully build a reputation which became one of the most influential in the design world. 

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