The Bauhaus Brand 1919–2019
The Victory of Iconic Form over Use
Bauhaus: what it was, what it is, what it may be
1st edition, 2019
336 pages, 827 color and 127 b/w illustrations
20 x 28 cm
The Bauhaus was distinguished neither by function nor by use but rather by symbolism. Whether square, triangle, or circle; whether Wilhelm Wagenfeld’s lamp, Oskar Schlemmer’s “Kopf” (head), or white cubes with flat roofs: the Bauhaus created iconic visual symbols and a style that is neither functional nor social but visually striking.
Walter Gropius, founder of the Bauhaus, from the outset sought to develop the school into a brand—and he succeeded. More than eight decades after its forced closure, the Bauhaus is more present than ever before in consumerism, politics, and culture alike. It has become a participative brand that escapes centralized control entirely. It has been, and continues to be, forged collectively by countless designers, manufacturers, and consumers. Yet its founders initial pledge for functionality and social commitment remains unfulfilled.
In this book, Philipp Oswalt, former director of Foundation Bauhaus Dessau, explores the development of the Bauhaus brand and its use around the world, illustrated with some 950 images that highlight the vast range of Bauhaus appearances from a century.
Philipp Oswalt is a prfessor of theoriy of architecture and design at Universität Kassel. He has been director of Foundation Bauhaus Dessau 2009–2014.