The Bauhaus effect: beyond the architecture

The Bauhaus effect: beyond the architecture

The world you live in, the house, furniture, and your wardrobe. The tools you use, and even the aesthetic pictures in your Instagram feed. Is it all intuitive? Your singular choice and taste? Or is it all part of the greatest design? Are you TOO stuck in the Bauhaus loop?

Founded by Walter Gropius in 1919 in Weimar, the Staatliche Bauhaus is a German atypical art and architecture school. It aspired to reform the education of Architecture, Arts, and crafts and implement its revolutionary ideas. Unfortunately,  because of the Nazis' suppression, its action didn’t last long, and it was dissolved in 1933. But its effect is forever lasting.

From the architectural template around us to inside our pockets: everything is screaming BAUHAUS, and we love it!


Clean lines, basic geometric shapes, and elemental colors: that’s the Bauhaus signature.

In their quest for a new aesthetic that is “functional,” all traditional ornamentation was set aside. Instead, beauty is found in transparency, simplicity, and exposition of raw materials. With these features, the school’s body did not just create a new architecture but also, conceived the face of modernism.

After the school’s stoppage, ‌ many architects took up where it left off, and many sub-BAUHAUSian movements emerged, ‌ such as brutalism, and minimalism. This diversity allowed the heritage to last and evolve into what we see today.

School’s Master’s house In Dessau – Restored-
Darcon Head quarter – Modern Bauhaus-inspired Architecture


It’s no secret that architecture and fashion get along well. We have seen over the years many architects creating wonders on runways rather than just building them. And it doesn’t stop there: the inspirational exchange between these two fields is reciprocal.

Architecture served as a main source of inspiration to several designers and famous brands such as Prada, Yves Saint Lauren, and many more. More particularly, and looking at the past 100 years of fashion creations, cycles, and trends, the BUAHAUSian traits are unmissable.

To this day, the textile industry reproduces and re-interpreters the Bauhaus textile and patterns to create modern clothes and homeware. The streamlined garments displayed on stores' frontals and inside our closets, and those of our mothers, withhold the Bauhaus signature. As “Vintage” becomes the new modern, it’s a timeless chic.

Yves saint Lauren - de stijl inspiration
Bauhaus textile – Anni Albers - Hanging rag
COS fashion designs (brand) /


The notion of photography has evolved a lot over the past decades. With the popularization of smartphones and social media, images have become a common way of expression and communication.

With the vulgarization of the tools, everyone took photos. The challenge was now on how to achieve authenticity, whether by experimenting with angles, components, and light,  or by posing, editing, and adding filters.

Looking back at the Bauhaus archive, pictures taken 100 years ago seem to share the aesthetic ambiance of today. The high/low angles, light patterns, the subject and composition of objects in the frame, sets (urban/human- natural/human) affinity. And even cursory trends like the famous bathroom mirror selfie.

Ise Gropius – Bathroom Mirror portrait

Tools and technology

Many modern world companies source inspiration from the BAUHAUS legacy: from web page design, typography, and logos, to digital devices,  home appliances, and furniture.

The most seeming example is Apple’s company: its thin yet elegant product design became a token of modernity and digital development.

On the other hand, other famous brands like IKEA and Knoll, are not only inspired by the school’s patrimony but also revive it and keep it in stock. Many iconic objects such as the Laccio table, Barcelona chair, and Replica lamps, are still to this day, symbols of sophistication and stylishness.

Apple products/
Laccio tables by Marcel Breuer /
Mies van de rohe - Barcelona chair /

Educational approaches

The Bauhaus has revolutionized education! Not exclusively that of architecture but the whole learning process approach.  It broke the rigidity of the ancient educational system and, “modernized” it.

It allowed a certain level of flexibility that opened doors to new horizons. By changing the mediation between learners and professors, students became more than passive recipients and managed to project their visions and personal impressions. This approach allowed them to mold their own unique learning experiences and exchange with other colleagues and even with teachers themselves.

The school’s experience is to be retained. By keeping up to date with the evolving needs of society, the gap between theoretical learning and practical life was diminished. And, the students were part of the production process and active contributors in their formation.

The school held preliminary workshops and activities that experimented with materials and forms to develop the senses. These latter are proven to be effective in improving children’s consciousness of what’s around them and how they interact with it.

The BAUHAUS mindset

Are we too, thinking Bauhaus?

“Form follows function, aesthetics in utility, constant development and smart use of resources.” That’s what the Bauhausian philosophy stands for— encouraging productivity and finding the beauty of things in their utility and usefulness. Likewise, what today’s hustle culture is promoting.

By romanticizing the “functionality” race, individuals’ value and fairness became contingent upon their output. It’s a forever-lasting race with time and one’s self to become your best version—  modern, utile, raw, and always relevant.

“If your contribution has been vital, there will always be somebody to pick up where you left off, and that will be your claim to immortality,” says Walter Gropius.

The school did not solely revolutionize architecture but also reshaped the world that we know today.

By creating undying objects, it gave us the illusion of progress, of change, and that we were in control of our design instincts. Whereas, we might just be recipients.

The Bauhaus claimed immortality through shape-shifting and evolution so that it was always modern, functional, and relevant.

With all that in mind, it is now vital more than ever, to escape the loop. Look at our modern world from a distance for a more objective/neutral perspective when conceiving and rethinking the future.