The Bauhaus Archive in Berlin is a must see. Designed by Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius in 1964 and built posthumously in 1979, the building itself is a bit of an awkward hodgepodge – in my opinion not up to the high standards of his earlier work. I did, however, like the rounded vertical chambers depicted in this poster I picked up from the museum shop.
The real action is inside the galleries, with work by a virtual who’s who of inter-war architects, designers and artists. Previously, architecture and furniture design (much of which is still in production) usually came to mind when I thought about the Bauhaus school and its enormous influence. Visiting the archive was a reminder of the astonishing scope of work produced, including metalwork, ceramics, textiles, interiors, graphics, photography, painting, sculpture and stage design.
Another thing I came away with was the strong emphasis on craft. It wasn’t all about sleek, mass-produced machine made products and designs. Craft and industry co-existed, and there was a lot of overlap. Something could be modern and handcrafted – they were not mutually exclusive. Over 75 years since the Bauhaus was closed, it seems that we’re rediscovering the wisdom of this way of thinking. It’s about time.