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Founded in Weimar in 1919 by the German architect Walter Gropius (1883–1969), the main aim of the Bauhaus was to transform the physical world to express the interconnectedness of all artistic disciplines. The school was inspired by Expressionist art, the architectural designs of Frank Lloyd Wright, and the work of designer William Morris. The founders acted with the dream of bringing together artists and craftsmen. This movement encouraged collaboration between instructors and students in design studios and workshops.

In 1925 the institution moved to Dessau, and in 1932 it moved to Berlin. Unfortunately, due to Nazi pressure, the Bauhaus school was eventually closed. The Bauhaus movement advocated a geometric and abstract approach to design, devoid of strong emotions or historical references. His visual style still serves as a source of inspiration for architects, designers and artists.

Some important figures associated with the original Bauhaus include:

  • Walter Gropius: Gropius, the founder and first director of the Bauhaus, advocated uniting all art forms under one roof and that design should serve a social purpose.

  • Wassily Kandinsky: A famous painter and one of the school's early instructors, Kandinsky discovered abstract art and color theory and made major contributions to the artistic philosophy of the Bauhaus.

  • Paul Klee: Another important artist and Bauhaus teacher, Klee's work combined abstraction and expressionism and inspired students to explore new artistic approaches.

  • Ludwig Mies van der Rohe: Known as Mies, he succeeded Gropius and became a pioneering architect known for his minimalist and functional designs.

  • Marcel Breuer: An influential furniture designer and architect, Breuer's use of steel tubes in his furniture design has remained a symbol of the Bauhaus legacy.

The New European Bauhaus movement, launched by the European Commission in 2020, aims to revive the original Bauhaus spirit in the context of contemporary challenges, focusing on sustainability, climate action and how design, art and technology address social needs. Some important figures associated with this movement include:

  • Ursula von der Leyen: As President of the European Commission, von der Leyen played a key role in launching the New Europe Bauhaus initiative as part of the European Green Deal.

  • Mariya Gabriel: Mariya Gabriel serves as the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth. He plays an important role in shaping the new European Bauhaus initiative.

  • Michel Barnier: Michel Barnier, a former European Commissioner, was appointed as Ursula von der Leyen's Special Adviser for the New European Bauhaus.

  • Roberto Viola: Roberto Viola took part in the New European Bauhaus project as Director General of DG Connect (European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology).

  • Thierry Breton: As European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Breton played a key role in shaping the integration of design and sustainability.

The original Bauhaus and the New European Bauhaus movement both share a commitment to design, but differ in their contexts, goals, and the problems they address:

  • Focus: While the original Bauhaus focused on combining art and industry rather than specifically addressing contemporary issues such as sustainability and climate change, the New European Bauhaus emphasizes art and design in addressing social needs.

  • Context: The original Bauhaus was founded in Germany after World War I, while the New European Bauhaus is a European Union initiative aimed at promoting innovation and sustainable development in a globalizing world.

  • Technology: The New European Bauhaus makes more extensive use of 21st century technological advances, a reflection of the movement's technology-based approach.

In summary, both the original Bauhaus and the New European Bauhaus movements have roots in design and art, but differ in their contexts, goals, and the problems they address. The New European Bauhaus movement inherits the legacy of its predecessor by adapting its principles to the challenges of our time, especially those related to sustainability and climate action.

History of Bauhaus & NEB

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