Whether you're aware of it or not, you've likely seen many Bauhaus style pieces in your day to day life—these may range from leather and chrome chairs inspired by Marcel Breuer, bright and colorful wooden "avant garde" pieces, and brass and glass tables. Perhaps you have a Cesca-style cane chair in your dining room or a replica of the famous Barcelona chair in your living room—both of these designs emerged when Bauhaus first took shape.
The Bauhaus design style, named for the German school founded by architect Walter Gropius in the early 20th century, is characterized by geometric shapes, primary colors, and simple designs and materials, including those mentioned above. And, while the movement itself only latest 14 years, designers say that the style itself is definitely here to stay.
"The influence of the Bauhaus philosophy is quite prolific in design, still today," said Betsy Moyer, co-founder of Retreat. "For such a short lifespan, this school has had one of the greatest impacts on the design world, and thus its concepts will never cease to inspire the future of design." Below, Moyer and others share the reasons why the Bauhaus style remains so relevant.
1. Manufacturing Is Easier Than Ever
When it originated, the Bauhaus style incorporated materials that made the mass production of furniture simple, so that pieces could be easily accessible to a number of people. And now, in today's world, successful mass production is even easier to achieve. "More and more, we see opportunities for an artisanal approach to mass production," Moyer said. "If this is the heart of the philosophy, then the movement is ever present through our technological advances, simply as generations seek a more personalized and meaningful way of life, but with resources that make manufacturing easier than ever."
2. Its Influence Takes Many Forms
"Bauhaus influences are all around us," Moyer said, citing everything from shed style modern cabinets to block print artwork as examples of the aesthetic. "The geometric shapes that I assume are driving the trend of late are just the latest manifestation of the Bauhaus influence on the zeitgeist." And it will only continue to be prevalent. Added Moyer, "As the Bauhaus reaches into every art from from graphic design, to industrial design to architecture, I'm sure the influence will always be present in one form or another."
3. Pieces Have Major Wow-Factor
Sharon Falcher & Sherica Maynard of Interior Design by S&S believe that Bauhaus is going to remain en vogue and appreciate how easily such pieces can transform a room. "Many furniture companies have made the Bauhaus style overly trendy by using exaggerated curved furniture and bold shapes in lighting, but classic Bauhaus is here to stay," Maynard said. And it doesn't take much for a Bauhaus style piece to really add oomph to a room. Maynard commented, "The great thing about Bauhaus furniture is that you can add just one classic chair, like the Mies van de Rohe Barcelona chair, into any space and it will surely be a stylish statement." And this idea ties back to the idea that "less is more"—a term coined by van der Rohe himself.
4. It Is Seen As a Classic
Some designers, including Kate Davidson, don't see Bauhaus as a current craze at all and view the pieces as classics that will always be relevant. "I do not see Bauhaus personally as a trend; Bauhaus is a defining influence to where design is today," she said. " I have had several pieces incorporated in my home over the years and see them as modern classics." Designer Trisha Isabey agreed. "My interpretation of 'trend' doesn’t apply to Bauhaus," she said. "Bauhaus has history and a legacy. Like many other established design styles, it may come and go in popularity, but I don’t think we ever give these iconic styles up."
Isabey added, "I think the reason it has such long term appeal is because it has been adopted by design schools over the years. The movement dates back almost a hundred years ago. We will experience the roots of this design style for years to come."