Bauhaus Design & Web Design

Form follows function.

Simplicity and accessibility in design.

A return to the basics of craftsmanship.

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These ideas guided a design revolution. You’re probably thinking about User Experience, but in fact these philosophies were popularized almost a century earlier, defining the Bauhaus movement. Bauhaus was founded by the German architect Walter Gropius in 1919 as a school of art, architecture and design. The name Bauhaus, or “house of construction,” comes from the school’s building which the school viewed as the epitome of their shared principles: its rooms unadorned, its construction prominent, every detail a matter of function, down to the doorknobs. Architecture, art, and manufacturing were finally wed.

Today’s web design owes an unusual amount of debt to Bauhaus. Because websites not only need to look great, but also function smoothly, Bauhaus is the ideal guiding principle for web design. Looking into the history of the Bauhaus movement not only yields a century of inspiration, it also clues us into future directions of UX design.

Today’s web design is a Bauhaus renaissance. At the heart of the Bauhaus and responsive UX movements are a few core elements: reducing design to necessary function, making it beautiful and effortless, as well as crafting every small detail. For Bauhaus, this meant “art as life,” and as a result everyday objects like chairs and dinnerware became art; similarly, web design has made leaps in the design of icons, menus, and typography, things once commonplace and universally bland became beautifully functional.

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