In honor of the Bauhaus centennial, Dezeen is conducting in-depth overviews of the instutution's key figures and projects. Two of the latest additions to the "Bauhaus 100" series highlight Marcel Breuer and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe as well as their respective contributions to the development of Modern design. Jon Astbury, Dezeen editor, calls out Breuer, the youngest member of the Bauhaus, and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the third and final director of the school, for their lasting impact.
Marcel Breuer and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.
While at the Bauhaus, Breuer designed the Wassily Chair for which he became best known. Astbury commended the innovation of the chair, named after fellow Bauhaus member and friend Wassily Kandinsky. “This iconic tubular steel chair, inspired by the bicycle frames and made with the latest in steel-bending technology, was given its nickname when it was reproduced by Italian manufacturer Gavina.” Knoll acquired the Gavina Group in 1968 and has produced the Wassily Chair, as well as Breuer’s Laccio Tables and Cesca Chairs, ever since.
Wassily Chair designed by Marcel Breuer.
Astbury stressed Breuer’s pioneering designs and rationalist aesthetic that shaped the Bauhaus school of thought. “Breuer’s work was in many was a perfect demonstration of the Bauhaus’ ideals of art meeting industry. Early versions of the [Wassily Chair] were only made possible due to,” the advanced manufacturing methods of the period. Additionally, Astbury cited Breuer’s Whitney Museum of American Art as emblematic of the Bauhaus approach.
Barcelona Chair designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe is the second modern master featured by Dezeen’s “Bauhaus 100”. Astbury writes that, “Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, simply Mies to the entire world of design, is one of architecture’s most towering figures. Whether it is his gnomic statements – ‘less is more’ and ‘god is in the details’ – or the iconic Barcelona Pavilion or equally iconic Barcelona Chair, his presence borders on the mythic.” Mies’ 1929 Barcelona Pavilion and the chairs designed for it, now known worldwide as the Barcelona Collection, are cited by Astbury as icons of the Bauhaus. Following their design, Mies led the Bauhaus until its closure in 1933.