Document 14: Walter Gropius "Principles of Bauhaus Production" 1926

A Pamphlet published by Bauhaus Dessau

Adapted From:

Whitford, Frank ed.

The Bauhaus: Masters & Students by Themselves.

London: Amazon Publishing Limited, 1992.

pages 216-217

The Bauhaus seeks to contribute to the development of the domestic environment -- from the simple household utensil to the completed dwelling -- in conformity with the spirit of the times. 

Convinced that the house and its contents must inter-relate meaningfully, the Bauhaus attempts to derive the form of each object from its natural functions and limitations and with the aid of systematic experimentation in the theory and practice of form, technology and economics. 

Modern man wears modern dress, not historical costume. He also requires modern housing together with all the objects of everyday use which conform to his daily needs and those of the times in which he lives. 

An object is determined by its nature. If it is therefore to be designed so that it functions properly -- a receptacle, a chair, a house -- its essence must first be investigated. This is because it must serve its purpose perfectly, and that means that it must fulfill its function practically, be durable, economical and 'beautiful'. The investigation of the nature of an object in the light of all modern production methods, construction and materials, results in forms which deviated from convention and will often seem unusual and surprising (compare, for example, the change in design of heating and lighting). 

Only through continuous contact with newly evolving techniques, with the invention of new materials and new construction methods will the individual designer acquire the ability to design objects which relate in a living way to tradition and from that tradition and from that relationship develop a new attitude to design:

The determined affirmation of the living environment of machines and vehicles.

The organic design of objects based on their own contemporary laws free of all Romantic beautification and idiosyncrasies.

The limitation to characteristic primary forms and colours comprehensible by everyone.

The creation of standard types for all practical commodities of everyday use is a social necessity.