Apple and Bauhaus

Back To The Future – Apple’s design revolution goes way deeper than Jony Ive. The Apple Watch, which comes at several price points, from the “moderately priced” $350 Apple Watch Sport to the $15,000 luxurious Apple Watch Edition, has received pre-orders from over 2.3 million consumers and counting. Geek-chic watches have been around for decades, but the design of the iWatch, masterminded by Apple Senior Vice President of Design and usability “god” Jony Ive, is expected to break the mold of what we can expect from all future time-telling gadgets, not just in terms of functionality but also mass production. This great leap forward, however, has just as much a foot in the past as the future—specifically, in an influential German design movement that grew out of the chaos of WWI, aiming to reinvent a more ordered and just society through great design. The Bauhaus school shifted between Weimar (1919 -1925), Dessau (1925-1932) and Berlin (1932 -1933) during Germany’s most pivotal years, and acted as an innovation incubator, not unlike Apple’s Design Lab. In both instances, a team of dedicated practitioners thought they could alleviate the alienation of modern society through more personal consumer products, clean lines, and user-friendly interfaces. In other words, a revolution centered on aesthetics that benefitted the people. 
In 1915, the visionary Walter Gropius, considered by many to be one of the first masters of modern architecture, began to develop his plan for a „purely organic building,” which declared “its inner laws, free of untruths or ornamentation.” This “building” was more of a metaphor than a physical object, and extended beyond the concept of architecture to encompass product design, packaging, and even furniture. Not unlike Steve Jobs, Gropius was single-minded, and could be unwavering and brutally direct in his mission. As the head of the Bauhaus school in Weimar, he recognized the need to surround himself with a team of talented collaborators, instructors, and designers, on-boarding some of the biggest names in contemporary arts, including Paul Klee, Josef Albers, Herbert Bayer, Lazlo Moholy-Nagy and Wassily Kandinsky.



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