In February, second year students on the BA Graphic & Media Design course at London College of Communication (LCC) visited the Bauhaus Dessau in Germany. Operating from 1919 to 1933 the Bauhaus school sparked the revolution of modern design. Below LCC student Pedro Costa Coitinho reflects on the trip.
“Often, in history, a few individuals’ achievements mark generations to come. There was one particular period when, not one, but several outstanding radical thinkers came under one roof and created such change, we still look back to them to predict the future.
As any person mildly interested in design might know – and my educated guess is that you are – the Bauhaus School was the birthplace of modern design and architecture. Visiting the Bauhaus was nothing short of extraordinary. As the history books tell us, the Bauhaus was extensively modified throughout time. As a result the building is still being painstakingly reconstructed to its original form with the uttermost attention to detail. Everything, from the paints being used in the building derive from years of research with experts, trying to get as close as possible to the original.
Our guides had incredible enthusiasm and energy, keen to point out every clever design in the building – incessant pointing there was: From the Breuer chairs, to Moholy-Nagy’s experiments with photography to the colour based way finding system.
Another interesting aspect of the life of the Bauhaus, was the lack of hierarchy. The Masters, as they were known, would share their food and lives with the students. Some of them would even stay in the student living quarters. To emphasise the greatness of this statement, let‚ us remind ourselves of some of the Masters that have passed through the Bauhaus: Walter Gropius, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Wassily Kansinsky, Moholy-Naghy, Johannes Itten, El Lissitzky, Marcel Breuer and the list goes on. In short, not your usual primary school teacher. In fact, they are some of the most important personalities of the century. As a student designer, this really was an amazing opportunity, a once in a life time chance. Thank you David, Paul & Sarah.”