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The Woman Launching a Second Bauhaus Design Revolution

originally posted on: Newsweek by Elizabeth Braw
October 5, 2014

Tubular-steel chairs are a regular accessory of modern life, so common that their design doesn’t seem odd at all. Ditto built-in kitchens and forbidding high-rises. Bauhaus design already permeates modern society but now the new director of the Bauhaus, the artistic centre in Dessau that produced the global movement, aims to create a second Bauhaus movement and shake up 21st-century design.

“The amazing thing about Bauhaus is that it had such an international impact,” reflects ­Claudia Perren, the Bauhaus Foundation’s newly appointed director. “It wasn’t a company or a brand. It was a multi-faceted school: architects, painters, actors. Such diversity is only possible in a school, and that’s what I want to bring to the forefront again.” Yes, she admits, there are famous architects and painters, “but they just represent one artistic position. Bauhaus, by contrast, features a wide artistic diversity.”

Perren, a striking woman of 40, who left a teaching position at the University of Sydney to take up the post, has a point: today no artist, no company (not even Apple) could hope to spawn a global aesthetic and technological movement, influencing architecture, home design, typography and visual arts alike.

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