The 1920s in design, essay #2

"Ornament is pointless" (Georg Mendelssohn)

From today the 1920ies seem to be the classic period of design. Most historical publications refer on this time.

Ten years after the engagement of Behrens at AEG, industrial design was systematically developed and teached on an academic way. Elegant and easy to produce items should revolutionize the daily life. In Germany the bauhaus school and the neues frankfurt housing project set landmarks of design. Semi-finished industrial materials (like tubular steel) and industrial production replaced traditional materials and techniques. But only a few designs were realised in large quantities.

Nevertheless it took until the 1960s until the ideas of the early modernist movement of this time reached the masses coming as a re-import from the USA to Europe. My first memory of bauhaus designs is from my childhood in the 1980ies, when travel agencies in Germany were equipped with copies of famous bauhaus furniture.