Google launched the doodle for the Bauhaus School to mark its founding in Weimar, Germany under Walter Gropius in April 1919. It was launched today, 12 April, but the exact date of its establishment remains unknown.
Dezeen is also celebrating the occasion today with the release of an A to Z Bauhaus guide.
Featured on the search engine’s homepage, the graphic comprises the word Google in rigid, boxy letters with black line drawings and a rounded “O” at the centre. Blocks of yellow, green, red, blue, black and white are heavily incorporated.
Doodle “celebrates the legacy” of Bauhaus
The doodle is animated with a scroll-like visual of objects, presented against a cobalt blue background. Illustrations are a grey rectangular building – resembling of the Bauhaus school building in Dessau – chair, a lamp and other homeware and graphic items, all evocative of pieces made at the school.
“Today’s animated Doodle celebrates the legacy of this institution and the worldwide movement it began, which transformed the arts by applying the principle ‘form follows function’,” said Google in a press release.
The school existed for 14 years, before being forced to close for political reasons with the rise of the Nazi regime and attack on communist intellectualism. The Google Doodle released today reflects some of the pared-down aesthetics that were taught here.
“Both a school for the arts and a school of thought, the Bauhaus was founded by architect Walter Gropius exactly 100 years ago in Weimar, Germany, gathering many of Europe’s most brilliant artists and designers with the aim of training a new generation of creatives to reinvent the world,” Google added.
Features of the Bauhaus Google Doodle also reference a number of different styles with links to the school.
Today, much of modernism is credited to what was studied and explored at the Bauhaus, ranging from furniture to product and graphic design.
Illustrations reference modernism and De Stijl
The “form follows function” quote noted above, for example, is often associated with the teachings of the Bauhaus. But was in fact coined by American architect Louis Sullivan – the “father of modernism” – who never studied there.
Also, the doodle “looks more De Stijl than Bauhaus”, as noted by Dezeen’s editor-in-chief Marcus Fairs. De Stijl was a Dutch art movement founded in 1917, with works featuring vertical and horizontal forms, alongside primary colours, black and white, so prominent in the Bauhaus Google Doodle.
A leader of De Stijl, Theo van Doesburg, was closely associated with the Bauhaus though and moved to Weimar in 1922 to familiarise Gropius with the art movement. Thus, De Stijl works did influence the school, and modernism in general.
A wide range of studies was taught at the Bauhaus, including colour theory, fine art, photography, performance art and industrial design. Architecture came later, under the school’s second and “unknown” director Hannes Meyer.
“Students of the Bauhaus received interdisciplinary instruction in carpentry, metal, pottery, stained glass, wall painting, weaving, graphics, and typography, learning to infuse even the simplest functional objects (like the ones seen in today’s Doodle) with the highest artistic aspirations,” said Google.
Bauhaus celebrated in a number of initiatives this year
After being founded in Weimar in 1919, the Bauhaus school moved to Dessau in 1925 and stayed there until 1932. Gropius led the institute as its director until 1928, when leadership was passed onto Meyer until 1930.
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe ran the school from 1930 until 1933, including its final months at its ultimate location in Berlin.
Back in 2012, Google similarly celebrated the Bauhaus by honouring Mies with a doodle celebrating the date of 27 March for his would-be 126th birthday.
This week has been seminal for the Bauhaus school in architecture and design news.
Yesterday, news was released of the completion of the Bauhaus museum in Weimar, which German architect Heike Hanada designed as a minimalist concrete building.
Today’s Bauhaus Google Doodle is not visible to users everywhere in the world. People browsing in the US, Canada, Cuba, Iceland and most of Europe, aside from Scandinavia, are able to see it. Other countries are Brazil, Peru, Argentina, Chile, Turkey, Taiwan, Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand.