The Bauhaus era turns 100 and neubau eyewear is celebrating the anniversary with a special edition named after two great minds from this era. Honouring one of the most influential architecture & art era and philosophy from modern times is quite a job – so did it work out?
The Bauhaus was the single most influential modernist art school of the 20th century. It’s approach to teaching the relationship between art, society, and technology had a major impact on a new generation of designers, architects and so on. The effects can still be seen and felt today – up until our daily aspects of design.
Walter & Wassily by neubau eyewear
Bauhaus architects thought that function was more important than form, so they celebrated refined minimalism. Inspired by masterminds from this era Walter Gropius (founder of Bauhaus) and Wassily Kandinsky (painter & teacher) the new neubau shades take up this minimalist vision.
But not by removing design elements – instead by adding extra lines and architectural structures the shades become unique and aligned with the Bauhaus aesthetic. The frame is built by using modern 3d printing technique and made to last with titanium temples for a practical everyday use (keeping Bauhaus in mind) – you can find out more about the design here.
One of the main ideas of Bauhaus was the combination of all different aspects of art forms together and create a new way of life and living – nowadays known as “lifestyle”. The Bauhaus school was founded by Walter Gropius in Weimar on April 12, 1919. His vision for architecture and consumer goods was to create them in a functional and pragmatic way – to fight the former opulent style of creating.
To these ends, Gropius wanted to reunite art and craft to arrive at high-end functional products with artistic merit. I think the ideas of Bauhaus are still valid today – maybe even more so, when we think about fast fashion and overproduction. Creating useful & well made things which last is the key for a brighter future.
Bauhaus in Japan
You might not have guessed it yet – but this editorial was shot in Japan, which is not exactly the Bauhaus epicentre. But in a way the “Zen” tradition has similar ideas to Bauhaus. Everything is about the “Gesamtkunstwerk”. About reducing and refining everyday tasks and design. A Zen monk in Japan explained to me why it is so hard to get a good photograph in a Zen garden – because it’s about the whole experience and not just a small visual impression of it. We are trained to focus our camera (and eyes) on one tree or one stone, but a Zen garden is about the combination and interconnection between everything.
The “Hara Museum of Contemporary Art” in Tokyo was my location of choice for this shoot. Even fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto showed some of his work at this museum a couple of years ago. In the 1970s the founder Mr. Hara believed in the relevance of focusing on contemporary artists and he established this pioneering museum of contemporary art in Japan. When I was there I met the curator of the current show (all about the demilitarised zone between North and South Korea – which is very interesting!). She told me the museum might close next year, but I certainly hope this won’t be the end of this incredible museum!
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