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Today’s Google Doodle celebrates the 100th anniversary of Bauhaus

Inside the school that changed design forever

Picture Alliance via Getty Image

Today’s Google Doodle honors the 100th anniversary of Bauhaus, the short-lived school that changed design and architecture forever. Established by German architect Walter Gropius in 1919, the Bauhaus school aimed to unite art, craft, and industry, and its impact went far beyond a single building or designer.

Bauhaus became synonymous with modernism, and today’s Google Doodle pays homage to its aesthetics. The doodle moves through a sea of Bauhaus-inspired drawings, from a gray structure reminiscent of the movement’s famous school building to depictions of sleek modern furniture—all illustrated in bold primary colors and geometric shapes.

The school itself was only in existence for a total of 14 years, founded originally in a small city near the center of Germany called Weimar. In 1925, the Bauhaus was forced to leave Weimar and move to its second and more famous home in Dessau, 80 miles to the north. In Dessau, Walter Gropius built a campus that—according to Curbed contributor Nate Berg—has become something of a pilgrimage site for design aficionados and architecture enthusiasts.

The school eventually moved to Berlin under the leadership of architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe before it was shut down by the Nazis, but its short tenure belies its lasting legacy. The Bauhaus cultivated vanguard painters, architects, textile artists, furniture makers, graphic designers, and other experimental thinkers—all under the mantra that design should have a purpose. It also churned out some of the 20th century’s biggest names in design: Mies van der Rohe, Marcel Breuer, Gunta Stölzl, Josef and Anni Albers, to name a few.

And before you write off the Bauhaus school to the annals of history, consider this: Many contemporary designers see Bauhaus influences today in everything from furniture to floor-to-ceiling glass windows. Architect Dong-Ping Wong, the founding director of FOOD, believes the iPhone is the most Bauhausian product we interact with now.

“Apple feels like a new version of the Bauhaus, with its aesthetic, global reach, its pared-down nature,” he says. “I can’t think of much else that really embodies what total design could be more than the iPhone—you really use it for everything, it’s with you at all times, it touches every aspect of your life.”

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of Bauhaus, Curbed has published a series of articles diving deeper into the movement. Check them out, below.