Art_ndDesign XII – Deutscher Werkbund
Today it’s been a year since I’ve been writing articles, so this time I want to get out of «my comfort zone» and make one more related to design than to art.
That’s why I’m going to talk about the Deutscher Werkbund, which was a group formed in Munich and funded by the state to unite traditional crafts with industrial techniques of mass production, with the intention of putting Germany in a competitive place against other powers like Britain, making itself known through exhibitions.
This group, made up of architects, critics, artists, industrial entrepreneurs, economists, art theorists, whose most prominent members were Theodor Fischer, Peter Behrens and Richard Riemerschmid, based its principles on promoting intellectual debate on design, improving the quality of consumer goods, improving the competitiveness of products and promoting contacts between entrepreneurs and creators.
These principles are very much in line with the Bauhaus, but this group was created in 1907, so it is considered its precursor; in fact, it exerted a great influence on the early careers of Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius and Mies van der Rohe.
His motto was «*from sofa cushions to city building*», indicating his wide range of interests; thus he quickly spread to Austria, with the formation of the Österreichischer Werkbund, and to Switzerland, where the Swiss Werkbund was founded.
Although it has similar traits with Arts and Crafts, there are two key features that I would like to highlight about this group:
– The separation of aesthetics from material quality, seeking functionality and comfort.
– The adoption of the abstract form as the aesthetic basis of design, not ornament.
To this day, the group is still active, so I leave the official website here so you can take a look at it: https://www.deutscher-werkbund.de/