Author(s): Ellen Lupton & J Abbott Miller
The Bauhaus is the most widely known, discussed, imitated, dissected, exhibited phenomenon in modern design. Yet since the Second World War design education has lost sight of one of its most important legacies: the need to think about design in a theoretically self-conscious way. By re-examining Bauhaus ideas and encouraging critical thinking about the means and ends of design, this work provides the opportunity to reinvigorate today's graphics. Conceived, designed and edited at The Herb Lubalin Study Center of Design and Typography, The Cooper Union, New York, this book traces the origins and impact of the Bauhaus in relation to basic design, graphic design and typography. While the text is a challenging exploration of the Bauhaus's aims and achievements, the book itself is a manifesto of Bauhaus ideals, synthesizing editorial concept, typography and craftsmanship. Essays by eminent contributors address various aspects of the Bauhaus, including its relationship to Weimar culture, Herbert Bayer's geometric type design called 'universal', and the psychological implications of Kandinsky's celebrated attempts to establish fundamental laws of form and colour with his triangle/square/circle test. Illustrations include extensive samples of typographical design, instructional diagrams and symbols. Designed in a manner that befits the aspirations of the Bauhaus, this manual will be an inexhaustible fund of inspiration for design professionals and a revelation for all those interested in 20th-century culture.