The Bauhaus school was founded in Weimar, Germany by Walter Gropius. It operated from 1919 – 1933, under Weimar’s vision of creating a ‘complete’ work of art that would bring together all arts including architecture, design and technology.
From its initial emergence the Bauhaus style has had a significant influence on developments in art, architecture, graphic design, interior design, and industrial design, and continues to do so today. Some of the most outstanding architects and artists of the day worked within the school and created iconic furniture, buildings, fabrics and designs that we all recognise, and still use and apply within our day-to-day lives nearly 100 years later.
The Bauhaus school believed men and women were equal and unusually for the period it was pure talent and skill that formed the criteria for admission, rather than gender. The outcome was that through Bauhaus women were able to reap opportunities that previously were not available to them, and fulfil their capabilities in traditionally unobtainable male jobs.
Many women excelled within the school, an example of whom was Benita Ottie. Ottie wanted to liberate the housewife by providing a comfortable workspace that reflected the merit and seriousness of her job. Ottie designed a kitchen for Bauhaus’ ‘Haus am Horn’ exhibition in 1923. Within this, she realised her ambition through the creation of level, same-height worktops, as well as drawers and cabinets for tidy and accessible storage. A large window also introduced a bright and airy feel. The kitchen marked an absolute action towards a modernist language of kitchen design.