16.03.2017 > 11.06.2017

With the major exhibition The Bauhaus #itsalldesign the Design Museum Brussels presents for the first time an exposition of the Vitra Design Museum. It gives a complete overview of design during the Bauhaus period.

The exhibition encompasses a multiplicity of rare, in some cases never-before-seen exhibits from the fields of design, architecture, art, film and photography. At the same time, it confronts the design of the Bauhaus with current debates and tendencies in design and with the works of contemporary designers, artists and architects. In this way, The Bauhaus #itsalldesign reveals the surprising present-day relevance of a legendary cultural institution. Bauhaus artists and designers featured in the exhibition include Marianne Brandt, Marcel Breuer, Lyonel Feininger, Walter Gropius, Wassily Kandinsky and many more. Contemporary participants include the works of Olaf Nicolai, Adrian Sauer, Enzo Mari, Lord Norman Foster, Opendesk, Konstantin Grcic, Hella Jongerius, Alberto Meda and Jerszy Seymour.


Curator: Jolanthe Kugler

PARTNERS: Vitra Design Museum, The Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany ( Bundeskunsthalle), HUGO BOSS, Mercedes-Benz, Baden- Wüttemberg, IKEA Stiftung



Bauhaus is not only an institution but also an era of modernism. It was here that a momentous search began for the best ways to shape industrial culture using conscious design. Bauhaus is a reaction to the chaotic beginnings of the 20th century. Around 1900, the prevailing opinion was that industrialisation and increasing humanisation would lead to a happy future. In 1914, these dreams came to an abrupt end. The values of the individual, fraternity and humanity were lost in the trenches of the First World War. As a result of this, artists focussed their energies on creating a new world. Ideas such as the welfare state, the League of Nations, pacifism and internationalism provided fertile soil for reform movements to flourish - including the unique experiment that was Bauhaus. 

Bauhaus resulted from the amalgamation of the Weimar Saxon-Grand Ducal Art School with the Grand Ducal School of Arts and Crafts. It was proposed that Walter Gropius succeed Henry van der Velde, who had already resigned. On the 25th of January 1916, Gropius submitted a suggestion “for setting up an artistic advice centre for industry, crafts and the manual trades”, including a description “of the type of impact of art on industry and craft”. It was not until three years later, on the 11th of April 1919, that he signed his employment contract. The next day, the renaming of Bauhaus to “State Bauhaus in Weimar” was approved and the manifesto was published. The school was closed in 1925 for political reasons and was reopened in the industrial town of Dessau as a school of design. After it was dissolved in 1932, Mies van der Rohe made one last attempt to continue running the school - this time privately and in Berlin. However, Bauhaus ideas were irreconcilable with Nazi ideology, meaning that Bauhaus had to be closed for good in 1933.

Jolanthe Kugler (1993)

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