The book depicts the development of classically simple, functional “Bauhaus Style”. In addition, it also discusses the design and socio-political questions connected with it.
The term "Bauhaus Style" contains a paradox. At the end of the 19th century there was general agreement that the traditional electicism of styles had to be overcome if a \'new style\' was to be developed. However, the 20th century avant-garde movements were loath to apply the term \'style\' to their common creative efforts. The leading figures at the Bauhaus were not interested in developing a new language of form, but in creating a way of living that was appropriate to industrial society. They, therefore, refused to introduce a concept of style of the kind they had been taugh as art academy students. However, the "Modern Architecture. International Exhibition" staged by their American colleagues in New York in 1932 established what the Bauhaus movement had so vehemently rejected. The Bauhaus Dessau Foundation publication adresses this paradox. The tension between International Style and lifestyle also relates to the present significance of the Bauhaus style. Nowadays, Bauhaus furniture is regarded as evidence of a refined lifestyle. In this context the publication examines the question of whether the transformation from International Style to exclusive lifestyle has meant that the idea of using product design to help shape society has got lost on the way. Selected events from the world of 20th century art, culture and architecture are used to illustrate the different ways in which the Bauhaus was perceived as a style.