Tasks Due Today

  • Manifestos, Movements, and the Avant-Garde
  • Discussion: Manifestos
  • Research Journal > Research Paper + Research Project
  • Assignment: Reading Response 4
  • Week 4 Agenda Checklist

This Week’s Topics

At the end of this session, students should have an understanding of the following:

  • Overview of the Bauhaus and its influence on the field of design.
  • Guidelines and due date for the Week 5 Discussion reflecting on the Bauhaus readings
  • Guidelines and due date for the first Research Paper

Research Project Meetings

IMPORTANT: Contact me to schedule a time this week to discuss your Research Project ideas one-on-one: jspevack@citytech.cuny.edu


Your grades for the third week’s assignments have been posted to the OpenLab Course Gradebook. Check the post to see the comment, grade, and some inline feedback via Hypothesis. View the feedback like this:

Viewing Hypothesis Comments on Your Reading Response

You will see a check if you contributed to the class discussion posts, per the guidelines. You can always go back and add your ideas to past discussions for credit. If you have any questions or concerns, contact jspevack@citytech.cuny.edu.


Below find the information covered in this session. Complete all of the following activities, videos, and assignments.

1. The Bauhaus: Form and Function (30 min)

In our fourth reading, we looked at writings from designers affiliated with the Bauhaus. The Bauhaus assimilated many of the ideas we’ve discussed, such as the utopian idea that design will make the world a better place; that it will transform society for a better way of life for all citizens; and that artists and craftspeople will work together through the use of technology and industrialization.

Some of the main tenents of the Bauhaus are still followed today in the field and in design schools across the globe.

1. A designer should strive for the highest quality and craftmanship modeled by order, geometry, and clear, refined typography.

2. Less is more. Excess ornament or information is unnecessary to communicate a message or to function.

3. Form follows function. Design should be functional. It should be organized and follow a clear hierarchy for clear communication. 

4. The use of technology and mass production of good design supports equality. If something is designed with simple forms can be accessible to everyone.

Walter Gropius, László Moholy-Nagy, and Herbert Bayer all contributed to the Bauhaus legacy. Below find some additional background to reinforce these ideas and some follow up questions to connect these principles our

The Bauhaus Principles and Influence

Rewatch Graphic Design History sections Bauhaus 1 & Bauhaus 2 on LinkedIn Learning or in the YouTube video below to refresh your knowledge of the Bauhaus. NOTE: In the following video, watch from 36:42 to 44:02

Bauhaus 1& 2 – Graphic Design History (Watch from 36:42 to 44:02)

László Moholy-Nagy and Typophoto

“Designing is not a profession but an attitude. Design has many connotations. It is the organization of materials and processes in the most productive way, in a harmonious balance of all elements necessary for a certain function. It is the integration of technological, social, and economical requirements, biological necessities, and the psychological effects of materials, shape, color, volume and space. Thinking in relationships.”

Moholy-Nagy’s work spanned all types of media, especially light as a medium. Of special interest to our discussion today is Moholy-Nagy’s interest in photography and typography and his vision of Typophoto, which he describes as “visually most exact rendering of communication.” The following video about his work was created in 1990. At the end is an animation in honor of Moholy-Nagy imagining what he might have created if he had been alive during the digital age. Can you imagine what he might create if he had access to today’s technology?

A Memory of Moholy-Nagy – John Halas

Herbert Bayer and Universal Communication

“Bayer’s universal alphabet became a symbol of ‘Bauhaus typography,’ even though it was not strictly speaking a typeface… Fixed in memory through a few endlessly repeated reproductions, the universal alphabet was a philosophical idea that reverberated throughout the promotional activities of the Bauhaus and beyond … they gave form to prevalent avant-garde thinking about function, modularity, industrial standards, and machine production.” – Design Is Storytelling, Ellen Lupton.

Bauhaus – Typography – CalArts
Bauhaus – Herbert Bayer – CalArts

2. Discussion: Bauhaus & Universality

Our Discussion post this week contains prompts to consider in response to the readings and videos on the Bauhaus.

Add your comment in the Discussion post by Friday, October 1st at 11:59 pm to allow time for responses. Add at least 5 follow-up responses to your classmates’ comments by Sunday, October 3rd, at 11:59 pm.

3. Research Paper

The first 750-1000 word paper will be due Sunday, October 3rd, at 11:59 pm. Last week you should have started thinking about your Research Paper by selecting a design or design object created after 1971 in which the influence of the theories we’ve studied so far can be observed. In your Research Journal, you may have started to examine the ways in which the creator was responding, directly or indirectly, to theories we’ve covered so far. This week you will spend most of your time for this class researching and fully developing this paper. Guidelines for this paper can be found under Assignment: Research Paper 1


Week 5 Agenda Checklist

Below are all of the tasks, big and small, for this week. The deadline is Sunday, October 3rd, 11:59 pm.  Successful and timely completion of these tasks will contribute to your grade.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out: jspevack@citytech.cuny.edu

Tasks from the Week 5 Agenda - Due 10/3, 11:59 pm

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