As the influential design school turns 100, architects, designers and other creatives talk about how its ideas have shaped their work

Daniel Libeskind: ‘My professor was Bauhaus-taught, so I had the real thing’

Polish-American architect best known for the Jewish Museum in Berlin

I went to school in New York, to the Cooper Union, and many of my teachers were Bauhaus refugees. Prof Hannes Beckmann, for example, who taught me colour theory and design, was a Bauhaus-taught painter and photographer, and was teaching us from the notes of Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee. Can you believe it? He showed me their notes with the comments by these amazing artists on them.

So I had the exact course that was taught at the Bauhaus and I learned the beauty and profundity of its ideas.


Michael Craig-Martin: ‘It’s only half joking to say that Ikea is the realisation of the Bauhaus dream’

Artist and influential teacher of the YBA generation in the 1980s

In a sense, the Bauhaus represents the 20th century – it defined our whole idea of what it is to be modern. What a radical idea it was for a school: this relationship between art and design, architecture, between furniture, graphics, painting, sculpture. Bauhaus tried to bring them all together and, in a true modernist sense, create a utopia. It’s interesting that many of the things they designed were very difficult for them to actually produce. So much of what they did really only became available to people in the 50s and 60s when the techniques for fabrication made it possible – they were so ahead of their time that although these things were meant to be mass-produced, they were unable to at the time.

I became particularly interested in the Bauhaus [when I was studying] at Yale because of Josef Albers, who taught there for 10 years.