The Bauhaus movement in Germany, roughly 1919-1933, marked a major turning point for design and its role in society. It exerted a powerful and influential role in the development of artist style. But today, for many designers, it is more of a historical curiosity than a role model. Why? What has changed? Aristotle is considered one of the forerunners of the scientific movement, even as his actual words and writings of science and technology are completely ignored by today's working scientists. That is how I feel about the Bauhaus movement: I am grateful for what it accomplished, but I do not find it relevant to the complex issues we face today.
Other Recent Essays
- You can't predict the future by inventing it
- Seeing the unforeseen follies of autonomous vehicles
- Technology Forces Us To Do Things We're Bad At. Time To Change How Design Is Done
- Design, business models, and human-technology teamwork
- The Challenges of Partially Automated Driving
- The Future of Design: When you come to a fork in the road, take it
I very much recommend the book. It tells some of the origins of today's design field when designers came from theater and advertising. When they thought big and had lofty ambitions. Szerlip's book makes it clear that Norman Bel Geddes was a brilliant and creative thinker. His $7 million design of GM's Futurama exhibit for the 1939 NY World's Fair ($120 Million in today's money) revolutionized people's thinking about the future. Would I have liked him? Probably not -- but I would have respected him.
Recent recommended readings
- Norman & Stappers (2016). DesignX: Design and complex sociotechnical systems
- Simplicity: A Matter of Design by Per Mollerup
- Positive computing: technology for wellbeing and human potential (Calvo & Peters)
- Turns Signals Are the Facial Expressions of Automobiles
- Things That Make Us Smart Available as eBook
- Scenarios of the future: Two histories of the 21st century
Keynote Addresses and Schedule
Contact information, bios, press photos, ...
- April 6, 2018. "Democratizing Design." Philosophical Society of Washington. (Cosmos Club, Washington, D.C.)
- April 25. Plenary Discussion (Jim Guszcsa asking me questions: Why Medical Technology needs Human-Centered Design. Digitial MedTech Conference, 2018. San Francisco.
- May 19, 2018. Keynote on "21st Century Design" at World Innovation and Entrepreneurship EXPO, Tongji University, Shanghai.
- March 30, 2019. Krupa (Interface Conference). Kyiv (Ukraine). Keynote: "21st Century Design."