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Deutscher Werkbund

Deutscher Werkbund. Organization founded in Munich in 1907 to improve the design of products through the joint efforts of artists, craftsmen, and manufacturers, its leading lights were Peter Behrens, Theodor Fischer, Hermann Muthesius, and Fritz Schumacher. In 1914 it organized a major exhibition in Cologne, with buildings by Gropius, Taut, and van de Velde, but a debate was sparked in which Muthesius argued for industrialized design while van de Velde spoke up for the creative artist and craftsman. After the 1914–18 war the Werkbund moved away from anything redolent of an Arts-and-Crafts position towards the Modern Movement, as is clear from the journal Die Form (Design) published from 1925 until 1934. It held a housing exhibition in Stuttgart, the Weissenhofsiedlung, in 1927, under the directorship of Mies van der Rohe, which included influential designs by Le Corbusier, Oud, and Stam. Further exhibitions were held in Paris (1930) and Berlin (1931), but it disbanded in 1934. It was revived after the 1939–45 war, largely to promote Modernist ideology, and published Werk und Zeit (Work and Time) from 1952. The Werkbund inspired further organizations in Austria (1912), Switzerland (1913), Sweden (1913), and England (Design and Industries Association of 1915).


Burckhardt (1980);
Lampugnani (ed.) (1988);
Pommer & and Otto (1991);
Schwartz (1997)

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