Exhibition Slide Show

Bauhaus in China

As early as 1929, Kazuzo Saito, a Japanese teacher who had visited Bauhaus, came to Hangzhou National College of Art (the former China Academy of Art) to teach basic courses about modern design. Since the 1930s, Zhang Guangyu and other pioneers of modern design begun to actively introduce the Bauhaus and its concept into the curriculum, which laid the foundation for the development of modern design in China.

The Architecture Department of St. John's University (the former Architecture and Urban Planning School of Tongji University) was established in 1942. Huang Zuoshen, who graduated from Graduate School of Design at Harvard University, served as Director of the department. Richard Paulick, who was Walter Gropius’ assistant and worked at the Dessau Bauhaus, was hired as a professor, teaching interior design and urban planning. Wang Dahong, who was also Gropius’ student, also taught at this university. The school's architecture curriculum referenced the Bauhaus teaching model. After 1945, they all participated in "Greater Shanghai Plan", which was a modern urban planning project based on rationalist principles.

In the same period, the renowned Chinese architect Liang Sicheng, who had also been influenced by Walter Gropius, started a new model of architecture education in Tsinghua University (Beijing). In this way the Bauhaus school and its concept of design were spread and practiced more widely in China.

After the 1950s, arguments and criticism against modernism sprang up in the field of architecture in the Chinese mainland. Modernism design ideas and practices gradually declined in the Chinese mainland, only continuing in Taiwan.

In 1978, The Central Academy of Art and Design (Beijing, the former of Academy of Art and Design, Tsinghua University) and the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts (Guangzhou) were the first to introduce the ‘basic design courses’?? from Hong Kong and Taiwan, which was inspired by the Bauhaus school and developed by the Japanese. From this period the Chinese begun to rethink the Bauhaus school and Bauhaus concepts.

In 2012, China Academy of Art (Hangzhou) set up the Bauhaus Institute in the context of establishing Bauhaus and European modern design collections. The Bauhaus Institute aims to explore the value of the Bauhaus heritage in the development of contemporary design through academic research, education & the popularization of design.

Slideshow Bauhaus in China
© China Design Museum (CDM).
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