british military influence on bauhaus furniture design

folding british campaign chairs inspired the basculant and wassily chairs.   

this is an interesting connection. 

roorkhee chair

a late 1800s roorkhee chair reproduction

   Lieutenant-Colonel Jim Corbett, sitting in a Roorkhee chair in Dhikala, India

Lieutenant-Colonel Jim Corbett, sitting in a Roorkhee chair in Dhikala, India

the british military were the spearhead of empire, of world commerce, christianity and civilization (british style).  they did a lot of camping, of living on the frontier, of folding their lives up and moving on.  this was not the whole picture, though.  behind it all was the victorian and edwardian leadership, the bankers and ceos in london, the plush english houses with their rose gardens, the educators fighting to bring the possibilities of the next generation to the children of the slums of manchester and the african bush, and radical missionaries with bold and kind hearts reaching millions for the gospel. it was one package: a powerful, prosperous, piratical machine.  

Basculant Chair LC 1 by Le Corbusier (1928)

Basculant Chair LC 1 by Le Corbusier (1928)

 

marcel breuers 1925 wassily chair

marcel breuer's 1925 wassily chair

le corbusier and breuer of the 1920s bauhaus set were champions of the modern style of that decade, their furniture design reflected an attempt to cope with the newly industrialized world, crowded unsanitary urbanism and disorder. they focused on clean open geometric form and new industrial materials, rejecting the soft, complex and rich forms and ideas of the past.  

yet they were also camping on the edge of possibilities as they saw them.  you cannot escape the world with your design style, but you can create a refuge of sorts from the elements of life that you wish to reject.

caution: when you go out the door, the world is still there.

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