The New Bauhaus

New Bauhaus Front Step by Herbert Matter
Moholy Birthday Party Bauhaus 100
Camouflage Course 1942 Bauhaus 100
IIT ID Bauhaus 100

Our Bauhaus Heritage

The German Bauhaus was born in 1919 and celebrates its centennial this year. The American descendant of the German Bauhaus, the IIT Institute of Design (ID) was founded as “The New Bauhaus” in 1937 by Bauhaus master László Moholy-Nagy, and has pioneered the development and dissemination of modern design. A year later Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, a former director of the Bauhaus in Germany, became head of architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology—making the university a global center of modernism in the mid-twentieth century.

Now a new Bauhaus is founded on American soil. America is the bearer of a new civilization whose task is simultaneously to cultivate and to industrialize a continent. It is the ideal ground on which to work out an educational principle which strives for the closest connection between art, science, and technology.”
—László Moholy-Nagy

The design profession developed as a result of the Industrial Revolution when the machine replaced the craftsman and mass-produced goods replaced individually made artifacts. The Bauhaus had a revolutionary agenda: to create an new aesthetic appropriate for a modern industrial society. The school integrated disciplines, looked at design holistically, and sought to use technology to improve our quality of life. These are all approaches that ID maintains today.

Moholy’s arrival in Chicago and the founding of the New Bauhaus is one of the unsung cultural watersheds in the city’s history, deserving of its own star on the flag.”
—Thomas Dyja, The Third Coast

Evolution of Design

Today we are entering a fourth Industrial Revolution. In this new era, ID embraces the spirit of the Bauhaus as we continue push the boundaries of design. ID’s activities today may look very different than they did in 1937, but our commitment to using our constructive abilities to create better and more functional futures remains. ID continues to be where the future of design is created and refined.

With our roots in the Bauhaus, industrial design, and the Industrial Revolution, ID has significantly evolved since its founding to meet the needs of a changing world. In the 1950s and 1960s, then dean Jay Doblin introduced design theory and systems design into the ID curriculum. Starting in 1986, ID dean Patrick Whitney led the development of the fields of human-centered design and strategic design, again transforming and evolving ID’s focus.

Introducing Shapeshift

IIT Institute of Design and IIT College of Architecture launch their inaugural Shapeshift design festival September 16–28, 2019. Shapeshift: Design @ Illinois Tech celebrates Illinois Institute of Technology’s—and Chicago’s—legendary, yet largely unknown, Bauhaus heritage. Over two weeks of programming, we will demonstrate and discuss design’s role as a catalyst for meaningful change in Chicago yesterday, today, and tomorrow.


100 Years of Bauhaus
The Bauhaus Meets the Cloud
How Bauhaus Redefined What Design Could Do for Society
7 International Examples of How the Bauhaus Lived On After 1933
Bauhaus: Five Things You Need to Know About the Influential German Design Movement

In 2019, we celebrate the centenary of the founding of the Bauhaus, together with the IIT College of Architecture and partners worldwide.


Bauhaus Live

Saturday, September 21
Illinois Tech Mies Campus


Exhibition | An American Bauhaus

September 16–May 28
11am–7pm every day
Kaplan Institute
3137 South Federal Street


Bauhaus Ballet

Saturday, September 21, 5pm
Kaplan Institute
3137 South Federal Street


100 Years of Bauhaus | Unconventional Bauhaus

Friday, September 20, 5pm
Expo Chicago Dialogues Stage
600 East Grand Avenue
in partnership with Expo Chicago and Wallpaper*


Futura Fractals

Thursday, September 12 performance at the Bauhaus Centenary in Dessau
in collaboration among Hedwig Dance Company and Bauhaus Dessau


Exhibition | The Mies Project

September 16–November 1
8:30am–5:30pm weekdays
S. R. Crown Hall
3360 South State Street

in collaboration with Goethe Institut Chicago
Goethe-Institut Opening Reception: Monday, September 16, 5pm


Bauhaus Futures (MIT Press, 2019)

ID professor Laura Forlano, editor
Fall 2019 book release and symposium
Details forthcoming


The New Bauhaus

Fall 2019 film release
Details forthcoming
sponsored by the Graham Foundation, the Terra Foundation, and the David Schwartz Foundation