Die Geschichte des Deutschen Werkbundes

Der Deutsche Werkbund wurde 1907 vor dem Hintergrund der aufkommenden Industrialisierung gegründet mit dem Ziel, durch gute Gestaltung Deutschen Produkten eine hervorragende Position auf dem Weltmarkt zu verschaffen; dabei waren Funktionalität und Materialgerechtigkeit zentrale, alle Gestaltungsdisziplinen umfassende Qualitätskriterien. Im Zusammenspiel von Kunst, Industrie und Handwerk wurden zukunftsweisende Impulse für Baukultur und Formgebung sowie übergreifende gesellschaftliche Prozesse gegeben. Die Zukunft erzeugt damals wie heute beträchtlichen neuen Gestaltungsbedarf.

 

_ Die Chronik der DWB-Geschichte

_ Das Gründungsmanifest des DWB, 1907

_ Die Liste der Vorsitzenden

_ Die DWB-Zeitschrift „werkundzeit“

_ Ein Aufsatz zu den Werkbundsiedlungen

_ 100 Jahre DWB: 1907-2007

_ Forschungsdatenbank zur Geschichte des DWB: www.baukultur-forschung.de

_ Die aktuelle Satzung des DWB

_ Eine Zusammenstellung weiterführender Literatur

The "Deutscher Werkbund" - English

The Deutscher Werkbund was founded in 1907 in Munich as an association of artists, architects, designers, industrialists and politicians. The Werkbund powered modern architecture and industrial design, particularly in the later creation of the Bauhaus school. Its initial purpose was to establish a partnership of product manufacturers with design professionals to improve the competitiveness of German companies in global markets. The Werkbund started to integrate traditional crafts and industrial mass-production techniques to put Germany on a competitive footing with England and the United States.

 

Up until World War I similar organizations, modeled on Deutscher Werkbund, soon grew up in Austria, Switzerland, Sweden and England. The Werkbund Exhibition of industrial art and architecture in Cologne (1914) showed some of the most notable examples of modern architecture in steel, concrete and glass.

 

World War I interrupted the Werkbund’s activities but after the war it reasserted itself with a significant exhibition in Stuttgart (1927), organized by the German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The exhibition formed a compendium of contemporary European developments in domestic architecture and construction. Many of the exhibiting architects such as Mies, Gropius, and Le Corbusier introduced a high degree of standardization of materials and design, making it possible to build housing units inexpensively on a large scale. The Werkbund also participated in the Paris exhibition of industrial arts and building held in 1930.

 

During the Nazi-era in Germany the Werkbund was left by many members in 1933. The association existed until 1938 though.  

 

After World War II the Werkbund reinstated itself by building sections in all German federal states - by members who left the association in 1933. Since then the Werkbund’s work and acitvities are organized decentrally but cooperatively and in a wide range of topics; design, architecture, town- and landscape- planning, environment, resources, energy, education and social and demographic changes etc. Today the Deutscher Werkbund has about 1500 members all over Germany.