To Bauhaus & Beyond. Reflection [Y2: History of Design L3]


We learnt about quite a lot of movements and concept this week, including Bauhaus, cubism, expressionism, suprematism, etc… I am particular interested in De Stijl ! It is constructed with simple form and colours. It’s simple but powerful.

1917- De Stijl

Dutch post-WWI movement that believed that their style revealed the underlying structure of existence; art was simplistic and used primary colors and horizontal and vertical lines (invented by Piet Mondrian and Theo van Doesburg)


    • Asymmetry
    • Precise geometric forms of flat squares and rectangles
    • Play on positive and negative emphasis
    • Colours: primary, black, white and grey
    • Horizontal & vertical lines

It’s all about composition!

Important figures: Theo van Doesburg, Piet Mondrian

Theo van Doesburg:

    • Founder of De Stijl movement
    • He created the abstraction of a Cow series

Piet Mondrian

    • Create iconic works: intersecting lines at right angles and planes in primary colors
    • Line over form

Now- De Stijl

The principle of De Stijl still exist in different applications. Its abstract, minimalistic, colour contrast and pattern are hugely employ and blend into our everyday objects, especially to the interface design of various websites, systems and apps. This is such an interesting discovery. De Stijl seems to be simple, yet resonate powerfully.

De Stijl in design:

Window 8- employing the principle of De stijl

In nowadays interface design, we can see a great use of geometric forms of flat squares and rectangles. Interface designers also play with negative and positive space to display & organise groups of information clearly. I can definitively see the usefulness of  employing these design principles to create a better UI/UX design.

I really appreciated how this movement can influence our nowadays design principles and trends, even incorporated with technology. Art and technology cooperate together to help delivery message and function efficiently, facilitating our lives. The minimalistic style of it allows greater potential  and space for it to evolve and adapt into different applications.



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