Art & Car Design

Stephen Bayley:

To appreciate the resonance of the last decade’s revolution in BMW design, it’s necessary to understand the company’s huge historic debt to a modernist ideas factory that became the world’s most influential art school.

‘Art and technology : a new unity’ was the Bauhaus slogan and before the Second World War, BMW already had a department of Kunstlerische Gestaltung (Artistic Development), the first of its kind. The Nazis closed the radical Bauhaus in 1933, but in the fifties its spirit was revived in Ulm’s Hochschule fur Gestaltung. Everything we understand by German Design was confirmed by Ulm: clarity, discipline, logic, fuss-free surfaces and the (sometimes forbidding) semantics of technical authority.

The modern BMW look is established – with Hofmeister knick