Stuttgart, Germany

Stuttgart was another car-themed leg of the trip so my brother could head to the Mercedes Museum — his main request when we were planning the trip. Sadly, the rain put a damper on a lot of our time in Stuttgart, but we still saw most of the city. I went to the art museum while he made his museum trip. It was under some exhibit shifting so there wasn't much. On the way out I asked the front desk lady if she knew of anywhere I could see some Bauhaus architecture (obviously I slacked in the research before getting there). She sent me to a jack pot! I took the metro to the outskirts; we actually went above ground for a while through the woods, which felt strange in a city. Constructed for the 1926-7 Stuttgart Werkbund Exhibition, the Weissenhofsiedlung (I'm glad this is a blog post because if I were actually talking about it, I would have no clue where to start on that word) was a complex of buildings that was the first one of its type to then be subsequently used as fully functional buildings on a long-term basis. Architects, many from the Bauhaus, were brought into work their magic. There was a fantastic explanation of everything in the Le Courbusier designed house, now museum. One part of the exhibit explained: "After WWI, during a period of exceptional economic and political insecurity, culture underwent a rapid upswing. The times were characterized by radicalism and avant-garde experiments." (Does this mean we'll see this in this politically and economically insecure time?! How exciting! Send thoughts my way if you see evidence).

I always love learning about Bauhaus era design and have found much inspiration from their firm dedication to their ideologies and how they opened up design to a whole new world of possibilities. I appreciate that my design education was immensely based on the curriculum setup by Bauhaus educators. Their graphic design and industrial design are things of beauty. And while it was cool to finally go in a Bauhaus style structure, I didn't love it like I expected to. I "get" that they were going for functionality and the ability to mass produce housing, but the house felt cold, stark, and in no way livable. Breaking with tradition is fantastic and cool to observe, but I think I much prefer to actually live in something a little cozier. Can modern be cozy?