The impulse of the new Bauhaus.

Inge Scholl demonstrated how design could be a social transformer.

She was a writer but was able to show how design could play a key role in creating a new Germany.

A student at the University of Munich, she was part of the White Rose, a movement against Nazi ideology, along with other students. His brothers were also in this organization. Two of them executed at the hands of the regime, an act that would mark Inge and that far from surrendering increased her commitment to the cause.

Inge’s courage

After World War II, Inge worked to raise funds for the creation of a school, together with her husband Otl Alcher and other intellectuals: The Hochschule für Gestaltung or Ulm School. This school would design the new Germany, teaching democratic values away from the Third Reich.

Inge Scholl had it very clear. The Ulm School would seek, through design, to rebuild a society immersed in the absolute despair.

Although less well known than the Bauhaus School (source of inspiration), The Hochschule Hochschule für Gestaltung was one of the significant influences on design after World War II. It based on the use of rationality, economy and technology in the service of any professional with values.

We must take into account the socio-cultural conditions that were part of this period:

“The Ulm school emerged at a historic moment of change in the industrial system and with a great demand for new objects and products. Its educational trend defines design as a discipline linked to science and theory, and not to art as it previously considered”, Marcela Quijano, HfG Ulm Museum.

These are, without a doubt, similar concepts to those defended by the Bauhaus. The Ulm school was trying to recover its ideas as the first excellent design revolution that Bauhaus was. Aspects such as product functionality, perception and ergonomics, which are now evident to us, completely revolutionized all design paradigms at that time.

The success of the Ulm School

Why was Inge’s figure so important in this school? Not only did she raise funds for creation, but her involvement in the project also made the school a reality and a success. Such was her passion and commitment to this project that even Walter Gropius, founder of the Bauhaus, stated:

“Inge Scholl accompanies her idealism with deeds and has raised money for the school and its buildings in a heroic way. I would have liked to have had a woman like her by my side when I organized the Bauhaus”.

Bilder der HfG Ulm

This school allowed many professionals to return to Germany, developing brilliant careers that revolutionized the world of design. The methodology of the Hochschule für Gestaltung is still very much alive today, influencing the teaching of design. Inge knew how to combine the tenacity of her cause with the social benefit of design.

Image credits:

  • HGC Collection
  • Sigrid von Schweinitz
Momocca Design