The intellectual bourgeois of the old Empire - tepid and unimaginative, mentally slow, arrogant, and incorrectly trained - has proven his incapacity to be the bearer of German culture. His benumbed world is now toppled, its spirit is overthrown, and is in the midst of being recast into a new mold.
If we investigate the vague feelings of the average man towards the arts, we find that he is timid and that he has developed a humble belief that art is something which has been invented centuries ago in countries like Greece or Italy and that all we can do about it is study it carefully and apply it.
Theo van Doesburg wanted to teach in the Bauhaus in 1922. I refused, however, to appoint him since I considered him to be too aggressive and too rigidly theoretical: he would have wrought havoc in the Bauhaus through his fanatic attitude, which ran counter to my own broader approach.
As there is in Germany - as well as in Russia and Italy - no art which is not approved of by the government, any criticizing remark about the present policy made by me would easily be taken as a hostile act. I cannot have my name put up against an official report from Germany without risking very unpleasant consequences.
In all great epochs of history, the existence of standards - that is, the conscious adoption of type-forms - has been the criterion of a polite, well-ordered society; for it is a commonplace that repetition of the same things for the same purpose exercises a settling and civilizing influence on men's minds.
The problem of the minimum dwelling is that of establishing the elementary minimum of space, air, light, and heat required by man in order that he be able to fully develop his life functions without experiencing limitations due to his dwelling, i.e. a minimum modus vivendi in place of a modus non moriendi.
We must forget the prewar time, which was totally different. The sooner we adjust ourselves to the new, changed world, to its new, albeit harsh, beauties, the sooner will each individual be able to find his own personal happiness. The distress of Germany will spiritualize and deepen us.
The general public, formerly profoundly indifferent to everything to do with building, has been shaken out of its torpor; personal interest in architecture as something that concerns every one of us in our daily lives has been very widely aroused; and the broad line of its future development are already clearly discernible.
We are in the midst of a momentous catastrophe of world history, of a transformation of all aspects of life and of the entire inner human being This is perhaps fortunate for the artistic person, if he is strong enough to bear the consequences, because what we need is the courage to have inner experience.
Each person feels that he is an 'expert' in one or two fields and just the 'public' in all the others. But you know, probably, from experience that no one is really able to appreciate any display of ability in any field if he himself has not, to a certain degree, taken part in its problems and difficulties at some time.
Today the arts exist in isolation, from which they can be rescued only through the conscious, cooperative effort of all craftsmen. Architects, painters, and sculptors must recognize anew and learn to grasp the composite character of a building both as an entity and in its separate parts.