Bauhaus Revisited: Behind the Scenes with Robert Sonneman
Robert Sonneman, CEO of SONNEMAN – A Way of Light, describes the design inspiration for his new Bauhaus Revisited series.
Most of us gathering training and experience in modern design during the late 1950s and 60s looked to the Bauhaus masters who defined the origins of minimal functionalism. We emerged as disciples of Mies, Breuer, Le Corbusier and others who defined that early 1900s German school of design. Embracing the industrial aesthetic as a basis for functional design was at the root of my introduction and remained at the core of my connection to modernism. From age 19, the notion that art could result from utility well expressed came to define my point of view.
Having been so connected to the vision and ideals of the Dessau school, it was for me a reconciliation of my design passion to visit two years ago, to move through its studios and drink in the atmosphere of the Bauhaus experience. I felt aligned to the pathos they had established in setting the path I would travel.
Inspired by the bent tubing chair vocabulary of several of the Bauhaus designers, I set about seeking that functional simplicity to define lighting of minimal tubular construction. The result is this Mid-Century Modern series called Bauhaus Revisited.
The Bauhaus Revisited series is built in a timeless contemporary style with a straightforward construction and compelling logic of utility. All of the models have linear LED arrays within a rotating glass tube shielded with a chrome reflector for directional illumination control. The large bent radiuses are secured to the luminaires and to the mounting brackets with beautifully machined components.
Designed to bring brilliant illumination to a table surface, ceiling, or wall application, the Rohr Pendant and tall and short Rohr and Klammer sconces are sophisticated lighting solutions bound to the legacy of the Bauhaus industrial modernism.
Robert Sonneman pioneered modern lighting, making it an art form. Many of his award-winning designs have become classics of the modern era. Acclaimed for clean lines and his alliance to form and function, he has been at the forefront of modern design for five decades.