Bauhaus-Effect. From Design Utopia to Interface Culture


Bauhaus Effect Interface Culture Design Code Computer Games Graphic Interfaces User Environments Minimalism Aesthetics Visual Language Aesthetic-Technical Production

How to Cite

Kolesnikova, D. (2019). Bauhaus-Effect. From Design Utopia to Interface Culture. Galactica Media: Journal of Media Studies, 1(4), 49-71.


The Bauhaus design code might be called the quintessentially industrial-modern diagram. Its coded pattern figures the relationship between the abstraction of machinic processes and that of mediaproduction under contemporary interface culture. The Bauhaus school provided the possibilities for creating an aesthetic-technical production orientation that recontextualizes technology as skilled practice, which sought to restore the old unity of craft, technical and artistic production lost through industrialisation. Nowdays there is a necessity to reconsider the concepts of the Bauhaus that realigned in new technologies and media inherent in the interfaces and game design, to work out new analytical approaches to transforming mediareality, where the idea of new design forms and codes is gaining importance. The paper aims to explore the influence of the principles of the Bauhaus movement on the interface design of both game and non-game projects. Among the examples were examined some computer games inspired directly by the work of the Bauhaus representatives, as well as projects that are influenced by a leading school of minimalism only indirectly. The study of the stylistics of game interfaces as part of the overall process of transforming design approaches can be a promising direction and can develop into a serious detailed study of the design of graphic interfaces inspired by the Bauhaus aesthetics.


Abrams, J. (2015). Muriel Cooper. Retrieved from American Institute of Graphic Arts

Artiaga, A. (2018). This game let’s you play tetris with plattenbau blocks. Retrieved from

Bierut, M. (2017). Muriel Cooper: Designing a Bridge Between the Bauhaus & the Digital Age. Retrieved from

Bogost, I. (2015). How to Talk about Videogames. University of Minnesota Press.

Bone, S. (2015). Minimalism in Game Design: Examples, Tips, and Ideas. Retrieved from

Burroughs, W. & Gysin, B. (1978). The Third Mind. New York: Viking Press.

Cooper, M. (1989). Computers and Design. Design Quarterly. Walker Art Center.

Craig-Martin, M. (2019). Bauhaus at 100: what it means to me by Norman Foster, Margaret Howell and others. Retrieved from

Cramer, F. & Fuller, M. (2008). Interface. Softwarestudies: alexicon. London: The MIT Press.

Droste, M. (2002). Bauhaus, 1919–1933. Berlin: Taschen.

Galloway, А. (2012). The Interface Effect. Cambridge/Malden, Massachusetts: Polity.

Winton, A. G. (2000). The Bauhaus, 1919–1933. Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000.

Hansen, M. (2001). Internal Resonance, or Three Steps Towards a Non-Viral Becoming. Retrieved from

Hayles, N. K. (2004). Print Is Flat, Code Is Deep: The Importance of Media-Specific Analysis. Poetics Today, 25(1), 67-89.

Heller, S. (1989). Muriel Cooper (interview). Graphic Design in America: A Visual Language History, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 97.

Johnson, S. (1997). Interface Culture: How New Technology Transforms the Way We Create and Communicate. San Francisco: HarperEdge.

Latypova, A. & Lenkevich, A. (2016). Interface as a Complex Form of Sensibility. In Visual Ecology: Formation of Discipline. RHGA. Retrieved from

Lovell, S. (2013). Dieter Rams. As Little Design As Possible. Phaidon.

Manovich, L. (2001). The Language of New Media. London: The MIT Press.

Muzhdaba, A. (2016). Newsgames: either games, or news. In V.V. Savchuk (eds.) Media Philosophy XII. Game or reality? Experience in the study of computer games (pp. 315-328). St. Petersburg: Conflict Development Development Fund.

Naylor, G. (1985). The Bauhaus Reassessed. New York: Dutton.

Nealen, A., Saltsman, A. & Boxerman, E. (2011). Towards Minimalist Game Design. Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Foundations of Digital Games, 38–45.

O’Donoghue, J. (2015) What Can UI Designers Learn from the Bauhaus. Retrieved from

O’Neill-Butler, L. (2014). Muriel Cooper. Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery, Columbia University.

Ocheretyany, K. (2019). Computer games as the Gesamtkunstwerk of the digital age. International Journal of Cultural Studies, 1(34), 34-45.

Rawsthorn, A. (2007). Muriel Cooper: The unsung heroine of on-screen style. New York Times. Retrieved from

Shevtsov, K. (2019). The boundaries of the game. International Journal of Cultural Studies, 1(34), 6-19.

Stein, A. (2013) Indie Sports Games: Performance and Performativity. Simon, B. (Ed.), Loading…, 7 (11).

Turkle, S. (1997) Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet. New York: Touchstone.

Walter, A. (2016). Berlin Block Tetris. Retrieved from

Wiesenberger, R. (2017). Latter-day Bauhaus? Muriel Cooper and the Digital Imaginary. Before Publication. Nanni Baltzer (editor), Martino Stierli (editor). Published by Park Books, Zürich.

Wiesenberger, R. (2018). Print and Screen, Muriel Cooper at MIT (Thesis). Columbia University.

Wilk, Ch. (ed.). (2006). Modernism: Designing a New World, 1914–1939. Exhibition catalogue. London: V&A Publications.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.