In our previous post we touched upon the legacy of the Bauhaus in interior design, and some materials which were used heavily as a result of the movement. Today we’ll be delving into the world of concrete. Although Architecture was not initially taught at the Bauhaus, it gradually became a huge aspect of the school’s ethos. It sparked the flame for the Brutalist movement and showed us that concrete should not be covered, and that there was so much beautiful to be found in this material that was originally intended to be covered.

Concrete was an essential component of much Bauhaus architecture, admired by the school’s students and teachers for its strength and resistance. Acting as a precursor to Brutalist design, the Bauhaus’ appreciation of concrete is most notable in its starring role at the school’s Dessau campus. With a striking, reinforced concrete frame, the school’s main building wholeheartedly embraces concrete and modernist design. The robust material opened doors for a revolutionary approach to architecture and can be seen in buildings across Europe.


Brutalism is a design style with an emphasis on materials, textures and construction, producing highly expressive forms. Rough textures, heavy concrete, over emphasised air-ducts, and striking forms were all characteristics of the movement. Much like Bauhaus and World War One, Brutalism came about as a reaction to the Second World War. The movement provoked mixed reactions, the harsh structures either loved or hated. Famous brutalist buildings in the UK are Trellick Tower, the National Theatre and Hayward Gallery, and the Barbican.

Although Brutalism went horribly out of fashion, it seems to be making a revival, as more and more people appreciate the buildings for the beautiful and functional structures that they are. The buildings are art forms in themselves and are often used as album artwork or in prints due to their incredibly striking and unique forms that so perfectly embody city life.

At the Backward Vendor, we take inspiration from this use of raw materials that the Bauhaus and Brutalists incorporated. We share their admiration for the cracks and marks that exist on concrete, as they add an almost contradictory degree of warmth and comfort, comparitive to the starkness of a white wall. Leather shares similar characteristics to concrete with its gentle texture, and surface covered in natural speckles.