Architect, historian, and diplomat, Hermann Muthesius was an advocate for the modern style in architecture and industrial design. In 1896, he was sent by the German government as architectural attach. to the German Embassy in London to report on English architecture. His seven years in London culminated in various articles in the periodical Dekorative Kunst and his influential book Das Englische Haus (The English House) of 1904, which showcased the advances of the English Arts and Crafts movement for his German audience, praising in particular architects such as Charles Voysey. On his return to Germany in 1903, Muthesius established his own architectural practice and became Superintendent of the Prussian Board of Trade for Schools of Arts and Crafts, responsible for art and design education. Muthesius’s writings and a lecture he gave in 1907 provoked very strong public reactions, leading to the founding of the Deutscher Werkbund. Muthesius was the first to formulate the program of the Werkbund, publishing his Aims of the Werkbund in 1907 on behalf of the Society, condemning the historicism of German crafts and industries. Later, as chair of the Applied Arts at Berlin Commercial University, he tried to improve standards in art and industrial design. He was a great advocate of standardization within design and his ideas paved the way for the Modern movement.
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