Blocks Versus Knots

Bauhaus Women Weavers’ Contribution to Architecture’s Canon

Authored by: Harriet Harriss

The Routledge Companion to Women in Architecture

Print publication date:  June  2021
Online publication date:  June  2021

Print ISBN: 9780367232344
eBook ISBN: 9780429278891
Adobe ISBN:


 Download Chapter



In his pioneering treatise entitled The Four Elements of Architecture (1851), Gottfried Semper asserted that the twisting and knotting of threads, as opposed to the massing of blocks of stone, bares the foundation from which everything was derived, not only textiles but also buildings. He argued that the beginning of building occurs as the beginning of fabric and that the most fundamental element of both the building and the textile was the knot. In 1919 Walter Gropius declared gender equality at the Bauhaus, yet his pedagogical writings reveal that the “strong male gender” was directed toward architecture, whereas the “beautiful female gender” had to be content with weaving.

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.