Australia’s link with the Bauhaus

In 2013, I wrote a peer-reviewed paper about the Shillito Design School, whose colour and design curriculum as well as ideology reflected the curriculum and pedagogical approach of both the Bauhaus and the Ulm School of Design.

Making extensive use of original sources including the recollections of former students, I examined the curriculum in detail, providing an historical record plus highlighting support for the hypothesis that Shillito was strongly influenced by the Bauhaus in general and the theories of Johannes Itten and Josef Albers in particular.

The Shillito Design School was a landmark twentieth century institution in Sydney. It was founded by Phyllis Shillito (1895-1980) in 1962 when she was aged 67 and continued until her death in 1980. Shillito’s colour and design curriculum strongly influenced the curriculum of the School of Colour and Design, founded by former Shillito students Prue Royle and Eva Fay. In turn, Shillito’s curriculum also influenced that of the Sydney Design School.

‘The Shillito Design School: Australia’s link with the Bauhaus’. The International Journal of Design in Society, 6 (3), pp149-159.

You can download a copy of the paper from my profile page at

You can check out the paper at the Journal’s website.



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