German architect and author Ernst Neufert (1900-1986) did. In 1919 Neufert attended the Bauhaus and was one of Bauhaus founder Water Gropius’ first students. Having been a bricklayer and a student of the “Baugewerbeschuile” (German school of construction) prior to his enrollment, Neufert was familiar with building, construction, and design principles. Modernism, industrialization, and mass production were flourishing at the time and Neufert was, as a student of the Bauhaus, interested in harnessing industrialization and applying design sensibilities to commercial functions. These ideals were heightened in 1922 when the German government established standard sizes for office paper. This was an a-ha moment for Neufert. He recognized standardization’s benefits and envisioned standardization principles applied to architecture, construction, furniture design, and everyday objects. Neufert established, documented, and compiled building standards and published “Architects’ Data.” First published in 1936, “The Neufert” quickly became an architect’s go-to reference book. Today “Architects’ Data” sits on thousands of desks around the world, it is published in 20 languages and is in its 40th edition. The dedicated work of Ernst Neufert has made our lives infinitely easier, so much so that we don’t even think about the height of our kitchen cabinets or the size of a desk drawer, or the dimensions of a brick. It all flows seamlessly as Ernst Neufert intended.
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