The Shape »TAC«
The ancient shape of the chinese tea bowl had been the source of inspiration for Walter Gropius when he created the shape for his tea-set »TAC«. This shape, which had developed from a functionality background and was more and more perfected, was the ideal starting point. It did not only determine the cantilevered shape of the cup, but also – in its reversion - the shape of tea pot, creamer and sugar bowl. So, the overall impression of the complete tea-set, first modelled in 1996, is marked by diametrically curved lines. The designer succeeded here to combine functionality and aesthetics in a perfect way.
The name of the shape »TAC« is an abbreviation of The Architects’ Collaborative, a design studio in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, founded by Gropius in 1945.
This tea-set – originally there were plans for a coffe-set and dinner-set as well – does not only look extremely good when viewing it as a whole, it also holds an abundance of artistic details, which only open up on closer examination: The handle on the pot-lid is the result of detailed functional testings. Most users hold on to the lid when pouring in spite of mechanical locking devices. Here, the thumb is inevitably placed on the lid-handle, thus giving the impression that it presses the lid onto the pot. Moreover, with the help of the lid you can take out the integrated tea-sieve made of porcelain..
The version »TAC black« in Porcelain Noir was undoubtedly Walter Gropius’ idea and part of the range from the very beginning. Special attention should be given to the elaborately created glaze effect of the tea pot that changes from shining to matt
Nowadays »TAC« is a first-rate design classic, where the requirements of function result in expressive visual concinnity. In 1992 it was accepted in the permanent collection of the Centre George Pompidou, Paris, after having gained several awards:
Medaglia d'Oro (1969) »TAC I«
Die Gute Industrieform / iF (1970) »TAC I«
Prädikat "formbeständig" (1989) »TAC I«
This shape was also very popular among artists. In 1979 it was Herbert Bayer who created two décors entitled »Bauhaus Hommage«.
On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Bauhaus Weimar in 1994 twelve international artists decorated the tea pot (99 copies each) within the scope of "Hommage à Bauhaus" in their own charcteristic way: Afrika, Christian Attersee, Elvira Bach, Sandro Chia, Rainer Fetting, Paul Giovanopoulos, O.H. Hajek, Jörg Immendorff, Igor Kopystiansky, Marcello Morandini, Eduardo Paolozzi, Arnulf Rainer.
In 2002 Rosenthal realised Walter Gropius’ idea to full extent when adding a coffee set, a dinner set and the series of crystal drinking glasses »TAC o2«. In addition to original designs, not yet edited to-date, the range comprises new shapes that are consistent with Gropius’ creative mind. The Bauhaus-Stiftung Dessau was instrumental in promoting the project.
- Fritz, Bernd "Design-Klassiker: Das Teegeschirr TAC 1 von Walter Gropius", Frankfurt/M.
- Rosenthal AG "Fakten Serviceformen", Selb