Beyond a certain all-out creativity, the young Czech creation surprises with its maturity. All have mastery of a manufacturing process, linked to the traditional know-how that abounds in the Czech Republic: the art of glass in mind, then work in wood, leather, ceramics, metal. Identification of talents discovered during the last Designblok.
Despite the health crisis, the Designblok took place in Prague in October 2021. Designers and brands of Czech design were there, under the sign of Happiness, the theme chosen for this session of more than 200 installations. With a singularity, that of mixing the world of fashion and the design of objects, as well as major design brands. An international jury formed decided between the 15 finalists in design and 15 in fashion, all from the mix of European art and design schools..“This exploration in search of happiness involves a return to closeness to nature, to humans and their essential needs. Design is very important for the rebirth of quality life and for the functionality of the objects around us, in order to preserve the beauty of the environment for future generations. Design should be created by people, for people”, said Jana Zielinski, director of the Designblok.
Mikolášková & Drobná
The first project of this designer duo, Scene collection leaves room for imagination and dreams. Born in the gloomy context of the health crisis, it is inspired by fragments of architecture that unfold into small indoor tables for the home. A set that is made up or broken down like a construction game with a fictional place in the background… The bright colors and the soft arches arouse emotion in the engaged spectators, a bit like actors. The decor is completed by glass vases in the shape of antique columns (made in collaboration with the Preciosa Lighting crystal factory), bookends and bowls. These scenographies transport the visitor into an invigorating daydream, and that is really good!
This young Franco-British artist settled in Prague seven years ago, out of a passion for this country and for its traditional know-how, which she was able to experience with local craftsmen. Pauline Hagan creates ceramic objects and silver jewelry. She developed her new Aube collection, ceramic vases entirely modeled by hand, during confinement and presented last October during the Designblok. The sculptural, undulating silhouettes of the vases reveal and interact with the space they occupy. No tools, no molding technique, for these creations, the hand models the tubular shapes, in a very personal and empirical process. Few preliminary drawings, she works on instinct, like a sculptor, letting the process define the result of the piece. These novelties mark a new beginning, the launch of its own brand and its online sales site.
Terezie Lexova and Stepan Smetana
Spotted at the Designblok “Renaissance” exhibition, established designers Terezie Lexová and Štěpán Smetana have adopted the know-how of wood veneer bending for the design and manufacture of the Swell collection. They drew their inspiration from the very heart of the process which makes it possible to constrain the wood effortlessly, to obtain soft and daring curves. By combining the material, ash veneer, and the technique of pressing, curves and waves have defined the foundations of this new collection made up of coffee tables, firmly planted on solid solid wood legs. The design duo has been working together on various projects since 2018, focusing on product design, space design, brand graphic identity. Experimenting, testing, going against boredom, these are the challenges of their creative research and pushing the limits of the material.
His approach ? A compact 100% wood eco-designed product. This is what undoubtedly caught the attention of the jury for his project which was among the 15 finalists of the Designblok 21. This brutalist type of armchair is based on a principle of cutting the material: a backrest, a seat, and legs that extend into armrests. The template of each piece respects the rectangular sheet of a plywood plate. The chair thus optimizes the use of material and reduces waste at all stages of production. Although it has an air of deja vu, this model is subtle and elegant while being structurally strong and stable. For mass production the glue used is made from waste lignin, a natural component of wood.
Nicolas El Kadiri
He was one of the 15 finalists of Designblok 21 with his diploma project from ECAL (Lausanne, Switzerland). Based on the observation of the rise of telework and the need to stretch while doing physical exercise outdoors, this young student reinvented the use of street furniture. With Jim, he offers a hybrid bench whose common uses he diverts in order to integrate it into an urban landscape. Approaching a sports equipment, it is accessible to all and in a more fluid way. Its compact and rational typology is designed to exercise a certain number of movements thanks to two steel tube handles on each side as well as at the levels of the ash platforms, while allowing different postures.