The Czech Republic can be proud of its global achievements in the field of contemporary design. Chairs from Edge, handles from M & T or car models from Škoda have gained the prestigious Red Dot Award in recent years. Even the trophies of the Tour de France are from the hands of Czech glassmakers. A showcase of the best of contemporary design shall be offered by the prestigious Prague exhibition DesignBlok in October.
Contemporary Czech design is full of a distinctive sense of humor and rests on three pillars: natural materials, perfectly machined details and modern ecological technologies. In addition, it continues in the footsteps of the rich tradition in the glass, footwear and automotive industries, among others.
Glass for monarchs and cubism made Czech design famous
Crystal is one of the products that made the ground in the heart of Europe, famous throughout the world. The tradition of glass-making dates back to the 13th century, when the first glassworks began to appear, the world-famous crystal was discovered about 400 years later. Its success was guaranteed by Ludwig Moser, whose company became a major supplier of glass for monarchs and statesmen. Czech crystal became popular at the court of Emperor Franz Joseph I and King Edward VII. Nowadays you can also visit the world of glass masters, thanks to Fabrik Tour, which takes you takes you to the famous porcelain or glass factory Moser, in the Karlovy Vary region. The tour also includes a visit to the Jan Becher Museum, where you can taste the local liqueur treasure - Becherovka.
In addition to glass, another Czech rarity in design are the works of cubist artists. In the early 20th century, Prague turned into a center of cubism, in whose style not only buildings were built, but also furniture and ceramics were made. An exhibition of the exceptional Czech style can be seen in the House of the Black Madonna (U Černé Matky Boží), in the beautiful cubist building in the center of the city.
World renown was also achieved by the shoe company Baťa. The family shoemaking business made Czech Zlín famous, among other places. The automaker Škoda can also look forward to design awards. Its model Yeti was awarded a prize for product design on the globally successful TV show Top Gear "Red Dot Design Award" already gained by 7 Škoda cars.
Prestigious awards and unique orders - that’s contemporary Czech design
The global achievements of Czech design continued the tradition of the glorious history of the Czech Republic and even today can boast a number of designers with international recognition. Bořek Šípek, whose works are exhibited in galleries in New York, Amsterdam and Paris, will design a new quarter in the coming months for the southern Chinese city of Foshan. Success on the Asian market was also achieved by Jaroslav Bejvl Jr., who was ranked among the TOP 50 most influential designers of the Middle East. He gained recognition through lighting designs for hotels in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
In recent years the Czech Republic has been making waves in the prestigious design competition - Red Dot Award. For example Edge chairs from the workshop of Petr Novák, models from the car producer Škoda or handles from M & T have received international awards. They also aroused interest in the exhibition EXPO in Milan.
The renown of Czech glass is proven to the world of designers by the trophy of the cycling race the Tour de France. Already for the fourth time, the elegant prize from crystal glass was produced in the Czech Republic and the design comes from the workshop of Peter Oláh.
DesignBlok: the largest design event in Central Europe
You can learn about and discover contemporary Czech design through the Meet Czech Design festival, which will present in Mladá Boleslav, Brno and Prague in the fall. These metropolises of the Czech Republic will offer, already for the sixteenth time the largest and most prestigious showcase of design in Central Europe - DesignBlok. The exhibitions, which you will be able to visit from October 7-12, will also take place in areas associated with the writer Franz Kafka. In the Art Nouveau building of Grand Hotel Europe, right in the city center on Wenceslas Square, where the only public reading by the important writer was held in 1912. Another place will be the Renaissance pearl Dom U Minuty, where Franz Kafka spent part of his childhood. Last year, visitors to DesignBlok could see works from Matali Crasset, Kiki van Eijk & Joost van Bleiswijk or Vika Mitrichenko.
Part of the Prague festival MeetCzech Design apart from DesignBlok will also be Architecture Week and Fashion Week, offering the latest Czech and global trends in architecture and in fashion. The Prague piers will feature brands like Swarovski, Bulgari, Baldinini or Stefanel, but also Czech designers and young talents. During Architecture Week you can again enjoy lectures by renowned architects, in Prague, for example, Venezuelan Fruto Vivas, who stands behind the design of the Museum of modern art in Caracas.