DESIGN FROM THE CZECH REPUBLIC, 1990 - 2005: DREAM AND REALITY
Under the exhibition title Dream and Reality,
the Czech Design Centre will be displaying examples of its design over
the last fifteen years. The theme of the exhibition is not just about
the development process from idea to finished object.
Rather the exhibition concentrates on the political and economic situation in the Czech Republic of the post-Communist era. After the Velvet Revolution, the Czech Republic underwent radical reforms giving cause for hope for the future. The Czechs dreamt of economic possibilities unimaginable in the past. Unfortunately, many of these dreams went up in smoke. While attempting to gain a greater affinity with the new consumer markets in the West, the Czech Republic lost its market outlets in the East. Old companies could not manage the switch to new production procedures, equipment and technologies and were forced to close down. Not all the new companies survived the innovation process either. There was though one pervasive theme in all this design, which became omnipresent in the Czech economy.
Fifteen years on, a new reality has arisen, albeit one that is rather different from what was envisaged. This reality, with its advantages and disadvantages, once again offers a basis for hopes of a brighter future.
Design from the Czech Republic 1995 2005 is a showcase for top Czech design from the last 15 years, taking in the most varied disciplines and applications.
The exhibition includes both mass-produced industrial products and design objects produced in small numbers. Also on display are concepts, images and prototypes of objects that have not yet been produced.
Traditional crafts such as glass and porcelain have of course been included in the Czech collection. On show from these traditional disciplines are some very contemporary and surprising glass, vases and sets of dishes from various designers.
Many examples of furniture, innovative in terms of both design and choice of material, are also on view. One of the most eye-catching is the reclining chair Steffi designed by Daniela Polubedovova and Stanislav Fiala. This is a transparent chair made of perspex with a seat covered in tennis balls. It is not surprising therefore that both Andr Agassi and Steffi Graf own one of these chairs. The Eleganza Manoby Jiri Spanihel and Zbynek Frolik, a bedside table for hospitals, is an example of a design that is both functional and clever. It is designed so that a patient lying in bed can adjust the tabletop into the desired position without assistance and using one hand. The furniture collection also includes tables and chairs made from revolutionary materials.
Mobility is another topic that is addressed. The Goaty Goast moped by Dusan Poliacek with its light frame and elegant suspension structure, though not yet in production, will no doubt be a popular item with the general public. The Origami mini bike, designed by Stanislav Hanus and Pavel Blata, is exported all over the world. Other vehicles are also displayed.
From the textiles sector, there is work exhibited from Jitka Skopova. She has designed household linen, interior textiles and materials for well-known brands such as Trussardi, Ralph Lauren, Laura Ashley and Pierre Cardin.
The exhibition also includes original accessories such as bracelets made from Perspex and hard aluminium by Barbara Skorpilova.
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