Modern Czech Design and Designblok

Modern Czech Design and Designblok

Discover modern Czech design

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Czech design. Some may already know of it, some may not. Either way, it's not exactly common. But you might just be surprised, because Czech design offers high standards and originality in many fields, and Czech designers have made it big all over the world. Beauty, humour, and imagination all come together in high-quality yet affordable products with a distinctive style. If you are looking for an interesting style, try contemporary Czech design. And if you want to know just what exactly is meant by ‘Czech design‘, don't miss the autumn Designblok show in Prague. The best of the best will be there!

Playful Czech Design

Applied art, often evoked by the term ‘design‘, has many shapes and forms. However, it is possible to trace a unified line that winds its way through Czech design. And that line is playfulness and humour. Some of the best Czech design pieces include the elegant yet technically perfect glass vases and lamps by Olgoj Chorchoj studio, or the products of Rony Plesl, such as glass bowls embossed with bubble wrap. Glass in general is probably the most iconic material that connects artists across the Czech Republic. And what about the aforementioned humour? Maxim Velčovský's products, which include an ashtray in the shape of the Czech Republic or ceramic boots, are sure to put a smile on your face.

Wanting an armchair, or perhaps a notepad?

Looking for something to take home as a souvenir? Try an original piece of art! Modernista in Prague is a specialist in Czech design and applied arts and has several shops, including one in the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague. Modernista is a manufacturer and retailer of time-honoured 20th century and contemporary objects. It offers a wide range of goods from cubist ceramics to functionalist furniture, lamps, and toys to the latest creations in original glass, jewellery, and porcelain. The cubist collection of decorative objects created between 1910 and 1920 by designers and architects such as Pavel Janák, Vlastislav Hofman and Josef Gočár. It is one of the most original and Czech-specific products, unparalleled in the world. Although the unique style was not born in Prague at the beginning of the 20th century, it found the most fertile ground here. Young avant-garde artists applied the cubist principles of Picasso and Braque to architecture and applied arts – a phenomenon not to be seen anywhere else in the world.

But even if you're not in the market for anything as voluminous as a cubist sofa, you needn't despair. Prague's Letná and Holešovice are full of shops and small stores opened by young designers and craftsmen. You can find everything from notebooks and stationery by Papelote to EmaMamisu's original porcelain. All you have to do is browse and choose what you like and what will fit in your suitcase.

An arcade of Czech design If you want to be inspired by the beauty of Czech art and applied arts, take a walk through the Arcade of Czech Design. This unique space can be found in the arcade of the Czech National Bank in Prague on Na Příkopě Street. Inspired by Paris, Berlin and Brussels, the project serves young art and design not only as an exhibition forum, but also as a meeting point or workshop venue. The exhibitions are renewed every three months and both renowned and emerging designer talents take their turn in showcasing their work.

Designblok—a design holiday event

If you want to see what has emerged in the field of Czech design in the last year, if you want to purchase something valuable or simply see something new and exciting in design, visit the Designblok exhibition. This year, the largest festival of Czech applied arts, fashion and design in Central Europe will take place from 6 to 10 October and in its 23rd year of running. This year, Designblok will focus on the search for happiness, something we all are looking for giving the course and effects of the recent pandemic. This theme will thus be the connecting element of the entire festival. In addition to the space of the former monastery in Smíchov—Gabriel Loci, where the main exhibition space will be located, two floors of the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague will also be filled with contemporary Czech design. As part of Designblok, several galleries, showrooms and pop-up stores are also opening all over Prague, preparing a special programme for all art and design-loving visitors. Traditionally, Designblok will showcase the work of designers and manufacturers with an emphasis on Central Europe and will present new products from prestigious Czech brands as well as prototypes from young designers and design studios.