The web of design

Prague, 8 September – 19 October 2014


Interview with Jakub Berdych, co-founder of the Qubus studio

To what extent is fashion part of design?
As a branch of applied arts, it definitely belongs there. With successful designers’ clothing, it works as a trademark. If you find the right examples, they interconnect in the fields of packaging materials and interiors, so it is, was and always will be an integral part.
What are you trying to express with your work?
I’m not trying to express anything according to a particular agenda. I frequently respond to stimuli from the environment in which I work, to the current state of things and the world in which I live. I tend to approach things conceptually. I pursue no fixed agenda and adhere to no particular dogma in my work.
Could we call design a never-ending story?
Of course. It is constantly evolving in response to the needs of consumers and society. Waves of ideas similar to what has already been thought up in the past are often repeated.

Interview with Eva Eisler, designer, curator and head of the K.O.V. (Concept – Object – Meaning) Studio at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague

Besides your minimalist jewellery and lighting, you are also known for your architecture, sculptures and drawings. You have even designed a collection of tableware. Of this wide range, what type of work do you feel the greatest affinity for?

That’s impossible to say with any clear certainty. I simply move among these various disciplines based on current needs and my inner compulsion.

Would you agree that your works draw on Czech Modernism and a sense of proportion, and that they reflect a diversity of approaches?
Yes, that would be fair to say.  In everything I do, I try to find a harmony of mass, material and the spiritual dimension. I look for bold statements underscored by responsibility for my creative activity.
What period or specific projects would you single out as milestones in your artistic career?
Definitely my marriage to John and starting a family, then my departure for New York in 1983, followed by my long-term cooperation with Helen Drutt’s gallery, the invitation to showcase my work at the School of Architecture at Columbia University, my work for the German MONO brand and, of course, managing the K.O.V. Studio at the Academy of Arts for the past eight years.

Interview with Ineke Hans, a product designer from Holland

At this year’s Designblok, you introduced a collection that you tried to work on in Nový Bor, in the Czech Republic, and which is determined for Czech gallery Křehký. What was the basis for the collection?
The ‘Pilszen muschrooms’ collection, a collection of glass mushrooms, is related to the Czech tradition of picking mushrooms, as well as drinking beer sold in transparent green bottles. This was the basis for the emergence of greenish hollow mushrooms on which coloured dots play a visual game. The work for Křehký allowed me to experiment and play with glass. I tried glass-blowing in Nový Bor, in the Czech Republic.
The theme of this year’s Designblok is playing. Do you like playing?
I want to play, which is proven by my mushroom installation. You mustn’t stay stuck in your work; you must have an open mind, especially when you’re a designer.
Do you think it pays off to travel to see design nowadays, when we’re online and we can indirectly see anything anywhere in the world?
What you see on the computer is different from what you see in reality. On the screen, it’s just a picture of a chair, but, in reality, it’s much better. For young people, it’s important to see things in reality, to experience them.
How do you see Czech products?
Your designers have the advantage that the products can actually be made here. That enables them to design products, and they can be confident that their products will be used.

Interview with s Asia Gwis, an illustrator and design blogger from Poland

When and why did you start blogging?
I’m quite shy, and my husband told me one day that I should really do something about it. So I started blogging. It’s been five years, and I show everything I like and I’m interested in. It’s my hobby; I make my living as an illustrator.
How did you approach the creation of a design room as part of the Design Blogger Workshop that was held at Designblok in cooperation with Meet Czech Design and SOFFA magazine?
Everything around me is white; I wear only black clothes. My installation was therefore completely white. I like touching things, and I also like using them in new ways. So, to start, I chose a blanket with a beautiful texture. I could use it as a tablecloth, a carpet, or a bedspread. I also made my own collage from wrapping paper used to wrap a present that my grandma received last week. Such a picture doesn’t cost much, and you can change it without any remorse when you stop enjoying it. I made a table from a box in which I received a lamp. Life isn’t perfect, and neither am I, so I like things that aren’t perfect, either.
What do you do to publicize your blog?
I feel like I don’t do anything at all. One lifestyle magazine liked my photos, so they came to my home to see it and then published an article about it. At the bottom of the article they printed information about my blog, and people found it. There’s not much work involved in the blog as such, either. I just show what surrounds me and what I like. It’s not science, just my house, the place where I live.

Visit also other actions

Shoes that are conquering the world

Zlín, 1–3 May 2014

The secret behind the glass curtain

Nový Bor, 13–15 June 2014

The web of design

Prague, 8 September – 19 October 2014

Spin the wheels of design

Mladá Boleslav, 12–14 September 2014

The mosaic of graphic design

Brno, 2–5 October 2014