Designblok starts

The festival of design and fashion is in its 18th year

Designblok starts Oct. 27 and runs to Oct. 31. The 18th year of the Prague Design and Fashion Week, as it is also known, will present 197 designers, fashion designers and jewelry designers. In total, designers from 20 countries will present their work either at installations or at fashion shows.

The event offers designers a chance to meet with the public, but it is not just an exhibition. Most collections and products on display will also be for sale. A new part of the program features lectures, debates, creative workshops and an accompanying sports program.

The main venue will be the Výstaviště grounds in Prague's Holešovice district. The Superstudio in the right wing of the Industrial Palace will be reserved for Czech and foreign producers who will presen furniture, lighting, interior accessories, fashion and life style products. Visitors can look forward to installations by Henry Wielgus and Jan Plecháč designed for leading brands Vitra and Nespresso, an exhibition of new products by Bomma (the exhibition will be designed by Olgoj Chorchoj), an installation by Škoda Auto and Lasvit, which will present its Kodiaq car in its Czech premiere, an exhibition designed by Dechem Studio for Kavalier Glass and new products designed by Lucie Koldová for Brokis in an original installation.

The Superstudio will host over 70 producers, exhibitions and installations.

“Designblok features over three dozen exhibitions by Czech producers, presented side by side with leading world brands. I am happy to see that Czech design is flourishing and that Czech companies collaborate with prominent Czech designers. However, it is also great to see that Designblok has succeeded in linking foreign companies with Czech designers,” Jana Zielinski, director of Designblok, said in a press release.

The Openstudio in tle left wing of the Industrial Palace will display products by leading Czech designers including Dechem Studio, Oáza Collection by Klára Šumová and Dirk Wright, Milan Pekař, Studio DeForm, Roman Vrtiška and Vladimír Žák. The Openstudio will also feature new names in the field of design, including Plove, Kayu, Roman Šedina, Vjemy and Durch Duo. An increasing number of foreign designers, primarily from Central Europe will also exhibit their work at Designblok. This year, exhibitors will come from a total of twenty countries.

“Fashion design will be a very strong aspect of this year’s festival. In addition to Liběna Rochová, who won the Fashion Designer of the Year 2015 Award, the Designblok catwalk will present another 15 fashion designers, including Hana Zárubová, Lenka Mulabegovič, Janina Volkmer and many others. Designblok will host 74 fashion designers and jewelry designers in total. There will also be a changing room so visitors will have the chance to try selected models on and buy them,” said Jana Zielinski.

“This year, the program features new elements – workshops and lectures in the Industrial Palace which will take place between 11:00 and 19:30 every day. Plus, there will be a live accompanying program – shows, theatre performances, football matches, table tennis and charity program amongst other events,” said Jiří Macek, creative director of Designblok.

This year, the foremost Designblok guests include renowned Japanese designer Arihiro Miyake, French innovator François Azambourg, Spanish designer Tomás Alonso, the chmara.rosinke studio and Matthias Kaiser. In addition to showcasing their installations, they will give lectures and take part in debates with visitors. Designers have created nontraditional products and interactive installations that are interesting for both adults and children.

Arihiro Miyake has been living and working in Helsinki for quite some time. He will exhibit the impressive Coppélia chandelier designed for Moooi. Reminiscent of graceful ballet dancers, the elegant lights on the perimeter are combined with functional mechanics. Innovative French designer François Azambourg’s installation will also feature lights. Visitors will get the chance to see Sputnik, a lamp inspired by outer space, illusory Petit Theatre lights that evoke magical theatre vibes and the Very Nice light which is both an object and an invention. In addition to lights, Azambourg will also present his other work – furniture, accessories as well as other products.

Invited by Okolo and Scholastika, Spanish designer Tomás Alonso will present new objects bearing his inimitable signature style. The chmara.rosinke duo of designers won much acclaim for their project featuring a minimalist dwelling last year. This year, they will display their latest collection. Artist Matthias Kaiser, one of the main stars at London Design Week this year, combines traditional ceramics handicraft with an experimental approach. At Designblok, he will present his new collection.

Czech designers certainly won’t lag behind. Located in the Lapidárium building at Výstaviště, Art House will traditionally showcase installations that straddle the line between art and design. The quiet building will host installations by several generations of leading Czech designers in combination with stone sculptures and architectural fragments of Czech history. Maxim Velčovský will present a crystal glass chandelier made by Lasvit, inspired by the Sedlec Ossuary and dominated by a huge skull decorated with bones and vertebrae. Eva Eisler, the first lady of Czech jewelery design, will exhibit an installation of objects made using a specialized combined technique. Surprisingly enough, Lucie Koldová will exhibit a collection of carpets. The installation of objects by Rony Plesl will integrate a part of his retrospective exhibition that is currently held at the Royal Summer Palace (Královský letohrádek).

The Lapidárium building will also showcase installations by Markéta Kratochvílová, Tadeáš Podracký and Llev Studio which fits in perfectly with the Sports theme through its collection of lights in the form of tennis rackets. The experience of the space will be enhanced by lighting installations and screenings.

There will be additional exhibitions at public places and at design and fashion businesses across the city during Designblok to help bring the event to people who otherwise might not attend.

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