Česká centra, Czech Centres

Česká centra / Czech centres - logo

Press Releases

The Story of Czech Design - 30 Years of New Identity

Embark on a little journey round the contemporary Czech design world admiring the innovative and often humorous design of everyday objects made from traditional glass, porcelain and wood. The Czech Centre London opens its doors to emblematic design pieces which map the last three decades of modern Czech design from the 1989 Velvet Revolution to the work of young, emerging designers. Don't miss the Czech designers who are well known to the British public and art collectors such as Maxim Velčovský with his Little Joseph candle holder and Rony Plesl, who will also be exhibiting at the V&A in September during the London Design Festival.

8 July - 22 September 2019
Czech Centre London, 30 Kensington Palace Gardens, London, W8 4QY

Private View - Friday 5 July - 6:30pm
Exhibition - Mon - Fri - 10-6, free entry  
#Czechdesign @CzechCentreLnd

The Story of Czech Design - 30 Years of Czech Identity shows traditional Czech industrial and ethnic craftwork such as Bohemian glass, as well as other unique art forms and design products that resulted from the fusion of Czech art with contemporaneous aesthetic forms from America and Europe. Some of the designs, such as TON chairs, have been part of the Czech cultural heritage and created inseparable part of the of Czech identity.

"Design is a phenomenon which intensively echoes social and political changes in the society. Modern product design pieces showcased in the Czech Centre London therefor exemplify the unique aesthetics and exhilarating design of the country which in the autumn 1989 shook off socialism and started setting up democratic state", says the director of Czech Centre London Přemysl Pela.

The elegance and dynamic appearance, functionality and constructive refinement of many everyday objects, no matter if it is furniture or pottery, appear as unmistakable Czech phenomena in design. In an international design scene that often demands interchangeable results, young Czech designers can assert themselves with remarkable independence and uniqueness, especially seen in the contemporary avant-garde pieces by the Qubus studio as well as in the iconic objects of Czech design history such as TON chairs.

In the early 1990s, during the transformation period in Czech Republic, many designers came back from emigration and set up their own design studios, while the old ones either closed down or had to start again from scratch. That was also the time when design became an important national economy factor, a respected course of study, and a leisure time activity of the young generation who created new studios - Olgoj Chorchoj, MMcité, Studio Najbrt and hipposdesign.

And it has been through the young designers, who are highly aware of the tradition of Czech industrial production, OKOLO, DECHEM, deFORM, Lucie Koldová, Jan Čapek Vrtiška & Žák, Plecháč & Wielghus, Klára Šumová, Herman & Coufal or Tadeáš Podracký, who can now raise it to the new heights by developing new shapes, methods and technologies. Czech design has become fully integrated into the international context and firms professing the highest quality and original presentation of their products at international exhibitions of design are received with unprecedented interest.


More information: www.czechcentre.org.uk
For images and other press enquiries please contact:
Tereza Matysová - comms@czechcentre.org.uk, 07768 935 361
Twitter: twitter.com/CzechCentreLnd 
Facebook: www.facebook.com/londonczechcentre 
Instagram: www.instagram.com/czechcentrelondon


The Czech Centre's mission is to actively promote the Czech Republic by showcasing Czech culture in the UK.  Its programme covers visual and performing arts, film, literature, music, architecture, design and fashion. As well as hosting its own events, the Czech Centre offers support for other groups organising Czech related initiatives in the UK. It is a non-political organisation supported by the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs as part of a worldwide network of 22 Czech Centres. The Czech Centre is a member of EUNIC (European Union National Institutes for Culture).

Download the press release in pdf format:


Jakub Berdych - Hande Hoch
photo: Gabriel Urbánek            

Maxim Velčovský: Little Joseph (2006) / Qubus
Candle holder, porcelain, 8,5 x 11,5, cm
Photo: Gabriel Urbánek

hipposdesign - PUR          

Zdeněk Lhotský: Virtucell Bowl


Rony Plesl: Hand-cut crystal bowl from Krakatit collection / Ruckl