Design and transformation: CZECH LANDSCAPE

Design and transformation

Stories of Czech Design 1990-2020


Part of the Design and Transformation exhibition organised on the occasion of the Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union in Brussels is on display in Prague.


10. 2.–18. 3. 2023

Opening: 16. 2. 2023 at 6 pm
Gallery UM, UMPRUM, nám. Jana Palacha 80, Prague 1

Design and transformation: CZECH LANDSCAPE

Last year UMPRUM together with the Moravian Gallery in Brno, the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic, and other partners undertook a very prestigious and responsible task. On the occasion of the Czech Presidency of the EU Council, they presented Czech design in Brussels. The UM Gallery now has the opportunity to exhibit part of the Design and Transformation. Stories of Czech Design 1990 - 2020 exhibition to the Czech public. 

The exhibition, which is subtitled Czech Landscape, includes selected works by students, graduates, and teachers of UMPRUM, and through animated documentaries and photographs by Vojtěch Veškrna, it presents selected works of Czech companies in a playful and original way. Czech Landscape brings to Prague an exhibition that was on display at the Prague House in Brussels and partly at the Design Museum Brussels.

The curators and architectural designers of the exhibition are Terezie Lexová, a graduate of the Product Design Studio at UMPRUM, and Štěpán Smetana, a student of the same studio. The selection of works and the installation designed by them are inspired by the Czech landscape. "This part of the exhibition in Brussels represented the work of UMPRUM. We tried to include works related to this theme and at the same time present both established designers and young talents still studying at UMPRUM", says Terezie Lexová about the selection.

Among these works we can mention, for example, the porcelain statuettes Allegory of Covid by Monika Martykánová, who was inspired by pandemic measures, or Markéta Jebavá's original panels created using felted wool from Czech sheep. Among the exhibiting educators, the studio of Olgoj Chorchoj and their stylish sleighs are presented, as well as Rony Plesl, who is represented by a set of drinking glassware for the Bernard brewery. The selection is also matched by specially designed furnishings for the exhibition, which replicate the relief of the Czech landscape. 

The second equally important part of the exhibition is the presentation of six animated documentaries prepared by a team of young filmmakers from UMPRUM and the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (AMU) under the direction of Michaela Režová from the Academy of Arts, Architecture, and Design in Prague. The films were created especially for the occasion of the exhibition and are primarily an impression and outline of the story, vision, and history of the brand. The film crews had the opportunity to go directly into the production of, for example, Bomma and Lasvit glassworks, Průša Research, TON, and into the heart of the Textile Mountain project. "Czech industry has a good reputation abroad. Recent years seem to have uprooted generous ideas of a dignified and comprehensive presentation. The exhibition is a reaction to the indolence of the domestic scene to present the work of Czech designers abroad. We are faced with the task of strengthening the social awareness of companies, their willingness to participate in a joint presentation and in building the national brand", says Radek Sidun, former Vice-Rector and teacher at UMPRUM, who has been leading the whole project from the beginning.

The UM Gallery will also allow the domestic audience to experience the atmosphere associated with the presentation of the Czech Republic's Presidency of the Council of the European Union. From February 10th to March 18th, it will be possible to see that we have a lot to be proud of. 

About the exhibition project Design and Transformation
The exhibition Design and Transformation. Stories of Czech Design 1990-2020 was an important part of the cultural programmes organised on the occasion of the Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Prepared by the Academy of Arts, Architecture, and Design in Prague together with the Moravian Gallery in Brno, the Office of the Government, and other institutions.
The two exhibitions presented Czech culture and industry in fields linking aspects of politics concerning production and art. The section at Design Museum Brussels focused on the complex fate of Czech design and presented it in a political and historical context. The selection of fourteen companies included both large and traditional producers as well as relatively young, established projects in a diverse range of represented materials and disciplines. The selection of companies in particular illustrated particularly well how political and social contexts can influence - transform - the final form of products. Another theme explored was the role of design in improving people's contemporary lives and the environment in which they live.

The section in the Prague House, subtitled Czech Landscape, presented a sample of contemporary Czech design work, not only industrial but especially studio work. The selection included works by students, graduates, and teachers of UMPRUM.


Represented companies: Amanita Design, BOMMA, Botas/PÁR, Český porcelán, Egoé, Lasvit, Linet, mmcité, Strážnický modrotisk, Prusa3D, Škoda Auto, Textile Mountain, TON. 


Project Manager: Radek Sidun
Concept: Daniela Kramerová, Michal Froněk, Jiří Pelcl, Radek Sidun,
Terezie Lexová, and Štěpán Smetana.
Curators: Daniela Kramerová, Terezie Lexová, and Štěpán Smetana.
Collaboration: Lada Hubatová-Vacková, Pavla Pauknerová, and Klára Peloušková.
Architecture and installation: Terezie Lexová, Štěpán Smetana.
Production: Symona Půhonná, Michaela Kaplánková.
Photography: Vojtěch Veškrna
Graphic design: Tereza Saitzová, Olga Benešová.
Films: Collective team of filmmakers led by Michaela Režová (Zdeněk Durdil, Barbora Halířová, Magdalena Hejzlarová, Diana Cam Van Nguyen, Ondřej Slavík, Thanh Mai Tranová, Lukáš Janičík, David Ticháček, Miroslav Chaloupka, Patrik Velek).
Production and organizational support of AMU: Jan Hančil, Hana Šťastná, Vojtěch Kába, Max Niedoba, Ondřej Šejnoha, and the FAMU Studio Collective, Petr Vlček.
Film Music: students of the Department of Composition of the AMU Faculty of Music and Dance (Tomáš Borl, Richard Grimm, Haštal Hapka, Tobiáš Horváth, and Pavel Nesit under the direction of Michal Rataj).
Instagram: czech_dandt

This project, realized in cooperation with the Moravian Gallery in Brno, was made possible thanks to the generosity and financial support of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic (project C30-2022: Exhibition and cultural activities of UMPRUM and AMU in support of the Czech Presidency of the Council of Europe).
The exhibition was also supported by the PPF Foundation, Škoda Auto a.s., ČEPRO, a.s.