UMPRUM.wav will be presented in Prague

Connecting music and design at Designblok 2023

4. – 8. 10. 2023
Opening: 3. 10. at 6 pm
Studio Hrdinů, Trade Fair Palace, Dukelských hrdinů 47/7, Prague 7

Open: daily 10 am – 9 pm
Free entry

The exhibition is part of the Designblok 23 festival. 

Detailed information about the project can be found on the website

Carry yourself on the waves of music. Discover new instruments, and play with sound and melody. After a successful presentation at Milan Design Week, the UMPRUM.wav project will be presented at Designblok 23.

UMPRUM.wav will be presented in Prague

The multi-genre project of the Academy of Arts, Architecture, and Design in Prague, which garnered attention at Milan Design Week, offers a way to understand the structure of music and to gain a different perspective on sound and musical instruments. It is the result of a long-term collaboration between designers, leading Czech musicians, and music theorists. The installation will be on display at Studio Hrdinů as part of the Designblok 23 event.

UMPRUM.wav is based on the collaboration of various studios of the school with a number of other experts. The main impulse came from the Studio of Product Design, led by Michal Froněk and Jan Němeček. Both are very connected to music, Jan sings in the choir and plays guitar, and Michal is a self-described audiophile who has fallen in love with music reproduction systems and vintage electronics.

They worked with their students on music theory, forms of sound, and preparing to tackle the complex design problem of creating new musical instruments and sound design. At the end of the entire creative process, functional acoustic instruments were created that developed on the basic archetypes of string and wind instruments in a unique way. For example, Karolína Vintrová based her minimalist instrument on the form of the didgeridoo, which in her conception wraps around and embraces the human body. Ivo Jedlička was inspired by the monochord on which Pythagoras traced the connections between music, mathematics, and astronomy. "Of the five instruments on display, my favourite is probably Miloslav Chytil's organ, which he constructed from various plastic waste pipes tuned to musical tones and powered by an ordinary workshop compressor," says Michal Froněk.

The fact that this is a project that has a chance to find a place in the music world is proven by the collaboration with various musicians. "The cooperation with UMPRUM was great and inspiring, I met very skilled students and creators. I had the opportunity to rehearse with Sara Jedličková and then record the instruments in Soundsquare. Many of them are sonically beautiful, like the organ, brass, or all the stringed instruments but I don't want to leave anything out. And it's definitely not just about the look, their sonic character is powerful in itself and greatly inspires the subsequent creation. I have used the samples in my recordings for Milano and in the future I will be very happy to use them in my own work", says musician and composer Sára Vondrášková, who performs under the artistic name Never Sol.

The experimental music and the specific sounds of the instruments made by UMPRUM students were professionally recorded in the Soundsquare studio. Visitors will be able to experiment with sounds via a special mixing console. In addition, it will be possible to purchase an audio cassette from the limited collection with recordings of the instruments and a demonstration of their capabilities. A customized projection on light panels will complete the overall atmosphere.

"The UMPRUM.wav project has enriched the work of the studio, and its creators, I must say, it has been fulfilling for us teachers as well. To my very pleasant surprise, I discovered how musical our students are. And I consider this another important element for the multidisciplinarity and application of designers. They managed not only to create experimental sound instruments, but also to link digital and analogue soundtracks that can be further played with. The companies Quix and Soundsquare were a great help in this", summarises Michal Froněk.

The installation UMPRUM.wav will be available for free at Studio Hrdinů as part of the Designblok show. In addition to the exhibition itself, performances are planned as part of the Cirque parties, which are created in collaboration with prominent figures of the Czech design scene.

Interview with Never Sol about the UMPRUM.wav project, UMPRUM tools, and the role of the visitor at the Milan exhibition: READ HERE

Project Leadership: Michal Froněk.
Installation: Sofia Artemeva, and Miloslav Chytil.
Concept: Jan Lechner, Sofia Artemeva, Ivo Jedlička, Miloslav Chytil, and Theodor Hozák.
Exhibitors: Miloslav Chytil, Theodor Hozák, Ivo Jedlička, Natália Krišťáková, and Karolína Vintrová.
Production: Šárka Váňová
Graphic design: Oskar Koutný, and Kateřina Pravdová.
Web: Alžběta Volhejnová 
Animation: Natálie Portíková
Texts: Vít Novák, and Zuzana Řičářová.
Musical accompaniment: Sára Vondrášková, and Sarah Jedličková.
Technical support: Matyáš Černý
Recording studio: Soundsquare
Equipment: Quix


A big thanks to Quix for their support of the project and the lending of the audio equipment.

The project partner is Studio Hrdinů.

The project reg. no. 0215000013 was carried out with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture, the National Regeneration Plan, and the European Union.

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