ARTSEMESTR Winter 2021 Selection
Final projects during the current pandemic situation, where all studios rely on distance learning, online consultations, and work with the most commonly available material, often without the possibility of using workshop tools, is a real challenge. It is admirable how humbly and responsibly students approached their work, despite the lockdown and the complications associated with it. Some students had to completely change their creative process, by trying new methods isolated in home conditions, simplify and extract their visions. Many of the projects build on and are inspired by the current situation of a closed-off world, or seek solutions and ways of mitigating for us all. The vast majority of this year's final projects are thematically connected by a tendency for social issues, ethics and reflect the disadvantaged.
Adéla Vavříková, a student of the Studio of Architecture I, created an original solution for social housing situated by the railroad tracks below Vítkov Hill, which takes advantage of an unused courtyard behind the Ponec Theater. Her project takes into account the needs of individuals and families in poverty who find themselves in a crisis situation and need social housing. Another architectural collective project of three students from the Studio of Architecture III, Kateřina Suchánková, Hugo Fekar, and Eva Kvaššavová, deals with accommodation, but for students. In the final project Virtual Dormitory, the design trio applies an algorithm and computational procedures to reorganize modular spaces located on the roof of the new UMPRUM building in the street Mikulandská. The architectural projects conclude with a poetic vision of the Monument to Fallen Skyscrapers, in which Hana Turnovská reflects on the ethics of constant demolition and new construction of high-rise buildings in Manhattan and offers a monument reminiscent of a lost Genius loci and fallen ideas embodied by demolished skyscrapers.
A very current topic in the present pandemic situation is the final project by Daniel Pokorný from the Studio of Industrial Design, whose assignment was to design disinfectant Desi(g)nfekce - to clean, and treat with the help of design. The resulting solution is an autonomous robot that can independently disinfect large areas, including hard-to-reach places. On the contrary, student Karolína Vintrová from the Studio of Product Design managed to reflect on and materialize feedback towards people, who are in need not only now, in a time where helping the weak and sick are especially needed, but they have selflessly helped others all their lives. The linden branch a sign of goodness is thus a symbolic thank you to all who think unselfishly of their surroundings. Marieta Tedenacová from the Studio of Glass testifies to the fact that time is running completely differently than we were used to. In her Chronometer Series project, she creates a new perspective on timekeeping and thinks about whether it is important to have time under constant control in the context of the current state of timelessness.
Two students from the Studio of Ceramics and Porcelain are connected by the theme of family memory and the roots of another culture. In Nonna Lorenz's ceramic collection Carevna chlebovna (Tsarina of bread), she reflects on the Russian tradition of prison culture, folklore, and its aesthetics, which is reflected in the final raw product and also has a great informative value about the political situation in Russia. The project Nová naděje (New hope) by Quynh Trang Tran is also based on family history, which with its stacks of folded clothing and with its contrasting glazes refers to the situation of the artist's parents who came to Czechoslovakia from Vietnam in the 1980s.
In the Fashion Design Studio, where the assignment was completely free, Štěpán Mareš created a Unisex fashion line, which is specific primarily for its gender neutrality and ideally targets non-binary individuals. Alexandra Gnidiaková, a student of the Studio of Fashion and Footwear Design, created a fictitious brand in collaboration with Tereza Saitz and Karolína Matušková. Her project Persona is characterized by the personification of a fashion piece, which is connected to the birth certificate, which records all the steps from the production and subsequent life of the fabric. The aim is to awaken a personal bond in the owner and wearer, which aims to support slow fashion. Eliška Hanušová from the Studio of Textile Design had somewhat untraditional preparations for her final project that took place in a field, with the materials and cattails that she collected in nature she subsequently created experimental facial objects/masks. The project has a strong nostalgia for childhood, which was the main emotion of the designer in the preparation of this project called Time to Experiment - Remember Childhood.
Very personal and intimate project forms are two diaries that were created in two different studios. Under the leadership of the Studio of Illustration and Graphics, Jantra Šímová created a fictional Diary of Ota Zadák, which she inserted into a found notebook. She told a story that may never have started, but thanks to the upcycling of an old notebook, Ota Zadák's life was given a second chance. The second diary, this time Data Diary, was created in the Studio of Graphic Design and Visual Communications. Foreign student Leslie Dunker first observed her own life and performed a critical analysis that helped translate the output data into an original form of visual communication.
On the contrary, resignation to a classic form of final projects is represented by a guerrilla project by a student of the Studio of Type Design and Typography, who wishes to perform under the pseudonym Pišta, malíř pokojů (room painter). In his final project Očista (cleansing), he painted the typography studio white in hopes that this change and supply of light will bring positive energy to all colleagues for the next semester.
Student Thanh Mai Tranová from the Studio of Film and TV Graphics decided to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the studio in the form of a short animated documentary Volné ruce (Free Hands), in which she interviews past students and a former teacher and seeks an answer to a common question - can an artist's style survive in commercial practice? The last presented project is the work of Eva Rotreklová from the Studio of Graphic Design and New Media, which in the video Find Fifteen Differences focuses on the phenomenon of competition, which is often inflected in the contemporary art world. The current trend in evaluating the quality of work can be fatal for many emerging artists.