Prague International Design Festival


Designblok Cosmos is heading to Milan Design Week. The Intergalactic Beauty of Czech Design will park at Superdesign Show

19. 3. 2024

Designblok Cosmos is touching down in a unique metallic capsule mounted on a space-age six-wheeler. Bringing ten original glass works made by ten foremost contemporary Czech designers, this unique exhibition offers an immersive audiovisual show overlooking the infinite vistas of space. Through experimenting with glass – the traditional Czech material – the exhibited objects present unique design approaches, fine craftsmanship and the Czech glass masters’ know-how, while showing the diverse technologies and most cutting-edge production methods used in Czech factories and workshops. Designblok, Prague International Design Festival is taking the travelling exhibition project abroad for the very first time. At Milan Design Week – the largest world design fair – its sleek beauty will certainly attract the interest of thousands of design lovers along with foremost experts, curators, gallerists and salespeople. Designblok Cosmos will land at the prestigious Superdesign Show at Superstudio Più, part of the Zona Tortona complex inside the heart of Milan, running from 15–21 April 2024, and the entrance to the exhibition is free. The concept for this exceptional show developed in conversation among the Designblok team and the PPF Foundation, who were searching for ways to spread awareness about Czech design in the world.

For over twenty-five years, Designblok has been cultivating the Czech design scene by collaborating with renowned designers, supporting young artists, connecting makers with industry representatives, spreading awareness among the general public and representing Czech design on the international scene. And this exterior exhibition connects all these things into one whole – the cosmic capsule comprises a movable gallery which presents ten original glass works made by ten of Czechia’s best designers. This curatorial selection of Designblok’s director Jana Zielinski and creative director Jiří Macek presents those artists and makers who have been closely connected to the festival since its inception – Jakub Berdych Karpelis, DECHEM studio, Lucie Koldová, Václav Mlynář, Lukáš Novák, Jiří Pelcl, Rony Plesl, Tadeáš Podracký, Maxim Velčovský and Jan Plecháč, who is also the mastermind behind the exhibition’s innovative architectural presentation. A freight trailer was custom fitted for exhibiting purposes and, once parked in the intended location, it provides an exhibition space of 65 m2. The interior is covered with 170 Mirox 4Green+ lead-free mirrors with water-based coating, made in ecological fashion by AGC Glass Europe, and the capsule’s outside is draped in a silver reflexive casing.

“The Designblok Cosmos travelling exhibition will travel the world and carry the banner of Czech glass abroad. It was this nomadic character which inspired me the most when designing the exhibition architecture. My aim was to design a unique show, a travelling circus which would introduce the visitors to design in a bit of a different light than they might be used to, offering them a once-in-a-lifetime audiovisual experience. It was also necessary to fulfill all requirements for the technical specifications. It is, after all, a mobile object which must allow for simple installation and de-installation, while being able to function with a truck as a classic freight trailer during transport,” explains Jan Plecháč, the exhibition’s architect. The audiovisual effects were made in collaboration with Lunchmeat studio and the installation’s original sound design was composed by Aid Kid.

The common theme of the exhibited works can be found in the material used: glass. It is a traditional material for Czechia and the works presented at this spectacular installation thematize our endless cosmic journey. The exhibition celebrates the past 25 years of Designblok and the long road which Czech design and society have walked hand in hand over the course of the past quarter century. The original objects deftly work with luminescence and express the artists’ free-hand approach to design, the material and their craft, as well as showing their very diverse production technologies, the traditions they draw on, the various know-hows of Czech companies and manufacturers, and a taste for experimentation and the most cutting-edge approaches available. Designblok Cosmos also addresses the themes of reflection and infinity, but ultimately leaves the question of the Cosmos’ infinity open for the audience. The works remain equally silent on the mystery of human inspiration. The exhibition rather shows that the inner cosmos reflects the outer world, and the outer cosmos reflects our inner worlds.

The Designblok Cosmos exhibition was presented to audiences for the first time as part of the 25th Designblok, Prague International Design Festival in the Royal Garden of Prague Castle, where over the span of two weeks it drew tens of thousands of visitors. It now has the chance to shine at the world’s most prestigious design fair, the Milan Design Week, visited every year by over three hundred thousand experts and design lovers from 180 world countries. Designblok will furthermore touch down at the prestigious Superstudio Più location as part of the Superdesign Show exhibition in the city center, and is sure to grab the attention of international journalists, curators, gallerists and salespeople. “The Designblok Cosmos exhibition is fantastic, walking a path of true quality, and I cannot wait until I see it in Milan,” says designer, art director and Superdesign Show’s co-creator Giulio Cappellini.

“Designblok Cosmos is a heartthrob project for us. We have been preparing this exhibition of the crème de la crème of Czech design for years, and it recently premiered as part of the 25th anniversary of Designblok – Prague’s international festival of contemporary design. This is the first time we are presenting it abroad, and we are thrilled that it is at the Milan Design Week. 10 best Czech designers, 10 new and original glass works, 10 diverse approaches to production technology and 10 unique authorial styles – simply the top ten of Czech craft, art and pride, presented inside a spectacular space capsule designed by acclaimed Czech designer Jan Plecháč. Czech design’s international tour of intergalactic beauty is ready for lift off!” says Jana Zielinski, director of the Designblok festival and co-curator of the Designblok Cosmos exhibition.

The development of the unique Designblok Cosmos exhibition and its journey to Milan has been supported by the PPF Foundation. “Designblok Cosmos fits perfectly with the principles and values we honor at the PPF Foundation. It builds on centuries of tradition of the Czech glassmaking craft and the recognition it has achieved in the world. At the same time, it presents exceptional people of our contemporary design world, furthermore in a very unconventional form, an artistic gesture in itself. I am very happy that, following its unique premiere at last year’s Designblok, the time has come to launch this unique presentation of Czech design into the wider world, as we had in fact envisioned since the project’s initiation. We could not imagine a better place than the iconic Milan Design Week for its first international journey, and look forward to the exhibition spreading the good name of Czech design and talent abroad,” says Jana Tomas Sedláčková, Member of PPF Foundation’s Board of Directors.

“Glass has been an integral part of our country’s identity and has always been connected with its makers and producers. It is an ideal medium for exploring reality, but also draws on its own cosmos of shapes and meanings. The Designblok Cosmos exhibition provides the public with a view into the world of Czech designers and the mastery of Czech producers. Its ambition is to bring awareness to the wider world, spread the good name of Czech design, and be a beacon of light. I believe in the successful mission of Designblok Cosmos both at home and abroad. I wish the audiences an inspiring experience of searching and finding one’s own cosmos, the world we all carry within; although we can sometimes lose our way in it, or even fail to find it. That is also the power of art, creation, the imagination; the power of Designblok. And just as the cosmos is unfathomable, so too are our imaginations, our inner world and its possibilities. I wish the Designblok Cosmos exhibition a successful journey!” says Mr. Martin Baxa, the Czech Minister of Culture.

The AGC glassworks became the exhibition’s partner. “The producers’ idea to cover the interior of the Designblok Cosmos exhibition with mirrors was inspired by the motif of infinity. And because we recently launched to market our premium Mirox 4Green+ – an ecological, lead-free mirror with a water-based coating – the cooperation with Designblok was an ideal opportunity to present it to the public. Over 170 mirrors were produced in the Kryry glassworks for the Designblok Cosmos exhibition. We are a proud partner of Designblok and are overjoyed that the magical mirroring experience inside the exhibition will be made possible with glass produced by AGC,” says Petra Takáčová, marketing communications director for central Europe, AGC Flat Glass Czech a. s., member of the AGC Group and the exhibition’s partner.

The Designblok Cosmos exhibition is accompanied by a voluminous catalog featuring interviews with authors and original photographs by foremost Czech photographer Václav Jirásek. The exhibition of the Superdesign Show will be accompanied by an informational booklet, providing information about the individual works, guided tours, as well as networking meetings of the designers with journalists, curators, gallerists and company representatives, both from Czechia and abroad.

The Designblok Cosmos exhibition will be on display for audiences as part of the Superdesign Show at Superstudio Più at Zona Tortona (address: Via Tortona, 27 – Milan) from 15–21 April 2024, the entrance is free.

About exhibition:

Designblok Cosmos: The Intergalactic Beauty of Czech Design
Superdesign Show, Superstudio Più (E3)
Via Tortona, 27, Milan
16–20 April 2024, 11 AM – 9 PM
21 April 2024, 11 AM – 6 PM
VIP & Press Preview: April 15, 2024, 3–8 PM


Curators: Jana Zielinski, Jiří Macek
Exhibition architect: Jan Plecháč
Represented artists: Jakub Berdych Karpelis, DECHEM studio, Lucie Koldová, Václav Mlynář, Lukáš Novák, Jiří Pelcl, Jan Plecháč, Rony Plesl, Tadeáš Podracký, Maxim Velčovský
Objects produced by Czech glassmakers were made in the following glassworks: Ajeto, Bomma, Brokis, G1 Glass Art Studio, Hunat Glass, Martin Janecký, Mikaglass, Moser, Vitrum Vivum
Sound and lights: Lunchmeat studio
Sound designer: Aid Kid
Photography: Václav Jirásek
Graphic design: Martina Černá / Imagery
Production manager: Šimon Borecký
Promotion: Patrik Florián
Partnerships: Adéla Hlavatá
Project manager: Tereza Knolová
Exhibition production: Scénografie
Producer: Designblok, Prague International Design Festival


Realized as part of the "Designblok Cosmos" project, project reg. no. 0314000275, with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic as part of the National Recovery Plan – Status of the Artist, Call no. 4/2023 – Mobility III (0314).



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