Prague International Design Festival


From Prague through Milan to Liberec, Designblok Cosmos will park at the Regional Gallery Liberec

23. 5. 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. The exhibited objects present personal design approaches, fine craftsmanship and the Czech glass masters’ know-how, also showing the use of diverse technologies and the most cutting-edge production methods used in Czech factories and workshops. After its premiere in Prague and its first presentation abroad in Milan, the travelling exhibition made by Designblok, Prague International Design Festival is coming to Liberec. The unique pieces representing the best of contemporary Czech glass are returning to the region whose master glassmakers originally gave them life. Designblok Cosmos will be on view at the Regional Gallery in Liberec from June 14–23 as part of the ten-day festival 10 let Galerie v Lázních (10 Years of the Baths Gallery) and the launch of its summer exhibition season.

The Regional Gallery in Liberec is the fifth largest exhibition institution of its kind in Czechia, and in early 2014 it moved from Liebieg Manor into the spaces of the former city baths. The gallery’s presence in the spaces of the former baths was designed by the SIAL architectural studio. This year, it is celebrating its tenth anniversary with a ten-day festival featuring a rich cultural and educational program. The celebrations will launch the gallery’s summer season and a spate of exciting exhibitions: Milan Houser – Přitažlivost; Dagmar Šubrtová – Někdy z dálky doléhá vše; an exhibition dedicated to the local landmark entitled Horizont hory: Krajina pod Ještědem; and Designblok Cosmos: The Intergalactic Beauty of Czech Design. Over the span of ten days, the gallery will offer a rich accompanying program – PechaKucha Night, a projection of the silent film Faust accompanied by the music of Nauzea Orchestra, a guided tour for the public, educational activities for children and many other events.

“As a representative exhibition of Czech design and a showcase for the Czech Republic at the Milan Design Week festival, the Designblok Cosmos project was in the making for two years. I am overjoyed that the exhibition in Milan was visited by eminent designers, curators and journalists, as well as over eighty thousand visitors who shared with the world via social networks and by other means the message that Czech design is world-class. We are confident that we will meet many of them in Prague this autumn at the 26th Designblok. I am also very happy that Mr. Filip Suchomel, the director of the Regional Gallery in Liberec, chose the Designblok Cosmos exhibition as one of the central exhibitions for the 10 Let Galerie v Lázních festival, as well as for this year’s Grand Opening. It was exactly what we had hoped for. Designblok Cosmos is on the road, approaching professionals and the general public and giving Czech design, the glassmaking craft and Designblok festival a good name,” says Jana Zielinski, director of the Designblok festival and co-curator of Designblok Cosmos.

“The region of northern Bohemia where Liberec lies has always been the home of the glassmaking craft and glass production. It has many large and small glassworks, is the home of brands such as Lasvit or Preciosa, and dozens of future masters of this virtuous craft graduate from its three most respected glassmaking schools each year. So I am very happy that as part of the ten-day festival commemorating the tenth anniversary of our institution’s relocation to the building of the former city baths, we have prepared for our audiences the unique, futuristic project entitled Designblok Cosmos, which presents the works of ten iconic masters of contemporary Czech glass, design and craft coming from this region,” says Filip Suchomel, director of the Regional Gallery in Liberec.

For twenty-five years, Designblok has been focusing on the development of the Czech design scene, collaborating with renowned designers, supporting young artists, connecting creators and industry, spreading awareness among the general public and presenting Czech design abroad. All this is composed in the unique exterior exhibition – a cosmic capsule, a movable gallery which hides ten original glass works made by ten top-notch Czech designers. The curatorial selection made by Designblok’s director Jana Zielinski and Designblok’s creative director Jiří Macek features designers who have been intimately connected with the festival – 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 the exhibition and once parked in the intended location it provides an exhibition space of 65m2. The interior is covered with 170 mirrors and the capsule’s outside is draped in a silver reflexive casing. The audiovisual effects were co-created by Lunchmeat Studio and the original sound design accompanying the exhibition 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 past quarter century. The original objects deftly work with luminescence and express the artists’ free-hand approach to design, the material and their craft while showing their very diverse production technologies and the traditions they draw on. They also show the various know-hows of Czech companies and manufacturers, presenting their taste for experimentation and the most cutting-edge approaches available today.

The exhibition was first presented to the public in October 2023 as part of the 25th Designblok at the Royal Gardens of Prague Castle where it drew tens of thousands of visitors over the span of two weeks. And in April 2024, Designblok Cosmos got its first taste of international success at the world’s largest design exhibition. During the Superdesign Show – a seven-day prestigious showcase – it wowed some 80 000 design lovers from all over the world. Liberec is the third stop of this travelling exhibition, bringing the exhibited pieces back to the place where the masters of glass originally gave them life.

The concept for this exceptional exhibition developed from the discussions between the teams of Designblok and the PPF Foundation which centered around methods of presenting Czech design to the world. “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. It also presents the works in a very unconventional form, which is an artistic gesture in itself. I am very happy that, following its premiere at last year’s Designblok and its immensely successful arrival at the iconic Milan Design Week, Designblok Cosmos will now touch down in the region which has become synonymous with the art of glassmaking,” says Jana Tomas Sedláčková, member of the PPF Foundation Board of Directors. The exhibition’s partner is AGC Glass Europe which has equipped the interior with a series of Mirox 4Green+ lead-free mirrors made in a water-based, ecological manner.

The Designblok Cosmos exhibition is accompanied by a voluminous catalog featuring interviews with authors and original photographs by foremost Czech photographer Václav Jirásek. The event in Liberec will also feature a brochure with detailed information about the works, guided tours and will also have the designers meet the public.

The Designblok Cosmos exhibition will be open to the public in the spaces of the Regional Gallery in Liberec 14–23 June 2024 and will be covered by the gallery entrance fee. The exhibition opening will take place on Thursday, June 13 from 7PM.


Designblok Cosmos: The Intergalactic Beauty of Czech Design
10 Let Galerie v Lázních festival
Regional Gallery in Liberec

Masarykova 723/14, 460 01 Liberec
14.–23. June 2024
Monday–Wednesday 10AM–6PM
Thursday 10AM–8PM
Friday–Sunday 10AM–6PM

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