On Wednesday, April 29, the winners of the Czech Grand Design Awards were announced during a special programme shown on ČT art TV channel. The 2019 awards went to the best designers in the categories of design, fashion, jewellery, photography, illustration and graphic design. The absolute winner of this year's edition is Lucie Koldová who repeated her success from 2012 and thus became the only person to win two Grand Designer of the Year titles in the history of the Awards. The visual artist and illustrator Květa Pacovská was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Each winner receives a trophy named A Piece of Dream designed by Tereza Rosalie Kladošová. Due to the ongoing restrictions this year's winners were announced in a special documentary programme directed by Tomáš Luňák.
Only a few Czech designers can boast so many successes in Czechia and abroad as Lucie Koldová, designer of the eponymous brand and creative director at Brokis. In the past years she attracted attention thanks to her exceptional product designs of furniture and lamps created for many prestigious brands; and also as the author of the 2019 Designblok's main exhibition Designerie. A year before, she became the first Czech designer to present her vision in the project Das Haus in Cologne. And finally, this year she won the most prestigious award of the 2019 Czech Grand Design Awards, the Grand Designer of the Year - Erste Premier Award as well as the title Designer of the Year 2019 – Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic Award, in one of the most popular disciplines of furniture design.
'In her work, Lucie Koldová always seeks usefulness, something that resonates with her idea of functionality. This is perfectly reflected in her new furniture collection Manta for mmcité1. The shape of the bent aluminium plate sitting on a delicate steel structure was inspired by the movement of a Manta ray, hence the name of the collection. On a piece of Manta furniture, you can read, enjoy your cup of coffee, relax. The playfulness of the collection is enhanced by the different colour versions. The collection proved its merits also at Designblok as it was part of the Designerie exhibition. The Table XX for the Slovak furniture company Javorina shows the intention to create a delicate, feminine design with a distinctive personal style. The refined roughness of solid timber meets a gentle and elegant design which is so typical for Lucie's work. Elegance is part of her style as she has already shown in her collection of chairs Celine for the German brand Freifrau. In this case she made used of the contrast between rich drapery and delicate metal base,' says Alena Řezníčková, journalist and member of the Designer of the Year jury.
It is interesting to note that Lucie Koldová participated in all editions of the Czech Grand Design Awards except for one. Her first success dates back to 2007 and 2008 when she was a nominee in the category Discovery of the Year; after that she was always part of the most prestigious category Designer of the Year. She made it to the finals several times, won the title three times and once she was also nominated in the category Jewellery Designer of the Year. This year she was awarded, for the second time, the most precious trophy of the Grand Designer of the Year - Erste Premier Award. 'Lucie Koldová's success in 2019 was absolutely phenomenal as she became the only designer to be awarded the title of the Grand Designer for the second time,' explains Jana Zielinski, member of the Preparatory Committee and Director of Designblok.
The winner of the very closely followed category of Fashion Design is Jan Černý, who presented an outstanding redesign of the classic Prestige footwear Prestige x Jan and his own Autumn/Winter 2019 fashion collection. This year's best jewellery designer is Eliška Lhotská with her minimalist jewellery collection so inspired by water and its possible lack in the future. The best producer of the year and Design for Export Award holder is the company Master & Master who produced the chair Cocon by Lucie Koldová and also bench Steps by the duo Herrmann & Coufal. The discovery of the year is Vítek Škop thanks to his complex project Vividooks offering an innovative approach to teaching physics at schools.
The nominees in the categories focusing not on making a product but on visually capturing it, i.e. photography, illustration and graphic design, were all prominent figures of Czech design world. The photographer of the year is Michaela Karásek Čejková awarded for her photography of the jewellery collection by Janji Prokić, of the fashion collection by the duo Ester and Josefina, of the visuals of the festival Mezipatra and of her own original project Czechia. As for the graphic design the Academy chose Jan Matoušek the author of the visual concept of the exhibition and graphic design of the book Diktátor času: (De) kontextualizace fenoménu Laterny magiky. The best illustrator of the year is Nikola Logosová for her illustrations for the children's books POZOR DOKTOR! Dějiny medicíny v sedmi dnech and Klub divných dětí.
The Czech Grand Design Awards not only award the winners in eight categories and present the main prize but they also induct a prominent personality of design to the Hall of Fame for his or her contribution to the field. This year, it is the visual artist, graphic designer and illustrator Květa Pacovská.
The trophy for the 14th edition, a series of objects in a box entitled A Piece of Dream, was created by last year's winner Tereza Rosalie Kladošová. 'The prize is a collection of objects from my dream trip to Mexico. Each winner will get something different and unique. The box is a cosy den for all the objects I brought back. But the objects and the box are not that important. What is important for me is the idea they convey: Be courageous, let's do things differently. Let the dreams come true because dreams are what life is constituted of. And let's venture out of our comfort zone,' explains the author.
This year's ceremony was held in a special regime due to the ongoing restrictions against the coronavirus pandemics and took form of a documentary film directed by Tomáš Luňák who showed portraits of the nominees, shots from the exhibitions of the finalists Best of 2019 and interviews with the winners. The hosts of the programme were Jan Vejražka and Jiří Konvalinka, actors and musicians founders of the music band Mutanti hledaj východisko who hosted the ceremony already last year.
The main partner of the Awards is Erste Premier, exclusive banking services provider. 'The Award ceremony of this year's Czech Grand Design Awards was quite unusual. It was not held in a theatre full of art and design-loving people, but that did not prevent us from paying attention to design. Design and art in general are important part of any era even the most unsettling one. I would like to congratulate the winners in all the categories for their courage, strength and inspiration to create the winning artworks. Design is part of our everyday life without us being always aware of it. Let´s us enjoy it more! I also congratulate the Grand Designer of the Year the winner of the Erste Premier Award and I wish her a lot of inspiration for her future work, which will include the creation of the trophy for next year's winners, ' says Petra Ondrušová on behalf of Erste Premier.
The Czech Grand Design Awards 2019 results:
Absolute winner, Grand Designer of the Year – Erste Premier Award: Lucie Koldová
Designer of the Year – the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic Award: Lucie Koldová / Table XX (Javorina), furniture collection Manta (mmcité1), chair Celine (Freifrau), chair Cocon (Master & Master)
Fashion Designer of the Year: Jan Černý /collection A/W 2019, redesign of the footwear Prestige X Jan
Jewellery Designer of the Year: Eliška Lhotská / collection So
Graphic Designer of the Year: Jan Matoušek / visual concept of the exhibition and graphic design of the book Diktátor času: (De)kontextualizace fenoménu Laterny magiky (Kateřina Svatoňová, Lucie Česálková, National Film Archive, Faculty of Arts of the Charles University)
Photographer of the Year: Michaela Karásek Čejková / photography collection Sadalsuud (Janja Prokić), photography for the project Czechia, photography collection To a jen sen (Ester and Josefina), photography for the visuals of the festival Mezipatra
Illustrator of the Year: Nikola Logosová / illustrations for the books POZOR DOKTOR! Dějiny medicíny v sedmi dnech (Petr Svobodný, Běžíliška) and Klub divných dětí (Petra Soukupová, Host)
Producer of the Year– Design for Export Award: Master & Master / chair Cocon (Lucie Koldová), bench Steps (Herrmann & Coufal)
Discovery of the Year: Vítek Škop / interactive textbook Vividbooks
Inductee to the Hall of Fame: Květa Pacovská
30. 4. 2020