FREE Admission
Liberty Way, Sunderland, SR6 0GL

Open Daily 10:00 - 17:00 Call: 0191 515 5555

FREE Admission
Liberty Way, Sunderland, SR6 0GL

Open Daily 10:00 - 17:00 Call: 0191 515 5555

Separator National Glass Centre is part of the University of Sunderland

Czech Design: Independent, Free and Democratic?

A symposium considering the ways in which Czech Design has changed since the 1980's.

Drawing on original contributions from design professionals, critics, theorists, historians and curators from the Czech Republic, the UK and Estonia, this symposium will consider the ways in which Czech design horizons have changed since the 1980s. The retreat from
the centralized ideologies of the Eastern Bloc was reflected in the turning away from the ‘official’ language of functionalism (or, perhaps, modernism in extremis) towards a vocabulary that explored more pluralist, expressive and imaginative visions that could be associated with notions of democracy. These tensions will be explored in papers that situate such discourse in a wider Eastern European context as well as in the Czech Republic itself. 

The pathway from the Atika group, of which Jiří Pelcl was a founding member in 1987, through to greater international recognition of Czech design in the 21st century will be mapped, via the increasing premium on design innovation in small co-operatives rather than large-scale state factories. Attention will also be paid to the importance of design education, in which Jiří Pelcl has played a significant role - as a student in the 1970s and 80s, Head of Studio in the 1990s and Rector of the Prague Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design (AAAD) in the 2000s.

The day will conclude with a screening of Vit Klusák and Filip Remunda’s documentary film Czech Dream (CeskY sen) – the Hypermarket for a Better Life (2004).

Speakers will include:
Jiří Pelcl (AAAD, Prague)
Sylva Petrova (Director of the Institute for International Research in Glass, University of Sunderland)
David Crowley (Royal College of Art, London)
Jyri Kermik (University of Brighton) 
Dagmar Koudelkova (AAAD, Prague)
Martina Pachmanova (AAAD, Prague)
Iva Knobloch (UPM, PRAGUE)
Jonathan Woodham (University of Brighton)

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