Mini wonders / Czech contemporary design for kids
Via Giovanni Battista Morgagni, 20
Czech contemporary design for kids
After its big success at Designblok, Prague Design and Fashion Week 2017, the "Mini Wonders" exhibition will land in Milan during Design Week 2017. Birth is a miracle and childhood is full of both little and big wonders, just like those of the exhibition "Mini Wonders". Designers selected for this exhibition prove that we can enjoy such wonders even as adults. Seven designers of the Czech Republic, nominated for the Czech Grand Design Awards for 2016, will present their products, ranging from toys to textiles to furniture. Their works reflect their own childhood and parenting experiences; their dreams, imagination and the endless desire to play and explore. Toys envisioned and created by these designers will enchant all, big and small, regardless of age. In the week of the Milan Fuorisalone, from 4th until the 9th April 2017, a temporary pop-up shop will be opened in the Czech Centre Gallery (via G. B. Morgagni, 20). For children, a workshop will be held on Saturday 8th of April 2017.
Czech production for children was internationally renowned in the past, whether it was toy production, animated films or book illustrations. It was represented by a number of Czech authors, for example Jaroslav Sutnar and Libuse Niklová, at a major exhibition called Century of the Child: Growing by Design, 1900-2000, which took place five years ago at MoMA in New York. Czech designers are increasingly interested in the world of children and this topic is experiencing a renaissance.
The exhibition at the Czech Centre in Milan presents both well-established designers and representatives of the youngest generation - students and recent graduates of applied arts schools. All of them are major creative personalities and their work has earned them numerous awards at home.
Tereza Bruthansová, Curator, Director of the Prague Children's design festival "mini"
Jan Čapek, Anna & Jerry Koza and Zuzana Lednická
Inflatable toys that Libuše Niklová designed in the 60s and 70s for Fatra are icons of Czech design. The renowned company not only renewed their production, but also invited contemporary designers to create a new original edition of inflatable toys. Until now, the following toys were created: Formula and Bulík the Dog by Jan Čapek, Tractor, Goat and Boats by Anna & Jerry Koza and Black & White, a collection of balloons, by Zuzana Lednická.
This creative group surrounding the designer Pavla Boháčová creates toys with stories for those children and adults who can appreciate quality and tradition of handicraft. Their handmade painted beechwood objects, such as the PI-PI rocking birds, the Hipo collection and the new building kit called Mytho, are characterised by geometric shapes and carefully selected colours.
Matějková and Veronika Watzková are both students of the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague. They create toys evoking space ships using small oak-wood blocks in basic shapes. Some of these objects can be stacked together just like a building kit. The Mimozem collection also features pastel glaze, which shows the natural wooden texture underneath.
An Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague graduate. Since his graduation work he has been working on poetic and playful microcosms that feature children’s favourite characters, such as a teddy, mouse or a clown. There is no lack of trees, boats or cars made of wood, and also of soap, in his imaginative townscapes of gentle colours. The Lupus in Fabula collection won an award for the Best Prototype at Designblok 2016.
The name of this new Czech brand, founded by Jiří Marján, is derived from the Latin word ‘to propel’. RePello offers a unique wooden balance bike that grows with the child. It features a patented system of suspension of both wheels. These balance bikes are made in the Czech Republic and in a variety of colour combinations that grows year to year. A limited edition of the Model J, in the colours of Milan, has been produced for this exhibition.
This textile brand of designer and illustrator Veronika Bratrychová (a graduate of the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague) focuses on designer collections of children’s machine-knitted blankets. She combines the textile production with illustrations accompanying the poems of Zuzana Špůrová. These blankets can serve as a play mat or a cover. They are characterised by the high quality of finish and are produced from either a combination of merino wool with acrylic or pure acrylic.
Vrtiška + Žák
designer duo of Roman Vrtiška and Vladimír Žák created their own collection called Woo, which includes three luxurious toy objects. It combines wood, varnished surfaces and bent veneer in a minimalist form. They designed a cute and practical cradle called Tutu for Devoto, a company producing children’s furniture. The cradle can be assembled and collapsed easily as it is without bolts or nails. It can also be packed into a flat package.
Workshop - For children, a workshop will be held on Saturday 8th of April 2017.