Designers including Marco Dessi, Tomáš Král and Adrien Rovero created experimental mirrors for an exhibition organised by Adam Štěch of Czech design firm OKOLO and curator Klára Šumová during Designblok 2012 in Prague this month.
Thirty designers contributed objects, sketches or prototypes to the exhibition. The finished pieces include a handheld mirror by Italian designer Marco Dessi which doubles as the lid of a box (pictured above) and a set of three boxy freestanding mirrors by Swiss designer Adrien Rovero (below).
Speaking to Dezeen, the curators picked some of their favourite mirrors from the collection. "I love the solutions of 'ECAL style' designers such as Tomáš Král, Adrien Rovero or Camille Blin. Their concepts are very minimal, aesthetic and functional," said Štěch, referring to a house style he sees emerging from the University of Art and Design Lausanne (ECAL).
"The Alice mirror by Camille Blin [pictured above] is great exercise in utility," he continued. "There are only three demountable elements: a mirror, a steel rod and a magnet which holds everything together. At the same time, you can change inclination of the mirror. Also, Tomáš Král's Spring mirror [below] is based on the quality of the material, aluminium, which is bent and simply connected by strings."
Co-curator Klára Šumová picked Berlin designer Uli Budde's Eclipse mirror (pictured below) among her favourites. "[It's] actually possible to hide the mirror surface with an easy movement. It is a beautiful and functional object and composition on the wall – you see yourself only when you need to," she told Dezeen.
"Then there is one which built a personal relationship with me as a personal object," said Šumová, referring to the mirror by Czech design studio Llev in the shape of a Czech lake (pictured bottom), which is covered with a leather case laser-cut with silhouettes of flying birds. "It's a poetic and intimate one," she added.
Above: mirror by Romain Lagrange
The exhibition was held at the Clam-Gallas Palace and designed by Lenka Míková of Prague-based architecture firm Edit! using wooden boards in pastel colours inspired by the palace's baroque interior.
Above: mirror by Jakub Berdych
Other mirrors we've featured recently on Dezeen include a series of hinged brass mirrors that look like butterflies and a mirror with faded edges that gives its reflections a dreamy quality.
Above: mirror by Beatrice Durandard
Above: mirror by OS ∆ OOS
We also previously featured a pencil case by Tomáš Král and Camille Blin for OKOLO, which clamps pencils between its wooden jaws.
Above: mirror by Martin Žampach
Photographs are by OKOLO except where stated.
Here's some more information from OKOLO:
Superstudio of Clam-Gallas palace
Husova 20, Prague
Curated exhibition of contemporary design and art presents mirror as a beautiful functional object, as well as poetic subject for experimentation. The exhibition curated by Klára Šumová and OKOLO documents strong actual trend of creating mirrors in the context of contemporary experimental design during the last years. The exhibition looks for new shapes, archetypes, newest trends, as well as history of typology.
Above: mirror by Antonín Hepnar
The mirror – a reflection of our own world that duplicates and creates the precise inverse copy of our reality. The mirror represents a magical object without which we would never know what we look like. The object tells stories, which we wish to disclose, and tells them to us so that we would see them in the right light. The poetical, yet surrealist quality of the mirror has always stirred artists, writers, and other thinkers in their ideas and visions. Thus, the mirror has become an object of artistic and philosophical notions and ideas that have frequently found their place on paintings, the pages of novels, verses, and films. The mirror is an object that will never cease to fascinate – including the world of design and art.
Above: mirror by Matěj Chabera
Thus, the exhibition aims to present the object of the mirror not only as a magical object full of imagination and inspiration, but also as a typological theme for designers. They consider the mirror, like all other objects, as a functional and aesthetically balanced object, the production of which requires certain specific features. The exhibition shows various forms of the mirror perceived by contemporary designers and artists. Thus, they face the problem of how to depict the mirror or one of its motifs in their own artistic interpretation. Diverse approaches of contemporary designers are confronted with works of art by visual artists who have also chosen the motif of the mirror as their theme. The result not only presents a set of functional objects, but also a complex perspective of mirrors considered both from the functional and formal points of view, as well as from the purely artistic, philosophical, and idea-based points of view.
Above: mirror by Giorgia Zanellato
Artists: Michal Bačák, Jiří and Viktorie Belda, Jakub Berdych, Camille Blin, Radek Brousil, Uli Budde, deForm, Marco Dessí, Oscar Diaz, Simon Donald, Beatrice Durandard, Antonín Hepnar, Matěj Chabera, Lucie Koldová & Dan Yeffet, Tomáš Král, Blanka Kirchner, Romain Lagrange, Leeda + Dušan Tománek, Kai Linke, Llev, mischer’traxler, Jan Novák, OS ∆ OOS, Jacques-Elie Ribeyron, Adrien Rovero, Klára Šumová, Michaela Tomišková, Jana Trávníčková, Maxim Velčovský, Dirk Wright, Giorgia Zanellato, Martin Žampach
Above: mirror by Llev
Curators: Adam Štěch, Klára Šumová
Graphic design: Matěj Činčera, Jan Kloss
Installation: Lenka Míková (edit!), http://editarchitects.com/
Partners: Studio Činčera, Primalex, Designblok, Elle Decoration
Media partners: Architonic, Cool Hunting, Matandme, SightUnseen
Above: photograph by Jaroslav Moravec