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Mirrored installation

Made by Fire explores "the power and fragility of Bohemian glass and porcelain"

Promotion: a vase made from a mycelium mould and a light installation that includes a car destroyed during the war in Ukraine feature in the Made by Fire exhibition.

The exhibition joins the design festival Designblok in Prague, Czech Republic, in October 2023 and will showcase "the best of Czech design". It will feature more than 100 original projects, including objects made from ceramics, porcelain and glass.

Installation including broken ceramics
Made by Fire exhibition joins the Czech festival Designblok in October 2023. Photo by Vojtěch Veškrna. Above photo by Vojtěch Veškrna

The exhibition explores art and design and its "position within the context of pervasive social change". It presents the work of 40 designers and spotlights the production process behind each of their works.

One example includes a light installation by designer Maxim Velčovský that features a car burned and destroyed during the war in Ukraine, a billboard made of a mirror by designer Klára Horáčková, and a video by designer Vendula Kvíz Radostová that "explores the birth of new forms from the ruins of the old".

Vases on display
The exhibition presents "the best of Czech design". Image by LLEV

Further examples are the Birth of the Future Behind Glass by artist František Jungvirt where Jungvirt has reinterpreted the design of traditional vases by deconstructing them and a vase by LLEV studio that was made by blowing molten glass into a mould made from mycelium.

The exhibition is split into four main themes: Adaptation, Identity, Experiment and Industry – Production and Extinction, with an overarching aim to promote questions examining identity, quality and authorship in design.

It also focuses on the contemporary challenges in glass, ceramics and porcelain production. This includes the environmental sustainability of the materials, such as how they are sourced and produced.

Image of person buried in soil
Made by Fire aims to critique the future of crafts, photo: Hana Knížová, author of porcelain objects: Antonín Tomášek

The exhibition also highlights a number of political issues and challenges, such as the war in Ukraine, the rise of production costs, the cultural significance of craft and the "struggle against cheap products from Asia".

"The entire exhibition does not shy away from geopolitically pressing questions like the war in Ukraine, the availability of energy sources, or the question of sustainability," said the Czech minister of culture, Martin Baxa. "It also greatly facilitates the reception of Czech designers within the international context."

"A strong bond exists between the Czech landscape and its products, and I am certain that contemporary glass and porcelain are becoming a symbol of success, identity and representation of the Czech nation," added Baxa.

Ghost image of a woman
The exhibition aims to promote the networking of contemporary designers in Prague. Image by Hana Knizova

The exhibition aims to encourage contemporary designers to network with the intention of promoting connections and maintaining industry competitiveness.

"The Made by Fire project is a prestigious opportunity to show the world the power of Czech design, as well as a way to thematize contemporary geopolitical challenges faced in the very cradle of the glassmaking and ceramics industries," said the director of the Moravian Gallery, Jan Press.

"We consider the original concept of this unique exhibition to be the first stirrings of a spiralling process which, in the years to follow, will work together with the most important local actors in the field of design and make contemporary Czech design an instrument of national representation," said Press.

Maxim Velčovský has developed a light installation that comprises a car destroyed and burned during the war in Ukraine.
Maxim Velčovský has developed a light installation that comprises a car destroyed and burned during the war in Ukraine. Photo by Vojtěch Veškrna

Alongside the exhibition, Made by Fire will also publish a publication of the same name, which will present more details about the designers and their individual works.

Initially exhibited at Milan design week in April 2023, Made by Fire will move to Prague in October as part of Designblok, until heading over to Moravian Gallery in Brno – Museum of Applied Arts in November this year.

2023 marks Designblok's 25th anniversary, which follows the theme named Journey. The festival will reflect on Czech design over the past 25 years and how it can inflict change in social and environmental issues.

To learn more about the Made by Fire exhibition, visit its website.

Made by Fire exhibition takes place as part of Designblok from 3 to 15 October 2023 at Prague International Design Festival, Ball Game Hall in the Royal Garden, Prague Castle and from 17 November 2023 to 31 August 2024 at the Museum of Applied Arts of The Moravian Gallery in Brno. See Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events taking place around the world.

Partnership content

This article was written by Dezeen for Made by Fire as part of a partnership. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.