design

Prague Take-Homes: Designer Souvenirs

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In Prague, there are plenty of shabby shops selling cheap souvenirs to tourists (Russian dolls, anyone?). As an alternative to getting an unmemorable present, you can pop into one of the unique design shops and choose an interesting gift you or your loved-ones back home will appreciate as an original piece of Prague. Wandering through the streets of Prague, you can stumble across design shops that feature rare and alluring designs just waiting for you to take home.Here are a few of our favorite stores with unique souvenirs:

Belda Factory

They offer original and unique jewelry, porcelain and glass, all from Czech producers and designers that will accommodate any budget.

Studio Pirsc Porcelain

Studio Pirsc Porcelain has become one of the leading studios in porcelain design and production. They offer high quality and limited decorations, along with useful household items. You can purchase them online or at various Prague stores (e.g. Belda, Qubus, Futurista, Modernista).

Papelote

This original Czech stationary gives paper a brand new, creative dimension. In Papelote you can find exercise books, notebooks, postcards and many other things that a good stationery shop should carry. You will be surprised by the original design that develops ordinary paper goods to unique pieces of art.

66 Gallery

The 66 Gallery is a wonderful mixture of a sales gallery and the Botas Concept Store. This traditional Czech sport shoes brand has become extremely popular, as illustrated by the fact that the Czech word "botasky" is the universal word for any sneakers.

Qubus

Here you will find unique treats for anyone exceptional in your life, things like a weird porcelain candleholder looking as baby head, a porcelain vase in the shape of a wellington boot or plenty of other cool design items to show your friends back home.

Futurista

Over 100 m2 of unique space where you can browse a broad collection of art, design books and magazines, pick an original gift for your loved ones or just meet up for a cup of coffee.

Modernista

This design shop offers broad and diverse selection of furniture, ceramics, glass, lighting, jewelry and toys from the Art Deco, Bauhaus, and Czech Cubism movements.

Kubista

Presenting the best of decorative art and design from the most important stylistic periods of the 20th century, particularly cubism and art deco, Kubista offers rare originals of applied arts.

Popout

Design lifestyle store full of original ideas, cool accessories and unique gifts such as a beautiful porcelain “babovka” form.

TEG (Timoure et Group)

This boutique is run by one of Prague’s most respected fashion designers; their quarterly collections feature sophisticated yet wearable clothes.


Designblok 2011

You may have already guessed by now that we love food. But there is another passion that Zuzi and I share - modern design. Whenever we go to a museum abroad, we never forget to check out the design shop. And when we are eating out, food always tastes better to us from a nice plate than from a mediocre one.

Well, if you're like us and you are visiting Prague next week, this post is for you.

From Tuesday, 4 October through Sunday, 9 October, Prague will be hosting the 13th edition of the Designblok annual design exhibition that focuses on Czech design and fashion. This is THE event on the design-lover's calendar in Prague, and definitely the event to attend if you're in Prague next week.

Designblok (and Czech design in general) has witnessed some dramatic development in the past decade or so. I had the honor of being the interpreter for the opening night of the 3rd Designblok - back then, it was a small affair held in a forsaken industrial building with no promotion and just a few young, Czech designers showing their newest creations to a handful of design aficionados. Fast forward ten years, and you can see crowds of people standing in lines to get in one of the "superstudios", lured in by the ubiquitous posters around Prague, just to see the newest products from global names such as Kartell, Nespresso, MaxMara, Ikea, Nike, Nokia, Escada and many others. But if you look carefully, you will have the opportunity to see, and buy, many interesting products by Czech designers - products that can make a great present for your loved ones or yourself.

When and where to go?

The exhibit Designblok exhibition starts on Tuesday, 4 October, and ends on Sunday, 9 October. The main events will be held in two "superstudios". This year, one superstudio is located in the Sporkovsky Palace at Hybernska 5 street, just a few steps from the Powder Tower and the Municipal House. This superstudio will focus on fashion, jewelry and accessories. To see the other superstudio (Superstudio Futurama), you'll have to visit the Karlin district. This superstudio will focus on furniture, lighting, and home accessories. Other events will be held in the shops and studios of the exhibitors that have been admitted to join the Designblok. For a comprehensive list of the exhibitors, click here.

What to look for?

We definitely recommend that you look for some Czech jewelry, crystal and porcelain products, the traditional Czech craftsmanship strongholds. As regards jewelry, definitely check out the Belda Factory, Deers.cz (which makes very popular brooches in the shape of deers), and the jewelry of Zdenek Vacek and Trash made (jewelry made of used materials)

If you love products made of glass, or tableware, don't miss exhibitions by Moser, Rony Plesl, Atelier Pelcl (if you attend our cooking courses, you will be eating from Mr Pelcl's lovely plates), and Pirsc Porcelain

For fashion junkies among you, be sure to visit the exhibitions or shops of Czech fashion designers such as Klara Nademlynska, Timoure et Group, the Sister Conspiracy, Tatiana Kovarikova, Hard"de"core, Denisa Nova and others.

For more information on Designblok and its events, exhibitors, and locations, please visit http://www.designblok.cz/2011/en/.