A new window has lightened in the designers’ “neighbor”, today, Kristýna Mikolášková moved in
“Designers in the neighborhood” is a periodical column that gathers outstanding designers I have met in and out of exhibitions all along these years, who are worth being known for their personal vision of thinking, creating, and for collecting significant (and often hidden) points of view on the multifaceted Design matter.
She is Czech and she is one of the most solid young designers I have met.
The 26-years-old designer has been yet awarded with nominations and prizes including the Best of Design in 2017, for Dione Lamp staged during the Czech Design Week and - funny fact - she is still studying Concept-Object-Meaning at the Academy of Arts, Architecture & Design, in Prague.
Majority of my ideas I typically get while riding the subway or tram, simply in situations where you immerse yourself and the so-called flow begins.
Eclectic and on point, she focuses on a design vision that embodies critical but tender ways on interpreting the manifesting of reality: she is capable of capturing invisible concepts in the easiest way and to reprocess those into something we all suddenly belong.
Sophisticated but democratic.
Her work as designer is a halfway between Product Design and an artistic/speculative act.
You will understand what I am saying by going a little further in the reading.
“Some objects in space have a gravitational field which is so strong that no other object, including the light, is able to escape out of their proximity. They are called black holes” Kristýna Mikolášková, Horizon, 2018
It was during the Milano Design Week 2019 that we reached her during the Call for Designer launched by Illuminazioni exhibit, and at that time she was already featured in other exhibitions in Europe.
Recently, I reached her after she published her newest formal experimentations and I asked her what’s new in her work.
Virginia: “We met during MDW 2019, thanks to a project I’m still in love with, Horizon. Through this project, you have condensed an impalpable phenomenon and enclosed it within an understandable and functional product. Do you think this sums up your creative line or is your approach changing?”
Kristýna Mikolášková: "Thanks a lot! MDW was a great experience for me and I am very grateful for having the opportunity to be a part of it. Anyway, this is a very hard question. I try to make every work based on a strong idea, whether if concerns social or personal topics. If the foundation is strong, the result is more likely to be strong as well.
Horizon light is inspired by a black hole, therefore by the universe as well - this is a topic that fascinates me from a long time and I like working on it. This explains its presence in many of my works, but I certainly do not insist on it and I am opened to other topics (or experiences) as well.”
Virginia: “There is a question I always urge to ask the designers and that represents a way of capturing silent shades of the creative processes, as well as to better acquaintance with them: what inspires you on a daily basis?”
Kristýna Mikolášková: "Probably like a lot of others, I am heavily inspired by my surroundings. Being it the environment that I am being in and the people who surround me, like my partner Filip Kominik with whom we consult each other's work from time to time. At this moment, it is also the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague (UMPRUM) and people within it. The majority of my ideas came to my mind, while riding the subway or tram, simply in situations where you immerse yourself and the so-called flow begins.
Also, even though I am not sure whether it can be said aloud :-), I perceive the impact of social networks and the Internet a lot. If you are focused purely on the important stuff, you can find a lot of interesting works and people from around the world, which can inspire you a lot. For example now, during the pandemic, I watched a lot of interesting interviews and live streams from around the world that I would not otherwise be able to see. This is awesome!”
Virginia: “There’s a tender, intimate vein that I think represents your signature. You manage to balance the elegance, the confidentiality of a product to its scenic presence. In this regard, two projects fascinate me the most Memento and iSee. Both open to a spontaneous and clear dialogue with the user but with an opposite communicative force. What do you think they have in common?”
Kristýna Mikolášková: “Personally, I sometimes have trouble describing all my thoughts and I prefer to let my work speak for itself, so I'm glad that you perceive my work this way and that you described it so beautifully. Memento was my diploma thesis at Czech Technical University in Prague (CTU), which worked with the topic of the family reliquary. It was a very personal topic for me, during which I remembered my childhood and my loved ones.
The iSee collection followed right after, this time at UMPRUM when we were given the theme "object in relation to the body". I have decided to work on the topic of excessive phone use. I focused on the fact that we often perceive the world only through this device. I did not choose this topic just because I know that it is a global problem, but because it concerns me personally as well. I sometimes have trouble putting the phone out of my hand. And here we probably get to what these two objects have in common - both of them are based mainly on my feelings which shape the final work. It is a means of communication with myself, but also my message to the outside world.”
Virginia: “Over time, your production has shifted from lighting to the latest formal experiments inspired by architecture and jewelry lines. I’ve seen your latest products, “the futuristic organical space objects”, can you tell me more?”
Kristýna Mikolášková: “I am very interested in light and light objects. I feel that I still want to focus on it in the future. However, during my studies at CTU, I have realized that I want to expand my knowledge into other fields as well.
Apart from that, I also wanted to learn how to work with my own hands and I wanted to be able to make my designs by myself. Therefore, I have decided to apply to my dreamed-of school UMPRUM, where I have got to in the end.
At UMPRUM, I started studying in the so-called Concept-Object-Meaning studio which is run by Eva Eisler. My last work, called XJK-1, was created there. The theme set by the head of the studio was to design jewelry for the Czech architect Jan Kaplický.
Kaplický himself mentioned that his work was significantly influenced by the work of A. C. Clark and his Future Systems studio was the only British office working for NASA in the 1980s, therefore I have designed a series of titanium brooches that should make the viewer feel as if they were from another universe.
I was inspired by sci-fi films such as 2001: A Space Odyssey, Alien, or the great Czech movie Icarus XB 1. I wanted the objects to be connected by a feeling of harmony, but also a certain restlessness. Their organic structure is combined with the perfect purity of titanium sheet, thanks to which they are surprisingly light in size. The backside is then equipped with riveted joints, which stand in contrast to the simplicity of the shape.”
Virginia: “How would you summarize your creative process in a few keywords?”
Kristýna Mikolášková: “Joy, determination, preparation, research, idea, pencil and paper, search, chaos, stress, fear, renewed determination, Eureka moment…”
Virginia: “Any projects coming up?”
Kristýna Mikolášková: “Next year, I will be working on my second diploma thesis. I don't know yet what it will be, but in my head the first ideas already begin to emerge. Apart from that, I am now working together with a friend on a collection of home accessories, which should be ready in the fall.”
Let’s stay tuned.