We are a bit biased when it comes tot he Czech, but you know this by now. Now you will understand why. They figured out that you can make shoes from hemp, and that an indoor low worm farm can be cool. Oh, and if you have a sweet tooth, make sure to visit Cukrář Skála in Prague, because not only it is delicious, it also looks really good. New wave pastry shop and other Czech sweet stuff!
When last fall we visited the Czechdesign team in Prague, we noticed an unusual object in their office. We identified the four-legged, kiwi-green object as something to sit on at first, but then it figures that this is an indoor low worm farm. This pretty and practical piece was designed by an iconic figure of the Czech design, Jiří Pelcl architect-designer, for the Czech company called Plastia. The story of the low worm farm is also interesting: Plastia, the company that manufactures all sorts of kinds of gardening equipment, and tools wanted to enrich their product variety, and asked the help of the Czechdesign organization in 2013, to help them find a designer. 141 designers applied for the open tender with different kinds of plans and designs, but in the end, they went with Jiří Pelcl’s work. The Vermikompostér Urbalive won multiple international prizes, like the Red Dot Design Award in 2017. This is the Rolls Royce of the home-crafted low worm farms. The environmental conscious consumers don’t have to look any further if they want to manage a low worm farm in style. However, if one doesn’t like the idea of the little worms doing their jobs, and they just would like to have an indoor planter, we can also find that among the offers (and it is self-watering as well!). It is better if we keep Jiří Pelcl’s name in mind also because his transparent vase called BIG, made from borosilicate glass, got a place at the MoMA modern design collection. Wow!
Practical, minimalist fashion accessories made from leather – this is PBG. The brand was founded in 2011 by three girls – Tereza Horáková, Aneta Vojtová, and Klára Felixová- their name also derives from this: Project Bad Girls. Not long ago they opened up their store besides their studio in Prague. They only work with the highest quality, first-class leather, making backpacks, purses, envelope bags, wallets, and glasses cases. If we can call anything clean, then PBG’s objects are so, however, we can find exciting details in their execution. They are making their collections in limited quantity, instead of using vibrant colors, they prefer pale pastel shades. These are the perfect accessories of a woman living in a big city. One of our favorites is the black Leather Working Bag where a 15”- laptop can easily fit. And for someone who prefers to only take the necessities, we can recommend the pouches made from plant tanned leather.
Our trip to Prague in 2018 was not only determinative because we got to know the members of the Czechdesign organization, and we visited the Designblok event, but because we found our favorite pastry shop in Prague. It would have been a shame not to go to Cukrář Skála because not only their cakes are magical, but the interior of the shop also made a huge impression on us. The classical Czech sweets and the French pastries are all being done in one place right in front of our eyes, the walk-in fridge gives the impression of a glass lift, stainless steel everywhere. The laboratory atmosphere is balanced out by the colorful cakes and tarts. However, the minimal interior and the characteristic fonts do not come across as unfriendly, quite the contrary. The team responsible for the brand design is the superlative.works, while the design of the interior was done by the ph5 studio. You can find this pastry shop at two spots in the city of Prague, we only have been to the one on Dlouhá street (on multiple occasions) and we tried their different cream roulades, those were a dream! If you want to try something more traditional then ask for the Laskonka which is crackling with walnuts, or the Vetrnik that is made from puff pastry. If you just want to drool form home, you can check out their catalog.
If there is a fancy design store in Prague, then the Debut Gallery is definitely it. Due to tot he location it is also pricier, but you shouldn’t miss it, especially if you are going tot he touristy Orloj. In the busy historical center the reserved shop window does not stand out; they redesign the windows according to seasons every once in a while and that itself is already worth to see. Maybe we can say that is resembling our MONO art & design shop, however, the shop itself is way smaller, many Czech brands can be found here. Such brands as Leather Utilities we fell in love with these clean leather accessories right away, we liked Milan Pekár’s marble porcelain vases and the airy glass vases from Dechem form the home decor section. If you want to take home unique Czech jewelry, that we would recommend Zorya ’s extreme bracelets and necklaces from the Virus collection.
The Bohempia is making clothes, shoes, and fashion accessories from hemp. Isn’t that great? And do you know why is it so great? To grow hemp you need 50% less water than cotton, it requires smaller areas to grow on, and above all they can make a strong, antibacterial material out of it which is very important especially when it comes to shoes, making them an airing, comfortable wear with vegan soles. The Bohempia brand was founded by Tomas Rohal in 2015 with the purpose of offering those a choice, who prefer to dress environmental friendly. Besides the shoes, they make t-shirts, sweaters, and pouches as well.
In our weekly series, we are presenting such Czech, Slovakian, and Polish brands and design spots, who we think are worthy to join our mental design map. It is a teaser guide for those who are curious about other things than the usual tourist sights.