Vespera specializes in the development and production of upholstered furniture. The company prides itself on the craftsmanship and quality of each piece of furniture, which in addition to its function also fulfils an aesthetic function. Bořek Šípek, Jiří Pelcl, Vladimír Žák and the designer duo Olgoj Chorchoj have been involved in the design of products from the Vespera portfolio.

Interview: Jan Němeček 

Czech design is as globalised as anywhere else
Jan Němeček on design and cooperation with Vespera
In 1990, designer Jan Němeček and Michal Froňek founded Olgoj Chorchoj, one of the most recognized and sought-after design studios in the Czech Republic. Their designs are included in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum in New York and have been exhibited at the Vessel Gallery in London. The designers are recipients of the Czech Grad Design award and share their extensive experience with their students as the head of the Product design studio at the Academy of Arts and Design in Prague.
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Studio Olgoj Chorchoj is behind the design of the Dessert sofa set by the Czech manufacturer Vespera. The sofa has an elegant and minimalist design, which is characteristic of the studio. The combination of timeless design and quality materials makes this sofa a unique furniture element with a distinctive charm. Jan Němeček, one of the founders of the Olgoj Chorchoj studio, explains his collaboration with Vespera and his opinion on the Czech design scene.

How did the cooperation with Vespera come about?

We approached Vespera in several of our projects and our cooperation worked well. I suppose that's why Mr Hybský then asked us to design mass-produced seats for them.

What was your inspiration for the design of the Dessert seat?

We've designed many individual seats for specific interiors, but this is the first one I think that is intended apriori for small-scale production. There was no particular inspiration - we based it on the brief of function and technology.

What materials are used?

The seat body and armrest are American walnut. The feeling of lightness of the seat is created by the subtle metal bases and the relatively large distance of the body from the floor. This solution then requires great design skills on the part of the manufacturer to achieve the desired softness of the seat.

What was the first design you came up with?

It was at school. I think it was a kettle. It was very naive.

What projects are you working on now?

We're mainly working on architecture. There are a few private interiors in the pipeline, three apartment buildings in Prague before construction starts, a large villa in Corfu is being designed and about 20 other projects in the process.

Is there a product you would like to design?

I am very interested in military weapons from a technical and aesthetic point of view, but I never want to design them. We even had this tempting opportunity once, but we declined.

Do you think that Czech design is something specific?

I'm afraid that today Czech design is as globalised as anywhere else.

Do you have a role model in your field?

Probably Achile Castiglioni, who managed to be original, innovative and witty until his death, as if he were 20 years old.


Photos: Tereza Kubíčková

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