Today once again, we are looking at Byt a umění (Apartment and Art) Revue for Czech Contemporary Housing Culture: Architecture, Interiors, Painting, Decoration, Sculpture, Plastics, Arts, Gardening, Handicrafts, Exhibitions, Auctions and more.
In this edition (Issue 2, 1931), the writers express their frustration with a lack of change in Czech building practices. It seems they are wanting to move forward, yet change does not occur over night.
The issue begins with a manifesto of sorts, where they discuss economic responsibilities not for industry but for life, as in living. They say that they are endangered because there is a general lack of creative individualities. I am sure Soviet influence wanted everything very homogeneous. Clearly, the challenge of housing has become a problem.
They mention that architects are talking about a new direction, but that action in that direction is not being taken, seemingly frustrated with the industry continuing its backward production. Craftsmen, and in particular carpenters, are not bringing any innovations for housing culture that would characterize today’s time of purposeful creation, but instead choose to be lazy about it and simply repeat old and outdated styles and work, mostly according to the patterns they have copied from Germany, whose origins are very dubious.
Yes, there is such frustration in the words…
The goal of the publication was to have new forms, new designs and new examples to the people and to have them be as accepted and admired as the creators of this publication. Clearly, they are very passionate about their ideas!
They propose new types of furnishings and designs which will not only interest the general public, but which will gain exposure to trade fairs making it possible to create international connections so that exporting becomes an option. Such work would bring together all people; customers with artists, craftsmen with tradesmen and create a larger industry which would benefit all.
This is why they do not solely focus on furniture or architecture, but rather on the home and craftsmanship, to showcase Czech production to the world, of as many goods as possible. In addition, they envision a forum where a collaboration of professionals is not only possible, but good practice for all, especially architects, industrialists, craftsmen, tradesmen and carpenters.
They do not want to be a dreamy production that people will look at and simply dream… No, they say, “Let every middle and smallest man have his home, for that is the beginning of the happiness of the family, the state and the nation.”
We hope you enjoy this issue as much as we did.
We hope you enjoyed this look at Czech Contemporary Housing Culture!