“When I was thinking about my approach, I realized that goal is not the destruction of the known chair archetype in the sense of its negation and the establishing the new one instead, but rather its gradual transformation - so it evolves organically, it grows and assimilates some already existing associated elements, and the new unknown appears.”

Tadeas Podracky's booth at Design Miami 2021.
Ph.Tadeas Podracky

You have probably already heard about Tadeas Podracky: beside being the winner of the first Venice Design Biennial, he is a very talented creative who stunned the design world with the Metamorphosis collection, which he started as his graduation project from the Design Academy of Eindhoven in 2020. His recent practice revolves around layering and combining materials, textures, colors, and deconstructing design pieces and furniture elements, analysing the influences between human habitat and the surrounding environment, driven by a strong hands-on exploration.

Tadeas Podracky and the Fading Reflection mirrors at the end of VDB Residency. Ph. Tomas Brabec.

The Venice Design Biennial Residency provided Tadeas Podracky with the aesthetic and technical inspiration for two magnificent pieces, the Fading Reflection mirrors, which were presented to the public during the third edition of our festival. We are proud to see that those two seminal pieces are at the core of the solo exhibition by Tadeas Podracky that Side Gallery presented at Design Miami.

From December 1 st to 5 th , Side Gallery’s booth hosted eleven works entirely conceived, designed and produced by Tadeas Podracky over the past year: “I started with the archetypal shape corresponding to the human body's anatomy; the whole plywood construction is freely "grown" around the woven surfaces as it would want to embrace the body, protect and connect with it. The chair, through the Metamorphosis, is outgrowing its primal form and function and transforming itself almost to the liquid silhouette. That allows to break and undermine the unity of established understanding of the chair, and simultaneously proposing the neverending transformation as a final state.”

Tadeas Podracky’s stay in Venice gave him the opportunity to develop the Methamorphosis collection beyond the graduation project, opening up diverse research lines and interests inspired by our city.
He was instantly attracted to the visual strength of Venetian colours, and the presence of water as an urban element. The duplicity of a city constantly reflected and distorted upside-down was one of the recurrent interests of the young designer. The research also drew inspiration from the contrast and layering between ‘“poor” and very high-end and luxurious elements at very different scales, from fragments to entire buildings, often coexisting alongside one another.

"Tadeas Podracky Meets" is a series of short videos on Tadeas' research in Venice. Watch them on Instagram.

Fading Reflection mirrors, together with Audrey Large's Metabowl#2 and the Tale of Frac armchair by ToucheTouche. Design As Self-Portrait show at SPARC*. Ph. Federico Floriani.

Studio visits during the Residency in Venice.

During the one-month immersive experience in Venice, Tadeas Podracky has developed the Fading Reflection mirrors learning, among others, from the traditional Murano Glass artisans Ongaro e Fuga, and Mario Menegazzo, the last artisanal goldbeater in Europe. Tadeas also visited several other Venetian workshops, such as Orsoni, Bevilacqua, and the Muranese furnace of the glass artist Aristide Najean.

Tadeas found here the inspiration to combine wood, glass, mirrored elements and textiles with an unprecedented approach. He took from Ongaro e Fuga the idea of decorative elements used as both functional and structural components of the piece, allowing to manufacture mirrors without glue. Venetian mirrors normally avoid using glue by strategically placing and nailing glass shapes. Tadeas overturned this tradition, dripping glue as an expression of a fluid element, which adds a contemporary expression to the mirrors and a new meaning to the traditional manufacturing approach.

Similarly, the wooden structure no longer hides behind the mirrors, but rather becomes a hypertrophic organic volume carved from maritime plywood, traditionally employed to build boats.

Fading Reflection, details. Ph. Tomas Brabec.

Finally, another detail worth noticing. Bevilacqua’s workshop gave Tadeas the opportunity to learn about artisanal fabrics production techniques: the decision of using them on the backhand side, besides revealing this traditional “constructive” process, deprives the fabric from its original meaning and use.

In one of his latest posts about his participation to Design Miami, Tadeas noted: “I am very happy that this ambitious plan has become a reality, and everything has been achieved even in this difficult time. It costed an incredible effort and a lot of nerves, but in the end, it turned out great (…). When dreams come true!”.

And if his dreams are all shaped as intriguing cutting-edge design pieces, we can’t wait to see more from him!