The LSU School of Interior Design collaborated with Mendel University in Brno, Czech Republic in the fall 2018 semester, culminating in a design workshop for LSU and Mendel University students in Brno, and an exhibition of student work in Baton Rouge.
Students in ID 4751 Interior Component Design had the opportunity to visit the Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology at Mendel University in Brno, and explore design in the Czech Republic.
“The goal of the visit for American students in the course was to get to know Mendel University in Brno,” said Alena Sobotková, Mendel University PhD student who interned at LSU for a year as exchange student. As a visiting scholar to the School of Interior Design, she led the class with LSU College of Art & Design instructor Paul Callahan.
The course focused on the study of furniture design and furniture technology, with opportunities to cooperate between the universities. Part of the program was a three-day workshop with American and Czech students, which was held at historic Křtiny Castle in the Czech Republic.
“This is a promising collaboration between our universities, and an excellent opportunity for students in the United States and the Czech Republic to learn from one another,” said Alkis Tsolakis, dean of the College of Art & Design.
“Thanks to this event the cooperation between both universities was broadened,” Alena said. “Mendel University is a very useful partner for LSU, because of the furniture design program, and the [ongoing] agreements”; Mendel students also have the opportunity to complete internships at LSU through bilateral agreements.
“I was very inspired by the work of Mendel University students and I believe that the students from Mendel University would be very inspired by our university and work,” BID student Catherine Bloemer said.
Students in the design workshop were instructed to design furniture and other products with the topic “Nomadic lifestyle furniture for people who travel often in their life,” Alena explained. “There were interesting results of the students work.”
After working with Czech students, studying design techniques, and returning to the United States, the final step for the LSU BID students was to create prototypes in real scale.
Exhibition at Monochrome in Baton Rouge
The students’ prototypes were exhibited at Monochrome design showroom in Baton Rouge, where all the student work was on display Nov. 30-Dec. 27, 2018.
The bilateral agreements between LSU and Mendel University have brought numerous visiting scholars from the Czech Republic to LSU, including Alena, and Vladimir Arnost, who studied with the Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture in 2018. Vladimir’s stay concluded with an exhibition of his work.
“We look forward to many future collaborations,” Tsolakis said.