If you go strictly by the numbers, nearly any product typology could be said to be having a moment at the Milan Furniture Fair each year. Sofas? There are always hundreds. Cabinets? Wall clocks? Yup, those too. But scan the recent fairs not just for mirrors but for amazing mirrors, and you might be inclined to agree with Adam Štěch and Klára Šumová, curators of a show at this week’s Prague’s Designblok festival that reflects on the genre’s recent creative uptick. (These three hand mirrors alone totally slay us.) “The exhibition not only brings together our friends from the design world but also tries to define the typology of a mirror based on quite varied styles and design approaches,” says Štěch, one of three co-founders behind the creative agency and online magazine OKOLO. He and Šumová comissioned 30 designers — 15 of them international and 15 Czech — to design a new mirror for the installation, from Maxim Velčovský’s wall mirror bordered by cheap plastic store-bought varieties to Marco Dessí’s mirror that doubles as the top for a jewelry box. There are also two 1980s designs by Czech modernist Antonín Hepnar included. Thirteen of the final pieces (the ones that arrived in Prague in time for the photoshoot) are pictured in this slideshow, with images art-directed by Štěch with Matěj Činčera, Jan Kloss, and his brother Jakub Štěch both to take advantage of OKOLO’s massive paper archive and to “make compact abstract compositions,” he says. “The exhibition itself is also a kind of abstract art piece, where we weren’t thinking about function.”
Tomáš Král, Spring Mirror. "Shaped by a colored cord, Spring is a series of flexible mirrors that are thin like a sheet of paper."
Uli Budde, Eclipse Mirror. "A mirror that does not tempt you to look at yourself every time while passing. The reflecting surface can hide and appear, the way the sun is partly obscured by the moon during a solar eclipse."
Beatrice Durandard, Wooden Mirror. "Wooden box hides mirroring installation."
Romain Lagrange, Anguli Mirror. "A single reflecting surface can only stand in front of the subject. In this case, we ... provide a complete view of a subject in 360°. This perception ... generates a kind of vertigo."
OS ∆ OOS, Twin Mirror. "Twin is a personal search between the correlation of color, material and light in a single object. Both a curiosity and an object of inspiration ... our mirror is a wall mounted object that plays with light and reflection, containing a brass mirrored surface combined with american ash."
Matěj Chabera, Mirror 01, 02 and 03. "Mirrors 01, 02 and 03 make use of the aesthetics of doors and drawers ... to create the illusion of a space continuing behind the wall. The handles are also a functional part of the mirrors enabling the hanging of jewelry and accessories."
Martin Žampach, Deepinside Mirror. "Deep inside and watch yourself from many angles of view!"
Marco Dessi, Lift to Inlay Jewelry Box. "The lid can be used as a hand mirror or as a table mirror."
Jakub Berdych, Untitled. "Comic character-inspired mirror tells us how we look behind it and surprises us through our own image."
Giorgia Zanellato, Drop Mirror. "The metal drop shape allows the user to choose the best inclination angle thanks to the wooden base. One corner is covered by a rubber finishing paint that allows you to change the angle of the mirror without getting it dirty."
Camille Blin, Alice Mirror. "The idea is that you can change the angle of the mirror in order to get the exact image you want in it. It uses a magnet and a steel bar in order to achieve this movement in a simple way."
Antonín Hepnar, Mirror. "Designed in 1982, the mirror represents the essential abstract shape of the minimalist yet decorative modernist craft masterpiece."
Adrien Rovero, Treat Me Well Mirror. "Treat me well! Clean me, anodise me, polish me and look at me!"