Bořek Šípek is well famous for his unusual use of materials, his individual, colorful style and his glass art. Šípek’s road to becoming an artist began in the sixties when he started to study material design. However, he remained fairly unknown until the nineties. An architectural prize, an assignment for Karl Lagerfeld and the release of his Iconic Bambi in 1983 put him on the map as one of the bigger artists and designers of this age.
Šípek’s early years
Bořek Šípek was born on June 14th, 1949 in Prague. In the same Czechoslovakian capital he would later study material design. Bořek graduated in 1968, the year his country was occupied by the Soviet Union. After the occupation, Šípek moved to Germany to study architecture at the Art Academy of Hamburg. Completing two studies was not enough for Šípek. He continued to study philosophy at the University of Stuttgart. Subsequently, in 1979, he obtained the title of ‘Doctor of Technical Sciences’, after completing his study of architecture at Delft’s University of Technology. In the following years, he taught design theory at the University of Essen. Whenever Bořek wasn’t working at the university, he would spend his time creating his own designs.
Stubborn and Unusual
After receiving the German Architecture Award in 1983 for his design of the glasshouse, Bořek’s fame rapidly grew. Unfortunately, he still didn’t receive new architecture assignments. Therefore Bořek decided to embark on a new project: shaping glassware and furniture. His unusual and sometimes impractical shapes soon started to draw attention from several designers. Bořek prioritized creativity and imagination over practical use. He was the first furniture designer who had dared to put these ideas into reality, and it paid off. It did not take long before his designs were being featured in well-known magazines where he was praised for his idiosyncratic style. These publications brought him various new assignments. One of these assignments was to create a design for Karl Lagerfeld’s store in Paris
‘’My goal is to create things that possess such expressive power that people fall in love with them’’
Inspiration from culture
For his designs, Šípek found inspiration in different cultures, materials and style periods. Influences that are often found in Šípek’s works are of the Japanese, Italian and Czech culture. One of his works inspired by Japanese carvings is his colorful cabinet, made and signed by Šipek in the nineties. With its bright colors and large dimensions (326 x 130 x 276 cm), is more than an eye catcher. It has become clear that expressivity is one of the main characteristics of Bořek’s work. In his own words: ‘’My goal is to create things that possess such expressive power that people fall in love with them’’.
Have you become curious about Bořek Šípek and his work? Take a look at our website. We have the privilege to be able to offer some of Šípek’s creations, including his colorful cabinet.