Vjemy was established in 2013 by Adam, Samuel and Svetlana Cigler in Prague, Czech Republic. Adam and Svetlana both graduated with a degree in architecture, but their work focuses on the finer points of domestic design. They have created their own collections of porcelain, and wooden tableware, as well as tables, outdoor furniture, lighting and socks. Vjemy’s innovative techniques couple timeless design and high-grade materials to highlight the handcrafted production methods of Czech tradition.
Tell us a little bit about yourselves and what you do. We both like electronic music, cooking, good food, simple design, architecture from before the 20th century, sci-fi movies and traveling. We have so much in common that sometimes we wonder if we are not brother and sister, but a couple. We both started creating our own designs even before we met. After it happened, we decided to unite our work and create things together as VJEMY. The word “vjemy”means perceptions in Czech. To us our products are the medium to write in our thoughts, feelings, and moods. Our goal is to make a person read these perceptions, experience them, so the product becomes a part of their world.
What are some recent, upcoming or current projects you are working on? Our most recent product was Blue Iceberg socks, which Svetlana designed for Czech brand Vpáru. It was a color variation of our previous product, Grey Cliff. Currently, we have a lot of experience in architecture and interior design so new products are developing very slowly. Having deadlines is a good thing anyways.
What is one of the bigger challenges you and/or other designers are struggling with these days and how do you see it developing? The biggest issue for most of us is distribution and selling our products. For us, it is time-consuming and not the thing designers want to do. We spend hundreds of hours and a lot of money developing new products with no guarantee of success. We believe there should be some form of financial support from the government for those like us.
How did your interest in art or design begin? A: I come from an artistic family. You can find quite famous architects, photographers, sculptors, graphic designers, and artists that are my close relatives. S: I was always drawing and since I was twelve I wanted to be an architect. I pretty much found it as a sexy job.
What materials do you use in your work and what is your process like? We put emphasis on respect for nature, classical technologies and profound knowledge of the materials. For example, the Carpenter’s table is made of noble, centennial wood and wax. Nothing more, no glue at all. The beauty of this table is hidden in the details, such as proportions, joints and the wood itself. Construction of the table is an answer to the fact that wood is a living material – the more it twists and shrinks, the more the table gets stable and solid.
Favorite thing about living and working in Prague? We live in the heart of Prague, on the most frequent touristic round. The great thing is we have a beautiful view and you can always find some details of facades you haven’t noticed before. We also live an easy and quite cheap life here compared to other European capitals.
What are you really excited about right now? We are always excited about working with new material. Right now it is glass and wool. We are going to visit the factories to see the production and get to know the material better.
Favorite places to shop? Local stores for fashion and design items and open markets for food.
Can you share one of the best or worst reactions you have gotten as a result of your work? S: The best reaction for me was involving my collection of Lilia porcelain collection into the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague. The worst one, I really don’t remember. A: For me it was the nomination for 2016 Designblok prize for our Table landscape at the biggest design event in Czech Republic. There is always some negative comments on our work when we present and sell it at design affairs and markets, but none of them I can pick as memorable.