Founded in 1837, Szava-based Kavalier specializes in producing laboratory and technical glassware made from SIMAXa heat-resistant glass patented by the company in 1958. With the increasing of popularity of consumer design in Czech Republic, the company tapped Michaela Tomikov and Jakub Janourek of young, award-winning Prague-based glass design studio Dechem for a lighting collection distributed under the new label, Kavalier Design.
“Four years ago I collaborated with the factory to produce my graduation project at UMPRUM in Prague,” says Tomikov, who founded Dechem with Janourek around the same time in 2011. “This was a collection of lamps which combined high-precision crystal and Kavalier’s tubular borosilicate glass.” Since then, Dechem has created several successful glass products, focusing on minimalism, material sensibility, careful use of color and an overall poetic style.
“Kavalier approached us two years ago to develop a lifestyle collection of lighting based on Michaela’s graduation project,” says Janourek. “First we started with complicated structures like suspension lights and lamps. But after, we realized that we have to work with the existing glass parts in the simplest way possible.”
The designers went through Kavalier’s production to find suitable parts of technical glass to create a minimalist lighting collection, called “Laboratory Lights.” Funnels became shades for suspension lamps; sulphonation flasks became mushroom-shaped table lamps. “We metalized some glass parts with gold or titanium to make an elegant surface and precious color details,” says Jakub. The entire collection is an exercise in design thinkingand reimagining existing products. The copper-coated metal alone adds new feeling and elegance to the lights.
Products images by Michal eba, production images courtesy of Kristina Hrabtov