Ahrend and art
Ahrend (TECHO) and fine art have been closely linked for three decades now. Since the moment we first decided to design and produce furniture for commercial interiors we have strived not only to achieve a high aesthetic value in our products, but also support projects connected with art, something close to our heart. We always attempt to connect our activities with the world of art and draw from art inspiration and energy for our work.
Showroom doubles as a gallery
The first clear evidence of the connection between Ahrend and fine art can be seen even before entering our showroom. Right by the entrance visitors are welcomed by a work of sculpture by Jiří Beránek, which is reminiscent of a large gate. When you enter you find yourself in a world without boundaries where offices, meeting rooms and an art gallery all merge into one colourful and diverse unit. Here, surrounded by art at every step, we work, relax and meet with colleagues and visitors.
Come and see for yourself how the presence of art can positively transform the atmosphere of the workplace environment. If you want to support the creativity of employees in your office, or create an environment in which people work more closely together, are more relaxed and productive, you will find more than enough inspiration at our showroom.
How did it all start?
Our route to art after the initial steps took on a clear direction and our activity gradually gained momentum. With every completed event we dared to take on greater and more demanding challenges.
In the sixth year since the founding of the company we issued the first of the annual limited edition prints by renowned Czech and Slovak artists under the title TECHO Art Collection. Every year the collection grows to include a new print and today represented in it are established artists such as Oldřich Kulhánek, Michael Rittstein, Jiří Načeradský, Jiří Sopko and Kurt Gebauer, as well as representatives of the young generation like Pasta Oner and Prokop Bartoníček. The limited edition print collection is accompanied every year by a T-shirt with a design from the same artist as the print.
We organised the major project Factory Talk TECHO, which involved the installation of works by leading Czech artists in our factory and the documentation of the whole process by renowned Czech photographers.
We completed the transformation of our showroom in cooperation with architectural firm ADR and graphic studio Jarosdesign.
Artists on the assembly line!
In 2001 at our headquarters we hosted our largest event to date – Project Factory.
After operating for ten years we already had experience with the positive influence of art on the workplace atmosphere, but what about in a factory? We knew a number of Czech artists who had worked in factories and tried to make a breakthrough in this area, but that was all. How would our employees respond when we decorate their work space, and what about visitors who saw the art in the environment of a furniture environment rather than in the clean environment of a gallery?
It was a journey into the unknown and also a great challenge for all participants. The reaction of observers to the unexpected situation became one of the main pillars of the project. In cooperation with a psychologist we created a questionnaire for employees and evaluated their observations. The feedback was very positive and many of the works remained on permanent show at our premises.
After the successful opening of the exhibition in the factory we hosted a series of talks during which the public could learn about the participating artists. The list of guest speakers was impressive – our invitation was accepted by Jan Bačkovský, Jiří Beránek, Anna Čejková, Jaroslav E. Dvořák, Ivan Komárek, Richard Konvička, Dominik Mareš, Jiří Načeradský, Vladimír Novák, Nikola Nováková, Matěj Olmer, Petr Pavlík, Michael Rittstein, Pavel Roučka, Karel Cudlín, Lubomír Fuxa, Bohdan Holomíček, Jiří Kolis, Zdeněk Lhoták and Andrea Lhotáková.
When you are active for a long time in the commercial sphere you can suddenly find yourself feeling empty. The canvases hanging in the factory are thus not just a madcap idea, but had greater meaning – it provoked thought and the seeking for and confrontation of values.
At first the idea of displaying canvases in the factory seemed crazy to me and I could see many reasons for not doing it. However, I soon came to realise that the realisation of crazy ideas such as this is at the heart of what creativity stands for.
We praise legends and support talented young artists
Our company‘s activities in the field of art have expanded in scope as the company has achieved greater success. Today as a globally active company we strive to ensure that our confidence and financial success is also reflected in the scope and importance of the projects we support in the areas of art, architecture and design.
We saved a unique staircase by Eva Jiřičná
To mark Eva Jiřičná’s 80th birthday the DOX Centre held a retrospective exhibition of the work of this Czech-British architect, from her early years to the present day.
For the exhibition Ahrend arranged for the renovation of a unique staircase designed by Eva, which Jiří Kejval rescued when it was in danger of being destroyed after closure of the Joan & David store in Paris, where it was located.
We organise talks with contemporary artists
As part of a regular series of talks connected with the annual TechoCon conference we invite interesting creative – architects, designers and artists, to pass on experience and insight from their fields. For example, the guest of the fifth TechoCon morning meeting was artist Pasta Oner.
We help to promote Czech architecture, interior design and design
We support the non-profit foundation PROSTOR - architektura, interiér, design, which promotes Czech architecture, interior design and design. It publishes, for example, the Czech Architecture yearbook.
We support an art institution
We were among the first to sponsor the DOX Centre for Contemporary Art and we are today among its partners.