[ Reinterpreting kaplický’s book, “confessions” through a tribute exhibition in the design museum ]

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FREEDOM - “Freedom of expression must be at the beginning of any design process. You can build only in democracy. You can create only in freedom”. Kaplický's life was fractured by war andtotalitarianism. Until he came to the United Kingdom in 1968, he had lived through two dictatorships –fascist and communist- which wiped out any trace of Czech modernism and allowed no criticism or autonomouspublications. When he was beginning to build his first housing project, Russian tanks invaded Prague. He could not go through it again. He wanted to do architecture, and be free. These facts marked himfor life. We certainly cannot look at his work without having this in mind. Maybe this continuous feeling of frustration and helplessness cultivated inside him an insatiable eagerness for freedom.Maybe the censorship unconsciously engendered a genius. Feeding him with dogma and prohibition, he developed an unrestrained desire for a democratic world. An endless list of ideas piled up in his brain,which the more he wasn’t allowed to express, the more radical became. Maybe his eagerness for breaking the rules was a direct consequence of the absurd rules he had to cope with in his early life.This internal brainstorm transformed into a fascinating explosion of creation when he finally met freedom. What else, if not freedom is behind these models? What else if not a will to allow any ideas tocome out and materialize? These objects exude pure freedom of expression. No restrictions, no shame, no constraints. He wanted to fight against an unimaginative world and he was able to publish hismost controversial works thanks to democracy. It is a great shame that death surprised him when he was precisely preparing to build a couple of striking buildings -full of freedom- where he had alwaysbeen silenced against his will. Let’s look at the Czech National Library project. The models show a weird jellyfish-like shell landing lightly on the ground. There is no apparent difference between...
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