If you walk around London you will no doubt experience Eva Jiřičná’s design. From the jewellery gallery at the V&A to Canada Water Station and the interiors of Joseph stores, she has left a legacy that fuses interior decoration and architecture.
Jiricna subscribes to the orthodox modern idea of ‘truth to materials’ and honesty of construction. But rather than the woolly arts-and-crafts view that most British architects bring to these tenets, she infuses them with a Middle European confidence in technology and machinery, a condition that ran through the great era of Czech modernism when it benefited from a higher level of industrial development than its neighbours. It is not the hew of the carpenter’s axe or the slip of the mason’s chisel that interests her, but the expression of the nature of a material and the forces that it carries. A fine eye for even the most minute detail informs the craft-like care and great precision which go into her designs.
– Excerpt from Eva’s profile on the Royal Academy of Arts website
Born in Zlin, Czechoslovakia, she trained as an architect and came to London in 1968 on a work placement. While she was away the Soviet Union invaded in order to put an end to liberalising policies of the puppet government, and a crackdown against liberalism commenced. Unable to return Eva claimed asylum in the UK and divides her time between Prague and London.
‘Never in my life have I been too involved with the past. I’m always trying to think about what’s next. Not only with my work but with everything that I do. I don’t worry about yesterday.’
– Excerpt from an interview in the Guardian