Bořek Šípek, Czech architect and designer dies in Prague aged 66 Tell a friend

Borek Sipek

Bořek Šípek, GOOD DESIGN winner and Czech architect and designer best known for his flamboyant glassware and furniture, has died in Prague aged 66.

The Chicago Athenaeum President Christian Narkiewicz-Laine calls Šípek “one of the most brilliant global design stars who played a pivotal role in saving the Czech hand-made glass industry.”

“His glass exhibitions at the Salone di Mobile in Milan during the early 1990’s remain profoundly provocative and gave tremendous rise to the new Baroque design and architecture in the following decades.”

He was associated with the colorful "neo-baroque" glass pieces and sculptural furniture he created, particularly for Italian brand Driade, which has described him as an outstanding presence and his work as highly sensual with origins clearly rooted in Bohemian baroque.

Šípek was born in Prague in 1949. Orphaned at age 15, his guardian was René Roubíček, the great glass artist. He studied furniture construction in Prague before emigrating to Germany after the Soviet-led invasion of his homeland in 1968. In Germany he worked as a cabinet maker and later studied architecture in Stuttgart.

He started to work in glass at a smaller and more expressive scale, moving to Amsterdam and attracting the attention of Driade, where he became one of the brand's core designers alongside Philippe Starck, Oscar Tusquets and Antonia Astori.

In the late eighties, together with master glassblower Petr Novotný, he cofounded the Ajeto glass factory in the Czech Republic to keep alive the traditions of Bohemian glassblowing.
"For me he is not only an important person in Czech design, but a global postmodern star who brought, next to Philippe Starck, another type of personal approach with a very special accent on craft and story,” states Narkiewicz-Laine.

“He is a symbol of creativity where the best craftsmen would create the most complicated and challenging pieces of the time.”
Bořek Šípek was born on 14 June 1949 and died on 13 February 2016.

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