The MENDELU campus has a new place for meetings and education: the MENDELU design lab

20. 2. 2023

The Mendel University campus in Černá Pole has expanded with a new building, the MENDELU design lab. The ground floor, including the outdoor terrace, provides space for meetings, creative activities and exhibitions, the upper floor is a zone for teaching, workshops or conferences. All this has been designed to create an environment with an informal atmosphere, in which the espresso bar on the ground floor also plays a part. Furniture Design student Anna Horáková was involved in the creation of the interiors. Most of the furniture was produced in the workshops of the Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology.

The people behind the MENDELU design lab project were primarily motivated by the idea of creating a new, inspiring, informal space on the university campus, where classmates from different years and fields of study would be able to gather, as well as students meeting teachers. It is also planned to involve successful companies in the various activities of the design lab, so that the school environment is as close as possible to the reality of the business world.

“Our intention was to expand the involvement of students in university activities, and bring them closer to the process of creating new final products. We want to prepare students for work in the best companies, not only in the Czech Republic, or to motivate them to establish their own brands and businesses,” added Martin Plachý, one of the creators of the design lab MENDELU idea.

“Students will be able to get to know the issues of products and design more extensively. The fact that a good idea is only a fraction of the whole story leading to commercial success. In the end, the majority of this comes from sophisticated work which has its own rules, and this ultimately distinguishes the successful enterprises from the rest,” added Petr Novague, co-author of the project.

The two-storey building is a modular system consisting of 11 dark grey containers with large glazed areas. This solution has created an industrial and modern contrast to the other buildings on the university campus.

The ideas for furnishing the interiors came from the students. 15 students of the Furniture Design course participated in the design of interiors within the subject Furniture Design Studio IV. The chosen design study was by Anna Horáková, who subsequently participated in the complete implementation of the interiors, including furniture. Most of the furniture was made in the workshops of the Department of Wood Science and Wood Technology of the MENDELU Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology.

A major challenge for the students was the requirement for some of the furniture elements to be variable, so that the space could be multi-functional. “For this purpose, I designed a cube-shaped object made of plywood. An element that serves as a display unit, but can also be transformed into seating or a coffee table. Among other things, I focused on colours that underline the different functions of the two floors, and also on the materials,” Anna Horáková described her approach to designing the interiors.

Contact for further information: Ing. Anna Horáková, FFWT MENDELU Dean’s office, +420 773 918 474,

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