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Lifetime Achievement Medal: Eva Jiřičná

 

Eva Jiřičná has been awarded the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Medal supported by Fortnum & Mason. The Lifetime Achievement Medal honours an individual who has made significant and fundamental contributions to the design industry over their career.

Eva Jiřičná is a Czech-born architect based in London since 1968. A Royal Academician, CBE and royal designer for industry, she began her career at the Greater London Council, before moving on to the Louis de Soissons partnership and Richard Rogers partnership, where she was responsible for the interior design of the Lloyds of London building. she founded multidisciplinary practice Eva Jiřičná Architects in 1982.

Read our interview with Eva below.

Is there a method that unifies your interior or architecture projects?

When I was a student in Prague, it was considered a matter of course that an architect should be able to design a building or interiors at any scale. We were taught by the generation of architects who were active in all disciplines from urban planning to interiors or furniture – such as Le Corbusier, Otto Wagner and Adolf Loos. When I did my masters at the Academy of Fine Arts, it only extended such principles.

What significance does London hold for you?

England and London specifically have given me everything I could have ever dreamed of living in Czechoslovakia in the late 60s. In the first place it was freedom. Unless you have lived in a dictatorship, you cannot appreciate how precious freedom is. That, of course, includes professional freedom and professional opportunities.

What advice do you give to emerging designers or graduates today?

When I was working on my diploma project in Prague my professor asked me what kind of door handles I thought appropriate for my building. I objected by telling him that was not architecture, his reply was, “The next time we meet, make me a list of three things which are not connected with architecture”, and I am still looking... My advice to all emerging architects and recently graduated architects would be “join me in the search”.

What are you most proud of in your career?

I am not specifically proud of anything in my career – I am just immensely grateful to everybody who has worked with me, who has entrusted me with a job. Everything in architecture involves teamwork and I have worked with so many magnificent people.

Supported by Fortnum & Mason

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