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Mechanical engineering

Together with its subset of tools and instruments, this collection of more than 100 pieces was the most important part of the industrial design collection in the first twenty years of its existence. It includes works from the early 1940s up to the present day. The first plaster model of the R 50 radial lathe, created by Vincenc Makovský in 1940, in 1:1 scale, can be found in the collection represented by its control levers. A 1:1 laminate copy of the horizontal cutting machine of the original plaster model by Zdenek Kovář from 1945 deserves special attention – as it is a representative example of his opinion in industrial design, which was influenced by organic morphology and the technological possibilities of manufacturing cast iron casing for machines from that time.

A larger part of the collection is represented by models of machine tools, metal-working and textile machines from the late 1960s to the early 1990s. They represent not only the area in which design work for Czechoslovak industry developed most noticeably in that given time period, but also show the fundamental changes in the design of machines, influenced by the use of flat sheet metal. In addition to the works of Kovář's students Josef Lahoda, Miroslav Klíma, Vladimír Autrata, Václav Reissner and other authors (designer of Plzeň Škoda cars Jan Němeček), this period is mainly represented by the work of Svatopluk Král, chief designer of the Research Institute of Machine Tools and Machining (VÚOSO), who was active since the mid-1970s, together with Pavel Kmoch, another graduate of the Department of Machine Design in Zlín (formerly Gottwaldov). In recent years, several studies of machine tools have come from the design studios of university programmes.

Another very important collection consists of the designs of textile machines, on which specialized artists Miroslav Kouba, Alois Richtr and František Jurásek, as well as others later, worked from the 1950s. They present how modern design solutions for machines, including world-unique jet looms were developed systematically during this time.

The mechanical engineering industry is also represented by original model designs of other machines and equipment (a floating dredger and an assembly platform for water tanks from the 1980s by Jan Tatoušek and Ivan Moucha, an operational unit of a grain mill by Mojmír Čevela from the 1970s, etc.), which are proof of the design work in seemingly ”less interesting” fields.