The 1970s

The 1970s could be characterised as a schizophrenic situation in which the importance of design was stressed as being a requisite part of forming the ‘generally developed personality’ and where its economic importance and share in the production of complex quality products was highlighted, while on the other side it was only an unpleasant and tolerated complication to production for a great majority of enterprises. In 1972 the Council for Creative Culture was transformed into the Institute of Industrial Design, while the scope of activities of the new institutions was planned to be extended. However, ignorance from the side of industrial production as well as the incompetence of the institute’s management marginalised its effects on the situation in Czechoslovak design.
The tradition of all-Slovak exhibitions of utility art and industrial creative art was further developing, presenting another generation of industrial designers – graduates of Kovar’s specialised department at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague (Vladimir Nahalka, Jozef Pokorny, Mikulas Slatkovsky, Frantisek Burian) as well as the first graduates of Kautman’s department of industrial forming at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design (VŠVU) in Bratislava (Alexander Bilkovic, Marian Drugda, Peter Lehocky, Peter Paliatka, Tibor Schotter and others). Probably the strongest generation of Slovak post-war utility graphics paradoxically began to show during the unfavourable Normalisation atmosphere of the 1970s, even though that time almost equalled the 1950s as regards the absolutism of political posters. The joint activities of Jozef Doka Jnr, Pavel Choma, Lubomir Longauer, Svetozar Mydlo and Vladislav Rostok, together with their older (Jan Meisner and Zoltan Salamon) and younger (Dusan Junek, Jozef Habodasz, Juraj Zilincar and others) colleagues contributed to the extension of the scope of utility graphics to such an extent that it could be considered to be graphic design in the true sense.