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While Hašek’s Good Soldier Švejk fights valiantly on the front and the Čapek brothers come up with the word ‘robot’, young Czech architects rework Cubist ideas in the world of design, creating a streetlamp like a modern Marian column, a sculptural bookcase like a piece of origami, and a unique box shaped like a crystal.

Prague artists meet in new cafés.

1910 Engineer Jan Kašpar makes the first flight in this country, in a machine he built himself. Czech painters discover Pablo Picasso. The Club for Old Prague, run by the architects Pavel Janák, Josef Gočár, Josef Chochol and Vlastislav Hofman, supervises new buildings in the city centre, creating an opportunity for Czech Cubism.

1911 Adolf Loos gives a lecture in Prague on the theme ‘Ornament is a Crime’. Adherents of Cubism found the Group of Artists. A year later, two of its members, Josef Gočár and Pavel Janák, found the Prague Art Workshops, which manufacture Cubist designs, alongside the Artěl cooperative. The carmaker Praga dominates the Austro-Hungarian market. Albert Einstein works in Prague as a professor of physics.

1912 Josef Gočár builds the Cubist House at the Black Madonna. Viktor Kaplan patents his turbine.

1913 The first cinemas open. In Neklanova Street, Josef Chochol completes his Cubist apartment block.

1914 World War One begins. Franz Kafka starts writing The Trial.

1915 The Lucernafilm company is founded.

1917 The Tvrdošíjní (The Stubborn) modern art group is formed.

1918 Czechoslovakia is founded as an independent state.

1919 Alfons Mucha designs the first Czechoslovak postage stamp.

1920 The national flag acquires its present form. Karel Čapek writes the play R.U.R., where the word ‘robot’ makes its first appearance.

1921 Josef Gočár builds the Czechoslovak Legions Bank in the Rondo Cubist style, similar to Art Deco in its use of arcs. Jaroslav Hašek writes The Good Soldier Švejk.