GlassLab provides designers with rare access to explore concepts in glass. In public "design performances" or private workshops, designers and glassmakers collaborate, rapidly prototyping design concepts and using the immediacy of hot glass as a catalyst for innovation. Using a mobile hot glass studio, GlassLab sessions have taken place in public design venues like Design Miami / Art Basel Miami and Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, offering audiences a live, authentic glimpse of the design and glassmaking processes, while allowing designers to explore the material of glass in a way that few have access to.
The GlassLab program, which is headed by Museum senior director, and former Steuben designer, Rob Cassetti, grew out of the Museum-sponsored “Liquid Fusion” workshops at the Domaine de Boisbuchet summer design retreat in southwestern France. This workshop to introduce design students to glass was conceived in 2006 by Paul Haigh, and it has been led over the past five years by Haigh and Museum glassblowers Steven Gibbs and Eric Meek.
GlassLab designers come from various disciplines, such as product, graphic, and fashion design. Designers invited to work on GlassLab include Yves Béhar, the Campana Brothers, Nacho Carbonell, Matali Crasset, Sigga Heimis, Max Lamb, and Massimo Vignelli. Designers bring their sketchbooks, and we bring the glass.
One of the goals of GlassLab, and of the “Liquid Fusion” design workshop, is to inspire designers to rediscover glass by working with it in a molten state, encouraging designers to design more innovatively for the material of glass. The goal is not to design a “perfect” product but rather to offer the designer meaningful insights into the material. GlassLab’s focus on material and process aims to help the designer realize new forms, functions, and meanings for glass.
Opportunities to participate in public design sessions are by invitation only, but GlassLab is available to work with designers or design groups in private workshops, in Corning or elsewhere. For more information, contact [email protected].