Smelting ideas - The glassLAB at Design Miami
von Vera Siegmund | Dec 20, 2007

In Miami, where Art Basel and Design Miami take place simultaneously, art and design take a look at each other's playing hand and each tries to outdo the other with a perfect performance. In this glossy atmosphere, the idea of showing products live as they are being created and showing designers at work looks refreshingly unpretentious. The glassLAB by the Vitra Design Museum event organized in cooperation with the Corning Museum of Glass showed how spectacular a workshop flair such as this can be. glassLAB is a mobile glass studio which can be erected like a small open air stage and comprises a complete glass workshop with a melting furnace, blow tubes and workbenches. The whole thing runs on natural or propane gas. Under the guidance of glass blowers and glass specialists, here designers were able to develop their ideas in front of the public and made quick prototypes out of glass. The designers Constantin and Laurene Boym and Paul Haigh, who were selected in the competition and are all from the United States, used different techniques to show how to imbed handmade glass shards into liquid glass to produce impressive, unique crockery. Meanwhile, Sigga Heimis, Design Director at IKEA, made fluid copies of our internal organs out of glass. Matali Crasset and brothers Humberto and Fernando Campana were invited as special guests, who also used the material glass to create a natural form, namely, a branch. As a natural water storage medium, it served them as the model for their transparent vase "Galho" as an artificial water store. Thus glassLAB demonstrated in an impressive manner how materials and their processing techniques can be presented in a new and experimental way which also has public