Liquid Fusion 2012: Design Explorations in Glass

Today’s post comes from Paul Haigh, architect, designer, educator, and founder of HAIGHArchitects+Designers.

The 'Liquid Fusion' participants and the Boisbuchet workshop group. Photo: Domaine de Boisbuchet © Alessandro Fedeli 2012

The 'Liquid Fusion' participants and the Boisbuchet workshop group. Photo: Domaine de Boisbuchet © Alessandro Fedeli 2012

We have just wrapped up the 7th edition of the Liquid Fusion workshop at the Vitra summer design workshops at Domaine de Boisbuchet, in Lessac, France.

This year we had an excellent group of twelve designers who were focused and inspired by the design exploration theme. They produced over 120 prototypes in the condensed 5 day workshop…no mean achievement.

Wolfram Solter, Double Optic/Double Layered Tumbler; Ana Vinuela Lorenzo, Double layered uplight shade; Nina Ruthe Klein, Pinnochio Glass.

Wolfram Solter, Double Optic/Double Layered Tumbler; Ana Vinuela Lorenzo, Double layered uplight shade; Nina Ruthe Klein, Pinnochio Glass.

Primarily focused on hybridization and duality, the work examined glass transparency, translucency and opacity in the context of simple functional typologies.

Anne-May Abel, Reversible Volume in Volume Vase; Chao Nan-Kai,'Ripple Reflection' double flute, Andreas Muller Eissing, Double Bubble Explosion Vessel, Damien Ummel and Thierry Didot, 1: 4  Pastis Mixer Glass.

Anne-May Abel, Reversible Volume in Volume Vase; Chao Nan-Kai,'Ripple Reflection' double flute, Andreas Muller Eissing, Double Bubble Explosion Vessel, Damien Ummel and Thierry Didot, 1: 4 Pastis Mixer Glass.

As always, many thanks go out to the CMoG team of excellent glassmakers, Lewis Olson, Chris Rochelle and Marc Barreda, to the Boisbuchet Team and not least the participating designers.

The main emphasis is on glass design exploration as a rich palette for innovation and intervention. Emphasis is placed on the idea of “…glass as a liquid” in exploring an ancient material that can transform process into poetry.

Marlène Gourounas, Lemon Juice Squeezer w/ Perrier glass; Amandine Ansart, Fingerprint Dish with encased copper; Anne Schirner, Carafe with self centering drinking glass; Juan Ruiz-Rivas,'Volcano' finger glass.

Marlène Gourounas, Lemon Juice Squeezer w/ Perrier glass; Amandine Ansart, Fingerprint Dish with encased copper; Anne Schirner, Carafe with self centering drinking glass; Juan Ruiz-Rivas,'Volcano' finger glass.

This year’s group included industrial designers, graphic designers, artists and architects from around the world of varying ages and professional backgrounds. For many participants, this course represents the first time they have designed and worked in glass. The idea of providing access to glass through a direct proximity to glassmakers is fundamental to understanding the material and its potential applications in design.

Prototype designs underway on the GlassLab container set up in the Boisbuchet barn. Photo: © Ana Vinuela Lorenzo

Prototype designs underway on the GlassLab container set up in the Boisbuchet barn. Photo: © Ana Vinuela Lorenzo

The design sessions rotate throughout the day with each designer communicating with the glassmakers on the fabrication of prototypes. Each morning a review takes places at the annealer to discuss the previous days designs and refine fabrication issues in preparation for developing the next round of prototypes.

At the final presentation, the prototypes are displayed as a gallery exhibit in the context of the wonderful converted stables at Domaine de Boisbuchet. This year’s exhibition included lighting designs, hybrid drinking glasses, caged blown experiments and fish bowls…who knew?

Damien Ummel and Thierry Didot, Table Lamp w/ cord enclosure; Chao Nan-Kai, 'Leaf Twist' double green tea glass; Wolfram Solter, Wire Cage in Cage exploration. Photos courtesy of: Domaine de Boisbuchet © Alessandro Fedeli 2012

Damien Ummel and Thierry Didot, Table Lamp w/ cord enclosure; Chao Nan-Kai, 'Leaf Twist' double green tea glass; Wolfram Solter, Wire Cage in Cage exploration.

Congratulations to all the participating designers: Nina Ruthe Klein, Wolfram Solter, Ana Vinuela Lorenzo, Damien Ummel, Thierry Didot, Chao Nan-Kai, Amandine Ansart, Anne-May Abel, Juan Ruiz-Rivas, Andreas Muller Eissing, Anne Schirner, and Marlène Gourounas.

Finally as they say in France…

…à bientôt


All project photography courtesy of Domaine de Boisbuchet © Alessandro Fedeli 2012

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