Exploring Glass with Design Students in Paris

GlassLab kicked off today in the Tuileries Garden in Paris with design sessions by Marco Mencacci, a designer and instructor at Ecole Camondo of Les Arts Décoratifs.

Marco is a multidisciplinary designer who has created designs for furniture, lighting and glass objects. His designs are often full of a mix of bright colors.

For GlassLab, he designed a playful vase with a cheerful face of applied bits of glass in various color combinations.

Marco Mencacci at GlassLab

Marco Mencacci at GlassLab

Marco was joined by three of his students in the design program, Blandine Cattani, Morgane Bertin and Florent Dufourcq.

The students are in a five year program where they learn about various materials for design such as wood and metal. This was their first time designing for glass.

“You don’t know before working with it how it will react,” said Blandine. “I thought that glass would be a little like paper, and that is what I had designed for, but it is not at all. It has to be manipulated more, and I had to change my design to work with that manipulation.”

Blandine’s design involved cutting the hot glass and folding or pressing the opening together to create various openings.

The students had the opportunity to test out a few of their designs with the glassmakers yesterday, and took what they learned to make any adjustments to their designs before today’s public sessions.

Morgane initially worked with the glassmakers on her design of a dual-sided decanter, but reworked her design after seeing how the material moved when hot out of the furnace. Today’s project was a bowl form with a curved lip.

Design student Morgane Bertin at GlassLab

Design student Morgane Bertin at GlassLab

Florent loved the immediacy of seeing the designs created in glass. “It was amazing to see the material in person, to see how it works and how everything is formed. We want to be designers and design products, and for me, it was the first time that I’ve had a design fully made. It meant a lot to me because it was the first time that I was able to see one of my projects. And for it to be in my head, just an idea and then—wow, magical, you have something real right away. It was amazing for us to have this experience working with glass.”

His designs focused on a simple manipulation of the glass to keep the inherent qualities of the material at the forefront—transparency and form—resulting in a minimal shape of the human head.

GlassLab is in Paris all week, working with top French and international designers to rapidly create ideas in glass. See http://www.cmog.org/glasslab/events/paris for the daily design session schedule. Tomorrow’s designers are Arik Levy, Sylvain Dubuisson and Matali Crasset.

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