This research and development project explores potentials in interactive glass. It marks a meeting between not only the physical material glass and then coded behaviour, but also a meeting between the classic craft of glassblowing and the emerging of physical computing.

As crafters and design researchers, we see potentials in (re)asserting craft as a profound questioning of the role of artefacts through expansive concepts and deep engagement with a particular matter. Our main intention is to nurture a multitude of exemplars of and voices on what constitutes a designer’s design material cutting across the material and digital.

Turning a deep-cut piece of glass is a rich and almost interactive experience; yet, we are still to see significant attempts to explore behaviour of 3-dimensional glass by computational means.

Manifest #1: Glass is alive

A sentiment, which is both ancient and of the future: Only now can we start to see the contours of digitally enhanced artefacts, which fit the archaic belief that even a black rock can literally have rudimentary agency, a temperament or even cravings. Such a digital animism suggests that artisans of the future may take the behaviour of their craft’s artefacts as natural as the purely material. Glass may sense, respond and act on its own accord!

Manifest #2: Glass is glass

A quest for potentials in bringing together 3-dimensional glass and the dynamics of artefact behaviour to revisit inherent qualities of the material (e.g. optical play and inner depth) and from this source instil interactivity to unfold even richer forms and potentially new roles for glass artefacts. Research at such a basic level may point to novel avenues for glass products to pursue in successive projects. Here, parallels may be drawn to how designerly and artistic research has successfully invigorated and opened textile materials to interactive realms.

Manifest #3: Matter matters anew

As information-centric approaches are increasingly seen as a limiting, insufficient or misguided foundation for exploring potentials of material-digital artefacts, there is a call for new attention to aesthetics and sensuousness to address basic issues of dynamic form in this still emerging and otherwise often technology-driven field. Here, craft sensitivities may become a profound source of insights and inspiration in embracing how glass may come alive (i.e. how artefacts may sense, respond and act on the own accord).

Initiators of the project
Henrik Svarrer Larsen
Interaction Designer, PhD, Glassblower
Malmö University
Mads Høbye
Interaction Designer, PhD
Fablab RUC / illutron
The project collaborates with the following institutions
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