Published: March 20, 2017, Edited by: Mads Hobye

Dynamic Transparancies: Working with interactive glass

Fablabs can work in most materials available, but glass is still a challenge to master. Glass requires high temperatures to melt and when in liquid form it requires a high skill level to form. Glass blowers use years to master this. Fablab RUC is a part of the project Dynamic Transparencies to explore the potentials of glass. The intention is to create cross synergies between interactive technology and the properties of traditional glass blowing.

Dynamic Transparancies is a two-year research project in interactive/dynamic glass initiated by Henrik Svarrer Larsen, Mads Hobye and Peter Kuchinke. In Marts 2017 they did a three-week artist in residence at The Glass Factory on the project.

The goals are to explore the following sentiments:

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!

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.

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).