ARC 606-2– Material Culture Studio - Glass

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Course Details

Course No.: 18000

Department: Architecture

Semester: 2015 Spring

Location: Crosby – TBD

Meeting Day(s): Tuesday & Thursday

Meeting Time: 1:30PM - 7:20PM

Faculty: Rafailidis

Glass is typically used to be invisible and flat. Glass is known to either disappear through transparency or by reflection. It is not typically considered suitable as a structural element and is regarded as an energetic “problem” due to low insulation values. This studio will question all of these preconceptions. The rich history of glass fabrication and glass architectural components, as well as contemporary material developments suggest alternative readings of glass, as a material with a much more malleable and variable materiality than generally thought. Compare the Farnsworth House with Chareau’s Maison de Verre or with Bruno Taut’s glass pavilion; whereas the Farnsworth house exemplifies the immateriality of glass, the Chareau and Taut projects exploit the plasticity and the physicality of the material. Instead of being flat and invisible, our design research will harness the potential of glass to offer complex, three-dimensional geometries, its vessel-properties at the object or component scale, its structural capacity, optical qualities, visual distortions, insulating capacity and dynamic performance mediating internal and external energy flows. Students will explore glass at the component and building scales, and will have the opportunity to see, first-hand, fabrication processes involving molten glass. The studio is run in collaboration with Corning Glass and its GlassLab in Corning, NY (,

Note: Relevant mold-making and casting processes from the Material Culture Technical Methods Seminars will help support some studio work. Enrollment in Casting is recommended.