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Glazing Clippings and Musings November 2015 by Helen Duval

gawardsTechnology, performance, trends, culture and art influence many aspects of the glazing industry with design becoming more important than ever before, as sleek finishes that make bold statements are as important to end users as the performance of the product.  Whether that is for contemporary new build or redeveloping a listed property to today’s standards, modern design is playing its part and it matters.


Artist Greg Foley recently made a bold comment in The New Yorker magazine that has relevance across many industries.   “For the next generation of fashion talents, the question is how to create something new when the Internet puts everything from the past at anyone’s disposal,” and he continued on to say that in  “This moment, the fashion landscape is evolving to keep pace with social media. Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter or Snapchat are now the forces shaping our fashion consciousness.”


Commercial design too faces new challenges and rewards, when it comes to making a statement and the speed at which that gathers momentum.  Whether it is a striking engineering project, such as The Shard, that creates appreciative curiosity alongside gasps of admiration, or the redevelopment of a hotel chain that must accommodate the expectations of modern travellers, design remains a fundamental aspect for the sector.  It is expected to be new and it is necessary to be dynamic in ways that have never before been seen.


Architects and interior designers are challenged more and more, to create looks that address our modern desire to have something superb.  Equally, there is a desire to create something new that offers a feeling of security and familiarity – if you like, a means to offer comfort. They must supply to the demands of longing for the best of the past whilst combining that with a craving to experience something vital and new in a fast paced world.


Online information is swift and terrifying to some – a change that is too fast and hard to cope with when adapting it for established industries.  For architects and designers it could be considered the same, however, it leaves so much at their disposal that can be drawn upon in terms of art forms and cultural elements, which all have bearing in modern building concepts and all are so readily available through social media routes.


Manufacturers have to keep pace. The next generation has never been without technology and they harness it in ways that we must learn.  Theming, product innovation and performance dynamics are critical aspects that will ultimately influence investment and must be readily available on the internet to view – so, even if it’s retro 1950s design, the anniversary of the first double glazed unit from a storm window, acoustic glazing for a trendy workout space, the window Pantone color chart for 2016, or a charitable cause that a product manufacturer or firm of architects is keen to support –  it all has bearing for the sector and needs to be a part of the manufacturers online conversation today.  Why? – because we must cater for tomorrow’s market.


Carrying on with a theme and in recognition of innovation, the Award season is about to get underway, and there is a great, familiar buzz across the glass and glazing sector regarding the G Awards.  This year the event will be held on 27th November 2015 at the London Hilton on Park Lane, where the good and the great of the industry will once again come together to celebrate innovation in industry technology, engineering and design.


The G Awards recognize national achievement and industry projects across 11 categories, and this also includes training initiatives.  Additionally, the Unsung Hero Award acknowledges consistent exemplary business accomplishments or achievements beyond regular job requirements.


The event honours notable industry leaders in their field with finalists this year including Edgetech, Saint Gobain, Thermoseal, Profile 22 Systems and Solidor all nominated amongst others,  in various categories this year.  Comedian, Jason Mumford will be hosting the G15 Awards Presentation evening and for more information visit the G15 website


With novel concepts being a focus this month it was interesting to read of a striking contemporary project undertaken by a Finnish couple, who were looking to create a completely new home after their children had left for college.


Kari Leino, an executive at Martela, an office furniture company and his wife opted to build a 2,314 sq.ft villa of concrete and glass, warming it up with oak floors and  textured ceiling tiles.  The unique, three-storey villa can be found on an historic island in the Baltic and part of its unusual design includes a number of oversized windows which offer impressive views over forest and sea.  A great project if ever there was regarding weathertightness!


After the planning stage, a two year build project began which involved many painstaking hours creating concrete walls, floors and furnishings.  The couple are now enjoying the fruits of their labours with the intention of selling up when they retire to begin a new plan that involves a move to Italy.  If anything similar occurs there, such contemporary design ideas will surely create quite a stir, in a country that is recognised for its historical allure as much as it is its passion for creativity.


Article written by Helen Duval

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