Thoughts from glasstec
By Debra A. Levy
We’ve had ongoing coverage of glasstec 2018 online at usglassmag.com and through our video newscasts you can see at usglassmag.com/studio.And in the months to come, we will be providing coverage in these pages. In the meantime here are some initial thoughts coming to you from Düsseldorf at the end of day one:
The real delight of glasstec ’18 is that it is chock-full of new and true innovation. Hall 9, for example, is dedicated to handcrafted glass and products, and the artisans that produce them. Mirror seemed to be making an ever so modest comeback as a trendy material, shown used in everything from clothing to artwork.
If Hall 10 had streets instead of aisles, the main one would have been called “Primary Row” as AGC, Guardian, Pilkington NSG, Saint Gobain and newcomer Vitro all had addresses there. I had to smile thinking how far these companies had come in developing a presence at the show. The neighborhood included most of the larger primaries from around the world.
Glasstec is also known for its displays of innovation and this year produced that bumper crop of novelty. Three themes were common:
1 It’s all about the shape: Though jumbo glass is now commonplace, glass with new and tighter bends, and even one example of diagonal bends from Saint Gobain, created an interesting effect. The glass has already been used on a project in Paris;
2 It’s all about the size: Though jumbo glass is now commonplace, thin and narrow is new. There were various examples of narrow lites as well as thin and strong ones. One even supported a car that was suspended upside down from it.
3 It’s all about automation: and probably will be for years to come. One of the neatest new products I saw was an insulating unit from a company simply named LIGHT that could change colors and move from opaque to clear as well. Now dynamic glass is not particularly new, but dynamic glass in a functioning IGU is.
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