Anthony Darkangelo gives the opening remarks at GlassCon Global.

The third GlassCon Global, an every-other-year event, kicked off Thursday in Chicago, and this edition of the conference again lived up to the “global” in its name.

During his welcome presentation, GlassCon Global executive director Anthony Darkangelo said 15 countries are represented in the group of presenters and attendees. “We have people from all over the world,” added Clark Anderson, incoming chair of the Finishing Contractors Association (FCA).

Anderson said he had three challenges for event attendees: “Learn something technical… take time to find somebody you don’t know and get to know them, or find someone you do know and get to know them better… and get refreshed.”

Darkangelo echoed those sentiments. “The idea is to start the conversations,” he said.” The whole purpose of this is to start that conversation, then to take it away and build on that.”

One representative of the group of overseas participants is Jurgen Neugebauer, chair of GlassCon Global’s scientific committee. Neugebauer, of the University of Applied Science in Austria, said during the opening remarks that glass is so important because it can be very large or very small, thin, stiff or flexible. This allows for applications everywhere from massive buildings to small electronics.

Doug Noble and Karen Kensek of the University of Southern California later discussed how they are implementing glass education into their architecture curriculum.

As Noble pointed out, the general undergraduate curriculum for architecture programs in the U.S. is packed so tight that it is difficult to add content, so instead of adding something like a full semester of glass, they are injecting glass education into existing categories. The goal is to provide other universities a plug-and-play version of the glass education syllabus so they can add to their programs.

Kensek and Noble are leading a “thinkshop” later in the day, inviting attendees to join and discuss what they believe architecture students should be learning about glass.

Also on Thursday, Nick Bagatelos of Bagatelos Architectural Glass Systems and Anirban Basu of Sage Policy Consulting Group presented on Industry 4.0 and the construction economy, respectively. Stay tuned to™ for coverage of those presentations and more from GlassCon Global in the coming days.