Creative Thinking
Decorative Glass a Big Interest at AIA Show

Architects have always been well known for their creative thinking. They like to be cutting edge and they like to design structures that draw attention and capture the eye. And while transparency has been, and continues to be, popular with architects, there are other ways to design a creative structure using glass as a design element, including decorative glass. Several exhibitors at the recent AIA show were displaying decorative glazing products, and agreed that architects are eager to use the materials in their designs.

Bertrand Charest of Think Glass, a thermoforming glass company based in Montreal, said they had talked to many architects during the show interested in their products.

"Architects are interested in something new, they love thick glass and things that are lively," said Charest.

In the Think Glass booth attendees could see glass sculptures, walls and countertops.

"We're starting to see a lot in the kitchen and bath as well," added Charest.

BJ Katz with Meltdown Glass, a cast glass manufacturer based in Chandler, Ariz., also said the show was excellent. She said one of the biggest themes they are seeing with architects is the use of more color. She also displayed a colorful glass structure in her booth.

But thermoformed glass and cast glass are not the only types of decorative glazing products available. Arch Aluminum & Glass showed a number of laminated decorative products in their booth. Max Perilstein, the company's director of marketing, said architects visiting his company's booth were amazed at the possibilities.

"Technology has come so far, that now, if they can dream it we can supply it," Perilstein said. "In the past architects were restricted with what they could put in a building, but now there's digital printing, different materials and colors. Architects are a creative trade, and that's why [decorative glass] is so popular."

A number of other decorative glass suppliers were on hand as well. Nathan Allan Glass Studios exhibited with Basile Studios. Their booth featured a stainless steel and glass staircase. Joel Berman Glass Studios was also present, sharing booth space with some of its partners, Garibaldi Glass and Technical Glass Products.

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