Top Designers and Glassmakers Present Glass Design Performances on the Vitra Campus During Art Basel 2011

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The Corning Museum of Glass will bring its GlassLab program back to the Vitra Design Museum during Art Basel 2011, pairing international designers with Corning Museum glassmakers for a series of collaborative design performances. GlassLab design sessions will take place on the Vitra Campus in Weil am Rhein, Germany, from June 13 to June 19, 2011.

Wendell Castle at GlassLab at the Vitra Design Museum in 2010.

Wendell Castle at GlassLab at the Vitra Design Museum in 2010.

The Corning Museum is a center for glass design, and GlassLab is an opportunity to share our passion and expertise with the international design community.

The Corning Museum of Glass will bring its GlassLab program back to the Vitra Design Museum during Art Basel 2011, pairing international designers with Corning Museum glassmakers for a series of collaborative design performances. GlassLab design sessions will take place on the Vitra Campus in Weil am Rhein, Germany, from June 13 to June 19, 2011. Participating designers will be Active People (Alex Hochstrasser and René Küng), Shin Azumi, Tomoko Azumi, Stephen Burks, Paul Cocksedge, Sigga Heimis, James Irvine, Beat Karrer, and Arik Levy.

The designers will bring their sketchbooks and concepts and work side-by-side with glassmakers in a unique mobile hotshop developed by The Corning Museum of Glass. The teams will prototype their design ideas in live sessions, allowing audiences to watch the evolution of the designs as they are created. This year’s designer proposals include an experiment to blow glass through paper tubes by Tomoko Azumi and the creation of an organic, multifaceted shape in blown glass by toy designers Active People.

“The Corning Museum is a center for glass design, and GlassLab is an opportunity to share our passion and expertise with the international design community,” said Robert Cassetti, creative director of The Corning Museum of Glass. “GlassLab provides leading designers with rare access to hot glassmaking processes and enables them to experience first hand the full potential of glass as a material for design—pushing the creative boundaries of both designers and glassmakers.

An exhibition at The Corning Museum of Glass on view May 19, 2012 ‒ January 6, 2013, will highlight new explorations in glass by contemporary designers. The survey will feature objects by a select group of international designers and studio artists working in glass, and will also showcase works from GlassLab. The exhibition will explore how glass is being used by artists and designers in newly expressive ways as a result of special access to the material through programs such as GlassLab, where designers are able to explore concepts and learn about the properties of glass in ways that have not been previously possible.        

The Corning Museum’s GlassLab has been featured at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, and at Design Miami/Art Basel. The hot glass design performance program was inspired by glass design workshops presented by the Corning Museum at Domaine de Boisbuchet, a design retreat center that is a cooperative effort of the Vitra Design Museum and the Centre Georges Pompidou, in the Charente region of Southwest France.

About The Corning Museum of Glass
The Corning Museum of Glass is the foremost authority on the art, history, science, and design of glass. It is home to the world’s most important collection of glass, including the finest examples of glassmaking spanning 3,500 years. Live glassblowing demonstrations (offered at the Museum, on the road, and at sea on Celebrity Cruises) bring the material to life. Daily Make Your Own Glass experiences at the Museum enable visitors to create work in a state-of-the-art glassmaking studio. The campus in Corning includes a year-round glassmaking school, The Studio, and the Rakow Research Library, the world’s preeminent collection of materials on the art and history of glass. Located in the heart of the Finger Lakes Wine Country of New York State, the Museum is open daily, year-round. Kids and teens, 19 and under, receive free admission.

About The Vitra Design Museum
The Vitra Design Museum ranks among the most important museums of design worldwide. It is housed in a remarkable building by the California architect Frank Gehry where the museum stages two to three exhibitions each year on historical and current developments in design. These exhibitions provide visitors with insights into the diversity and significance of design by vividly presenting the inspirations, background information and processes of design while also incorporating related fields such as architecture, art or other cultures. The work of the Vitra Design Museum is informed and guided by its extensive collection of furniture, lighting objects and industrial design, which is one of the largest of its kind. The collection concentrates on industrially manufactured objects and covers the period from 1850 up to the present. Nearly all exhibitions are conceived as travelling exhibitions that are subsequently shown at other leading international institutions. At the Vitra Campus, the museum’s exhibitions are complemented by a wide-ranging program of events, guided tours and workshops. Daily guided architectural tours of the Vitra Campus allow visitors to view the various buildings by world-renowned architects. In the VitraHaus visitors can purchase miniatures of classic furniture pieces, reeditions of well-known design classics as well as other design products.

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Yvette Sterbenk

Christine D’Aleo
Resnicow Schroeder Associates
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Design by Nacho Carbonell at GlassLab at the Vitra Design Museum in 2010.Corning Museum glassmaker Eric Meek works on a design by Sigga Heimis at the Vitra Design Museum in 2010.