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an alternative methodology whereby material

building envelope and abundant in the built

and process constraints are integrated into

environment, glass is an ever-present and

the design process through experimental

easily overlooked aspect of our surroundings.

and computational techniques, developing

Glass Cast, and its most recent iteration as

a feedback loop between design intent and

Specimen, is a research project that seeks to

materialized formal attributes. The project

characterize and advance the formal capabili-

represents a multimodal approach to design

ties of this ubiquitous material through the

research, encompassing the latent material-

investigation of two methods of working—

ity of glass as an amorphous solid, overlaid

traditional glass blowing and digitally con-

with an explicitly controlled, empirically

trolled glass slumping. The project challenges

verified process which seeks to advance the

existing modes of working with glass across a

performative capabilities of the material both

range of applications and scales, interrogat-

spatially and visually.

Catie Newell Wes McGee

Research Through Making

Specified as a component within nearly every

ing the connections between craft and the explicit control offered by custom developed

Two Angles of Attack

manufacturing processes and tooling.

After extensive research dedicated to the forming and shaping of glass, experiments

The Setting

were carried out through two distinct

This research began by questioning the de


facto application of glass as flat pane that reinforces the ubiquity of sheet materials

Distort Windows

throughout contemporary building tectonic

Part of a larger body of work on explicitly

systems. Such ubiquity remains a reflection

controlled doubly curved façade systems, the

of the industrialization of architectural

work conducted as Distort Windows utilizes

products, whereby traditional materials

the performance of a digitally controlled,

have been modified and compressed into

reconfigurable pin-mold embedded into a

standard sheet goods and then fabricated

kiln. Articulated with 99 pins and hexagonal

using subtractive technologies. Arguably this

tiles, the kiln facilitates the formal alteration

has both driven—and been driven by—a lack

of flat sheet stock into geometrically defined

of feedback between material properties and

curvatures. Developed and integrated with

the design process. Glass Cast demonstrates

a parametric modeling plug-in to provide

McGee | Newell



Glass Cast + Specimen

Dimensions 26  
Dimensions 26