FLOAT


Perfectly flat glass dominates the appearance of our urban landscapes today. Designed to be almost invisible, it nevertheless lends the city its face of prestige and economic wealth.

The technique to produce evenly thick glass by ‘floating’ a batch of molten sand on top of a liquid tin bath was developed in the 1960’s. Today, It has taken over almost all the flat glass production worldwide, creating an extremely uniform industry and consequential lifestyle. In a hypnotising velocity, a specific size range of relatively pure silica sand grains are transformed into a perfectly flat and smooth ribbon of glass, 24/7, 365 days a year. Unstoppable for 15 years per production line, the industry keeps on extending to feed the speculative consumption of a globally growing market.

In the process of researching this global industry, Christoph Dichmann and Elissa Brunato were fascinated by the contrast between the standardised procedures of the production and the apparent lack of official guidelines around the extraction and use of the non-renewable resource sand.

Float discusses the need to regulate the use of these materials, presenting interviews with experts across industries related to sand who speak about the use of glass and its wider social and geological impacts. Highlighting the complexities of a globally local system, this curated conversation seeks to explore the future dealings with float glass and its core ingredient, sand.

 

2020

In collaboration with Christoph Dichmann

Commissioned by Design Academy Eindhoven’s GEO-DESIGN exhibition platform in conjunction with the Van Abbemuseum

Part of the 3rd exhibition series called GEO-DESIGN: Sand. The Building Block of Modernity curated by Martina Muzi.

Exhibition website
GEO-DESIGN Archive
Publication Interview

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INTERVIEWEES AS SEEN IN THE VIDEO:


James O’Callaghan
Co-Founder of Eckersley O’Callaghan

Kiran Pereira
Founder of Sand Stories

Dr. Aurora Torres
PhD Ecology and Research Leader SANDLINKS project providing an integrative perspective to global sand sustainability

Tim Smith
Specialist in Refractories, Raw Materials and Glass Compositions for Float Glass and Rolled Glass, NSG Pilkington

Clive Mitchell
Industrial Minerals Geologist, British Geological Survey




Dr. Samuel Tetsopgang
Senio Lecturer in Geology, University of Bamenda

Pratap Hegde
CEO and ED, Rane T4U Sangeetha Shenoy
Head - Communications / L&D, Rane T4U

Prof. Dr. Jens Götze
Mineralogist, TU Bergakademie Freiberg

Ann Petitjean
Marketing Manager, Sibelco

Louise Gallagher
Environmental Governance Lead, Global Sand Observatory at UN Environmental Programme

Mette Bendixen
Research Fellow at INSTAAR




SPECIAL THANKS TO:


Sponsor:
Pilkington


Advisors:
Frances Perry
Institute of materials, minerals and mining (IOM3)

David Moore
Managing Editor, Society of Glass Technology

Joel Berman
President/Founder/Artist at Joel Berman Design

Dr Richard Hulme
Oversees technical developments, Guardian (based in the US)





SELECTED PRESS:


Domus Web
An exhibition about sand, the oil of the digital age

e-flux
GEO—DESIGN


SELECTED EXHIBITIONS:


GEO:DESIGN Sand, The building Block of Modernity
Van Abbemuseum
Eindhoven, NL
17 October - 15 November 2020




SELECTED TALKS:


The Sustainable Products Talk(show): Glass
Dutch Design Week x New Material Award
Eindhoven, NL
25th October 2020

Dezeen x Dutch Design Week, It’s In Our Nature
Dutch Design Foundation
Online
22 October 2020