Viva el Vidrio en Valencia!

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If Barcelona, the second-largest city in Spain, is notable for its dearth of glass in design, then Valencia is just notable for its explosion of glass. Spain’s third-largest city is a mere three-hour ride southwest along the coast from Barcelona, yet they are thousands of kilometers apart when measuring how each city embraces glass. Madrid may signify power and Barcelona the arts, but Valencia has crafted an image as a modern city of the future while still paying homage to the past. And that amalgamation gives the 2052-year old city a decidedly adventurous spirit. Valencia pays homage to the history of glass–and ceramics–through its National Ceramics Museum, El Museo Nacional… Read More »

Did God’s Architect Hate Glass?

"Gods Architect" Antoni Gaudi

Antoni Gaudí i Cornet, or just “Gaudi,” as most of us know him, overwhelms the city of Barcelona like Lebron James overwhelms Cleveland. His power is unassailable and, though entirely distinct, his influence is so large that he and the city have become synonymous. His work helps define the city. I just wonder why he hated glass. The story of Antoni Gaudi is quixotic in nature. An architect who became defined by the distinctive type of building he designed, Gaudi spent most of his life designing projects in Barcelona and throughout Spain, and his distinctive style is instantly recognizable. His signature project, and life’s work, became the completion of his… Read More »

Europe Through a Glass Eye

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I have been lucky enough to spend a good bit of time this month traveling throughout Europe.  And hidden among the typical tourist sights–monuments, cathedrals, museums, little cafes with potent espressos and flaky pastries–came some lessons for a lifetime. Seeing so much rich and long history reminded me how “new” we, as a country, are. No wonder the rest of the world looks at the U.S. as its impetuous teenager, combining a lack of substance and context with unbounded energy and optimism. The biggest thing this trip did was bring history alive. It moved what I had learned through books and in school from one dimension to high definition 3D, and… Read More »

It’s Deja Vu on Deja Vu

Henry Taylor of Kawneer deep in architectural conversation at his company

What’s the popular culture definition of insanity? Doing things the same way and expecting different results. Well, glass industry plus annual AIA Convention = insanity because sometimes I just feel like Bill Murray in Ground Hog’s Day. Or at least I think so. I have never actually seen the movie all the way through, but I’ve caught enough pieces of it on cable to know it’s about a guy who keeps living the same day over and over, determined to make the outcome different, yet frustrated when he can’t. Yup, I’m Bill. Here’s why. Last year, in discussing the AIA ’13 show in Denver, I raised a familiar flag about… Read More »

Award-Winning AIA

Yeah that

Last week we talked a bit about the scary things I saw at the American Institute of Architects (AIA) National Convention. Most of those revolved around the use of alternative building materials on the building envelope and why it’s such a cause for concern. So this week, let’s talk about what was memorable in a good way. Let’s even recognize them with an annual award. I call them the “debbies.” Here goes: Most fun booth: Definitely YKK AP. Now they generate a lot of buzz with the whole “architect rap” thing, but it’s definitely infectious, even to an old glass gal like me. The two guys who appear in the… Read More »

Scary Trends

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I loved, loved, loved being at the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Show in Chicago last week. While our editors have been hard at work the past few days telling you all about the glass and glazing products and projects they saw, I saw another trend. A different trend. In fact, it’s a very disturbing, scary trend. The AIA Show is always a good walk, as we say. Not only can you see what’s new in glass, but you get to see the new and innovative in a whole bunch of other industries, as well. Who knew you could create customized water fountains for the backyard? By the end of… Read More »

Success = Holly

Holly Biller, Vice President of Media Services

You may have seen the recent announcements in some of our print and online publications about the appointment of Holly Biller to the Women’s Leadership and Networking Council of the prestigious American Business Media (ABM) group. Well, there are a few other things I’d like to tell you about our vice president of media services. That Holly was chosen to be included in this prestigious list of publishing professionals is no surprise. She is an accomplished professional who has grown with our company and expanded it to encompass a full digital offering, including digital editions, monthly video newscasts, e-newsletters and Android and Apple Apps. I admire Holly for too many… Read More »

Wins of the Fathers

My Dad showing off all the Ranger Wins on the Cup at PPG

Well, it’s the confluence of things that has my attention this week. That is, we are in midst of the Stanley Cup Finals, and Father’s Day is this coming Sunday … So I want to tell you a story about both. Besides, you didn’t think I could go a whole year without a hockey blog, did you? If you have been around for a while, you know that I have occasionally written about my Father’s love of hockey. The two columns I wrote years ago about his love of hockey, followed by our visit to see—and touch—the Stanley Cup, were among the most popular I ever wrote. When my Dad passed… Read More »

June Bugs

Can you believe that it is June already?  Depending on where you live, June is either your first glimpse of summer or your last of spring. June also means weddings, graduations and Father’s Day. But for me, June is all about something different. For me, June is all about architects. That’s because the June issue of USGlass magazine focuses on the architect-glass industry interface, and our Architects Guide to Glass & Metal bi-monthly has its largest issue of the year. And it’s also the month we prep for and attend the American Institute of Architect’s annual convention, which will be held June 26-28 at McCormick Place in Chicago. If you… Read More »

Be Afraid, Very Afraid? Maybe.

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An overlooked headline showed up in one of our stories about eight weeks ago. It sent a bit of a chill down my spine, but it’s gotten nary a mention nor attention since that time. And it’s crept along under the proverbial radar ever since. But the story detailed a little-known action that some say will bring challenges to the glass industry; while others predict major problems for it. You decide. The story in question explains how the International Code Council (ICC), the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), and the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (AHSRAE) have agreed to jointly develop the 2015 edition of the… Read More »