The 33rd

33 glass

I woke up this morning at 3:33 a.m. Eastern time. For reasons I’ll explain, I’d already been thinking about the number 33. Then, true story, it was the first thing that loomed in front of my very sleepy eyes—in a weird sort of prophetic double vision. So I decided to see if little old 33 had any additional significance. Now, 7, 13, 100, those are numbers that have history and get respect. But what about 33? Does it have any claims to fame? Turns out it does. It’s rather infamous in mathematics being that 33 is a number and all. It’s the smallest sum of two positive numbers, each of which… Read More »

No Paved Paradise, No Parking Lot

The city of Cartegena Spain is home to ruins that date back to the pre-roman era. These are its most famous Roman ruins, its theater

It was the smallest city in Spain that I got to visit, and I was warned there would be “a few things to see,” but nothing like a Barcelona or Madrid. Yet for me, the visit to the city of Cartagena on the Southeastern Coast of Spain was the highlight of the trip. And of course, it was the glass that made it so. It all began with the tour guide, Irena. She told a very American story of capitalism with a true Spanish flavor. It seems a local businessman had bought a piece of downtown property with the goal of building a desperately-needed parking lot in the southwestern part… Read More »

Windows to the (Old) World

A little bit San Fran, a little bit Rio: The statue of the Redeemer in the background is the only clue your not looking at the Golden Gate Bridge but the main Bridge in Lisbon.

It was a beautiful scene. To the East was a five-sail boat in the harbor, under a silhouette of the Golden Gate bridge. The Western view was of tightly packed streets, built on gentle but sloping hills that rose up to a high and distorted degree. But more than this, it was a reminder of how small the world is and how quickly technology travels. The beautiful view of San Francisco was anything but—anything but San Francisco, that is. It was actually Lisbon, Portugal. Ever since I’d read A Hero’s Life, Richard Ben Carter’s biography of Joe DiMaggio years ago, I’ve known that great portions of San Francisco were settled… Read More »

Viva el Vidrio en Valencia!


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


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


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 »