From the Editor

From Mind to Machine

By Jordan Scott

Writing and architecture may seem worlds apart, but they’re not all that different. The end result is a combination of different sources coming together and informing one another. I imagine that walking into a completed building for the first time is similar to how I feel when I turn the page of a magazine issue I know cover to cover, developed after weeks of interviews, writing, researching and editing. It’s just on a different scale.

You may have a favorite part of your building’s design or, in my case, magazine, but it doesn’t represent the full scope of your design intent or purpose. The glass industry itself functions in the same way. I may appreciate the visual impact of a wall of transparent glazing, or the beauty of interesting shapes on such a large scale, but so much goes into creating that aesthetic.

I get to see machinery at many of the trade shows I attend, and I always think that the machines feel so far removed from the architectural design and final product, but that isn’t true. Automation, an overwhelming force within the glass industry, and software integration are making production much more efficient and safe, and allowing fabricators to produce oversized glass, warm-edge spacers and more. Machines are smarter, and therefore able to achieve more complex engineering feats such as the fins used in the Miami Beach Convention Center project (see page 22 for that story).

This improved communication from the architect’s mind to building information modeling to the machine that brings it to life is making what once seemed impossible become something almost easy.

Similar technological advances are happening throughout all facets of the glass industry. Glass is aiding architects to achieve sustainability and aesthetic goals in ways not possible in the past. Glass can function as a medium to provide daylighting to building occupants while keeping distracting sounds out and improving a building’s energy efficiency. This was achieved by GBPA Architects at the new Amazon headquarters in Milan, Italy(see page 14 for that feature).

The glass and glazing industry is advancing in many ways that might surprise you. You can learn about some of these changes at the Architects’ Forum in Uniondale, N.Y. The event offers architects the chance to earn four AIA-accredited continuing education credits for free (see page 18 to learn more). I hope you consider joining us in New York and that you enjoy this issue of Architects’ Guide to Glass & Metal.

To view the laid-in version of this article in our digital edition, CLICK HERE.