The Innovative Application of the Coated Glass Surface in Architecture

Johnston, Laura (1997) The Innovative Application of the Coated Glass Surface in Architecture. Doctoral thesis, University of Sunderland.

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TITLE: The Innovative Application of the Coated Glass Surface in Architecture
DEGREE: Doctor of Philosophy AUTHOR: Laura Johnston
The practice-led research is concerned with the changes to the material vocabulary available
to the glass artist as a result of developments in technology. Many stained glass artists
continue to use a one hundred year old vocabulary in the production of works for
contemporary buildings. In this research programme, the potential of a relatively new
material - dichroic glass - is explored and an appropriate aesthetic developed. Dichroic glass
is selected as focus in the research due to its unique qualities of reflection and transmission
of specific wavelengths of light. Thin films technology has resulted in its production and is
able to transform standard float glass into a magical material with enormous aesthetic
The approach to the application of the material is essentially a response as an artist to its
unique qualities, but this approach is informed by a study of historical precedence and
contemporary practice, which sets the context within which the research is carried out. The
vital importance of light as the phenomena with which artists designing glass for architecture
are primarily concerned, is revealed by this contextual study. The relationship of artistdesigned
glass to its architectural" context is examined and in-depth case studies reveal the
approaches of three contemporary artists. Personal practice is thus linked to contemporary
practice and historical precedent.
Developments in glass technology are reviewed and the current and developing functions of
glass in architecture are outlined. This ' study establishes the wider context within which the
artist, designing glass for contemporary architecture, is working. A study of thin film
technology places dichroic glass within its technical framework. In depth analysis of how
dichroics are produced and the subsequent production of a range of samples gives valuable
insight into the nature of the material.
The research uses a range of methods to address the artistic application of dichroic glass. To
utilise the unique qualities of the material, forms are developed both in experimental models
and in existing architectural settings. In seeking to enhance the experience of architectural
space, the design of forms are developed in response to the particular lighting conditions of
the chosen contexts.
The various strands of the research work together to uncover data which would assist artists
and designers in their approach to the architectural application of dichroic glass. The methods
explored and developed provide useful tools for other practitioners in their approach to

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: Glass and Ceramics > Architectural Glass
Glass and Ceramics > Glass
Divisions: Collections > Theses
Depositing User: Barry Hall
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2016 08:09
Last Modified: 20 May 2019 13:20

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