COORDINATON ASIA has been collaborating with the Shanghai Museum of Glass since 2009 to create a cultural hotspot in Shanghai’s Baoshan area. The museum has grown fast into a mature and award winning cultural institute, that is recognized by national and international media as a relevant and serious cultural destination. To further strengthen this position, COORDINATION ASIA has created ‘Keep it Glassy’, a new exhibition space dedicated exclusively to glass design.
In creating the visitor’s journey and design for the Shanghai Museum of Glass, that opened in 2011, COORDINATION ASIA emphasized the history of glass – in China and worldwide – and the contemporary ways of using the material within the realm of the arts. Proposing to expand the museum with a dedicated space for applied glass design came natural, in supporting the museum to carry out its vision that the opportunities of glass are endless.
‘Keep it Glassy’ is an exhibition space solely dedicated to show how glass craftsmanship inspires designers to find new and surprising ways of applying the material. The slow process of heating and melting glass, creating shapes and colors, combining it with different materials, and succeeding or beautifully failing to control it, has brought about world-renowned designs from top designers worldwide.
The 1000 sqm space of ‘Keep it Glassy’ is a former workshop with an industrial character. COORDINATION ASIA chose to leave parts of the raw space untouched and highlighted original details on walls and floors. In contrast, a maze of mirrored pools was created to lead the way through the exhibition space and to showcase the shimmering design objects that seemingly flow on a thin layer of water.
Subtle light is reflected in the water to create a play of light on the ceiling. The look and feel of the original space is a constant reminder of the workshop of the designer, whilst the eye-catching sleek pools form pedestals for the dazzling end results of the designer’s labor. A subtle reference to the many faces of today’s designer – artisan, stylist, star – can be found here.
Esthetics and craftsmanship, solid and liquid, smooth and raw, and dark and light collide in ‘Keep it Glassy’, making it into an engaging visual experience while providing a new and rich perspective on glass. Acting as brand consultants, museum designers and co-curators, COORDINATION ASIA has yet again added a beautifully designed function to the Shanghai Museum of Glass’ total concept.