Recycled glass with aesthetic potential

Date
27.10.2017

One of the highlights of the Circular Economy in Architecture and Design exhibition is the project, ‘Composition # Devitrification’. It is the work of Maria Sparre Petersen, a teaching associate professor in the Institute of Architecture and Design. In the project, Maria Sparre Petersen investigates how to work artistically with recycled glass, a material already included in a well-established recycling system.

A particular feature of glass is that it can be recycled indefinitely without loss of quality. This feature is put to use in this project, where recycled packaging glass is used for the production of artefacts that can be recycled at the end of their life cycle in accordance with the principles of circular economy. The artefacts should not be regarded as final works, but as studies of how working with recycled packaging glass can expand aesthetic and artistic possibilities.

There are many different types of glass. The manufacture of packaging uses soda-lime glass, which has been used for the high-volume production of products for centuries. Recirculation of this type of glass is already part of the system, so today about 85% of all packaging glass on the Danish market is recycled.

Currently, most craftsmen and glass designers in Scandinavia work with barium crystal, which cannot be recycled in the established recirculation system. If barium glass ends up in the established recirculation system, it can destroy large quantities of packaging-glass, because the two types of glass expand differently.

So the project is a suggestion of how to replace a non-circular artistic practice with a circular one, simply by replacing barium glass with soda-lime glass. To this end, you utilise the possibility of connecting to the existing, effective practice of recycling packaging glass.

 

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Artifact in recycled glass
Artifact in recycled glass, detail
Artifact in recycled glass
Artifact in recycled glass, detail