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Sandberg Institute at DMY

Autonomous glass designer Marc Barreda is injecting sentiment and nostalgia along a former patch of the very unsentimental Dutch coast.

By Gabrielle Kennedy / 16-06-2011

Amsterdam’s Sandberg Institute held center stage at the recent DMY festival in Berlin with a big multimedia presentation that captured the atmosphere of a student workshop.

Mood boards, diagrams, maps, photos, sketches, poems and instruments gave artful insights into a designer’s mental process.

Glass artist Marc Barreda is trained in Venetian techniques and is working on the edge of art and design.  

In his “Glass Half Full” project 150 glasses sit side by side.  “They are all slightly more than half full,” Barreda explains.

While exploring the coastlines of Holland, Barreda discovered that unlike in his homeland, America there is no seaglass.  “It is probably because of the currents in the North Sea, but I like to say it is because glass can't roll up hill,” he says.

For his Sandberg Master’s project, Barreda has constructed a machine that creates seaglass.  50 kg of glass, sand and water go into the machine that tips back and forward until the edges of the glass break down.  The process naturally creates sounds that resemble waves.  Barreda plans to travel by boat around IJsselmeer to deposit the man-made seaglass along the coast.  

And it makes good sense.  The lake itself is manmade – it was once a salty sea until 1932 when a dyke was built and much of the land reclaimed.  “The fishing industry was killed and the tulip industry was borne,” Barreda says.  “My project is about planting the seed of nostalgia back into that changed environment.”

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