Design House Stockholm

The first automatic machine glass

Sarpaneva’s career as a glass designer spanned decades. In 1998, he began work on something in which he had never shown any interest before: he would design glass for a fully automated machine. He did not like the restrictions that the technique in question put on material thickness and optics. It is precisely these two characteristics that make glass such a unique medium. Designing pieces for an automatic machine required the artist to make compromises, preventing true creative freedom. Things got off to a rocky start. “Maybe we could create a little optical effect here,” suggested Sarpaneva in his Antibes studio, when exploring various approaches. The engineer’s answer was unequivocal: “That’ll be a problem.” Sarpaneva gave in and designed a glass whose production and performance properties were nearly optimal. In terms of production technology, the use of a conical shape was the most sensible approach. The turned-in lip protects it against chipping and the impact resistance of the Arcoroc glass mass is 30% higher than normal. The elegant silicone band wrapped around the glass serves as an insulator and is dishwasher-safe. Upon seeing the first test pieces, Sarpaneva declared exultantly: “My greatest glass ever!”