Ready for the future Although an ancient material, glass is continually evolving. Consequently, restoring old glass is challenging, given glass production often deviates from historical methods. Nevertheless, insulating and renovating stained glass holds significant importance in the context of climate adaptation. Innovations in the glass industry and related fields make glass a highly versatile and viable material for the future, not least due to its sustainability attributes.
Glass can be endlessly recycled and sustainably sourced. Ori Orisun Merhav’s Made by Insects research investigates how the natural insect polymer shellac can be blown into a glass coating. AtelierNL emphasises that we can extract the raw materials for glass hyper-locally by working with different types of sand. It is worth noting, however, that sand is a finite resource. The extraction of sand and silica substantially impacts the surrounding landscape.
On a positive note, there are ways to mitigate impact. Nuclear waste, posing a danger for millennia, can find containment in ceramic containers. The warning of danger is captured in the crystallised glaze surrounding it, as ongoing research by Antye Guenther demonstrates.
The In Vitro exhibition delves into glass’s many and versatile roles, encompassing 19th-century Catholic Limburg’s stained glass, contemporary architectural symbolism, sustainable material innovation, and global industrial applications across art, fashion, design, and healthcare. It traverses the spectrum from local artisanship to international industry and explores the multifaceted identities of those involved, including musicians, researchers, novelists, and activists.