Playing with glass
Singapore, 4th September 2013
Today my exploration of materials continued with glass. I spent a good hour in a glass manufacturers showroom playing with glass. We tempt to burry ourselves in selecting our architectural lighting system to suit the interior or architectural design intent of the space that we are trying to light, but I feel that as a designer of light we need to spent time playing with those materials that interact strongly with light, to better understand how light reflects, transcends or is being absorbed by the materials that are being used. Glass is one of the key materials when it comes to light. It lets in the (day)light into the space, it transforms and refracts the light when it passes through the glass and when the glass is treated with filings, coatings, edgings or colours a total new dimension can potentially arise.
I specifically went to investigate one way mirror glass that I want to apply in one of my projects as I wanted to understand in how far light is reflected by the mirror layer and how much can actually be seen when you stand behind the glass; inside out or outside in. Logic dictates that if you stand looking out behind the one way mirrored glass, light should still filter through otherwise how else can you see what is outside. Likewise if you stand outside facing the mirrored glass how much of the inside can you see as light still can filter through. There are obviously different grades of transparency and the extent of the transparency (or ability to see through) is also related to the amount of the light on the other side. The classic shop window reflections, where the outside daylight is so bright that you cant really see inside the shop other than your own reflection in the window. But at night when the outside lighting levels are low and the bright shop window lights are on (inside now brighter then outside) the reflective properties of glass are overcome and we can see straight inside without any reflection…It is really fun to play with these glass properties…
Light Watch 4-148: Some time ago a loo was created with one way mirror glass…mirror from the outside prevent you to see inside. However once inside you feel exposed to eyes from passers-by!