Light Forms

Modular Variation, Pattern, Structure


  • Catie Newell University of Michigan
  • Alli Hoag Bowling Green State University
  • Omid Oliyan OPLUS


Light Forms is a compressive glass block system aimed at creating site-specific architectural structures that investigates three-dimensional forms studied for light transmission and structural performance. Building on the success of previous cast glass architectural blocks, Light Forms expands this work by adhering two components to create a single glass modular unit that offers the following unique opportunities. First, through the process of industrial press forming, mass production on the industrial scale is possible. Secondly, hollow voids created in the pressing process offer unique opportunities for prismatic effects, and controlling light transmission and privacy, in addition to creating an encapsulated air pocket while still maintaining thick walls. Next, the necessary adhesive joint to adhere the two halves together becomes an opportunity for deploying color shifts through dyed adhesive joints and considerations for reuse through reconfiguration and feasible furnace recycling. Lastly, the overall form of each modular unit is a decahedron designed in a manner that through the change of orientation tessellates into various patterns. Utilizing offset stacking, the patterns can also introduce angles and curvatures across an architectural wall while taking advantage of the compressive strength of glass. Light Forms investigates the correlation of geometry and structure as it also relates to optical performance and design opportunities.





Cast Glass