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Neat stuff to do – or not do – at SOFA*


………..Don’t walk on the art!

Even if it’s designed to be walked on, climbing up the prototype Michael Rogers staircase would not be a good idea. We’ve suggested as much by making the treads much narrower than standard and starting their rise a couple of feet off the ground.

Plus, the stairs don’t go anywhere. (But lots of people say that about contemporary art).


So what are they? Art? Architecture? “Artchitecture”?

Whatever you call them, they’re part of a series of building ideas that we’re presenting next month in our booth (#607) at the *Sculpture Objects & Functional Art Fair in Chicago.

We’re calling it “BUILDING WITH LIGHT: Contemporary Glass Art + Architecture”.

The project was inspired in part by the architectural projects that our studio team has worked on over the last few years.  It was also driven by our belief that glass and light are the perfect media for marrying art and architecture.

The fact that we’ve run out of wall and shelf space in our home also got us to scheming about ways to squeeze in just one more piece – even if we had to fit it onto the edge of a stair tread!.

So we asked a few of Bullseye’s gallery artists to work with us on what might be called designed-art: divider walls, counters, stair treads – elements that carry just a hint of the artist’s hand. These are not art objects. These are whispers of art inserted into the built environment.


Rogers created the “art parts” at his studio outside Rochester, New York, then shipped them to Bullseye where they were cast onto the edges of the massive glass blocks. (Yes, Michael, I swiped this pic off your FB page. I hope that’s OK…..- LM)

The projects we’re showing at SOFA are also IDEAS – the best of all reasons to visit SOFA: getting new ones. And sharing them. Which is what we do at SOFA every year. Don’t miss this one.

Go there! See it! Let’s talk!

- Lani

PS, One of the R&E techs told me that Dan DID climb up the stairs the other day. He was proving that the free-standing corner tower could hold the weight of someone on the stairs without tipping over. (It’s counterbalanced).

But they tell me he took his shoes off first.

POST UPDATED 16 Oct: I have just obtained this confidential and damning evidence. Not only did he walk on the art, but he did NOT remove his shoes. Sigh.


12 Responses to Neat stuff to do – or not do – at SOFA*

  1. Steve Klein says:

    I saw Dan on the stairs!!

  2. Very much looking forward to seeing this. What other goodies will you be displaying?

  3. Lani says:

    Steve, I hope you scolded him!

    Jackie, You’re coming to Chicago? How fabulous! We’ll also have projects – and art – by Giles Bettison, Jess Loughlin, Catharine Newell and Ted Sawyer. I’ll try to blather a bit about each in upcoming posts.

  4. amanda says:

    Oh….almost lost for words, these are fantastic, such original design and concept. Glass keeps on getting more and more exciting. I’ve just returned at showing at Origin in London (with minimal glass representation) and coming back to see this level of creativity happening just spurs me on in my own direction….looking forward to more posts Lani
    Amanda x

  5. Lani says:

    Hi Amanda – funny you should write! I was JUST on the Origin website yesterday looking at your work – I love the new directions and all the carving! I am determined to get to Origin some day! Some day!

  6. karlyn sutherland says:

    To say I’m jealous would be an understatement – this sounds and looks really exciting. I wish I could go!
    Is there anything about the previous architectural projects on your website? I searched a couple of times but to no avail.. I’d love to know more about them.
    I’m going up the road in a couple of weeks should you fancy switching Chicago for Lybster…? We could definitely make that work.

  7. Lani says:

    Karlyn, you know I’d trade Lybster for Chicago in an instant! But no chance.

    No, not much of anything on the site about the earlier archfab projects. I’ll try to dig some stuff up once I’ve slogged through a few more SOFA posts.

  8. I love the picture of Dan! Is he going to do demos at SOFA?

  9. I’m in trouble now Lani, after seeing your blog, Bette who has just now seen the finished stairway images has informed me of how great such stairs would look in our house!

  10. Lani says:

    Go, Bette! (If you need tips on how to nag The Hubby, I’m a pro)

  11. jenn houser says:

    ” I have just obtained this confidential and damning evidence. Not only did he walk on the art, but he did NOT remove his shoes. Sigh.”

    He also looks pretty pleased with himself.

  12. Annemarie says:

    Can’t wait to get to SOFA and see that beauty!!

    Yup, I’m going:o)

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