From the Fabricator: Design Trends

I am always studying trends and directions that our world will go into, and when I come across lists that interest me I love to share them here. This week I ran into a great piece on the TMD Studio blog that broke down the future of design and architecture. Of course, I had some comments on the list of trends.

Check them out.

  • Collaboration. There is no doubt that this area is growing, and the article did not mention integrated project delivery, which is absolutely a growing movement.

  • VR and Immersive Architecture. VR and AR are both items that benefit design teams. As that technology grows, so will the usage. Residential glass shops are already seeing value, but costs are still very high to use.

  • BIM. Is this the future? Isn’t it here and hasn’t it been here for a while? The article does do a good job of explaining the situation here.

  • Parametric Architecture. This is intense and deep; too much for my little brain.

  • Robots and 3D printers. To me this is the best bet for massive usage in the future. I believe we will see more robotics in our world in many different areas.

  • Internet of Spaces. I have heard of Internet of Things, but I can’t say I remember this concept and when I read more I just don’t see it… yet.

  • Vertical Cities. Isn’t New York a pro at this at this point?

  • Sustainability. It is listed as a trend, but I think it’s beyond a “trend” and more an accepted practice for most. 

If you are an architectural geek, the whole article is very interesting, though in some areas it’s deeper than I like to go. Still, it is worth the discussion of where we are now and where we are going.


  • Speaking of items that fall under “trends,” there’s been a push for timber as a curtain wall framing product. It’s evidently popular in Europe. However, a job in Oregon that was going with wood all over the project instead of conventional products had a rough go recently. This could surely slow momentum.

  • Last week, I hit on the awesome map that Glass Magazine included in its latest issue, and it reminded me of the site Tremendous site and if you are a member of the NGA, it is free with your membership. 

  • Hearing rumblings of a couple of mid-size glass company acquisitions in the industry, one on the eastern side of the country and one on the west. I think we will see a few more of these sorts of deals over the next two years with the way the industry landscape is lining up. I don't see the major monster deals happening, though. See I just did it. Watch, some massive deal will be announced tomorrow! In any case, with the economy showing some extra volatility, it could move people off the fence and into “sell” mode.

  • Last this week, the musical artist Zedd did all of the design for his gigantic home and he used tons of glass throughout. As an industry we really do make, fabricate and install an awesome product. Take a look at what he did, and obviously not only does he have musical skills but he is not a bad designer either!

Read on for links and video of the week…

The author is founder of Sole Source Consultants, a consulting firm for the building products industry that specializes in marketing, branding, communication strategy and overall reputation management, as well as website and social media, and codes and specifications.

E-mail him at The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.


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