GPD – Through the eyes of an architect

In this essay, professor and architect Matti Rautiola offers his thoughts on the past, present, and future of Glass Performance Days

The Past
For some 20 years I have participated in the GPD, the world’s leading conference on glass, always interested to learn something new, but also as a speaker and consultant in architectural issues – and I am a great fan of the event. The uniqueness of GPD is that it is the ultimate center of excellence in glass, meeting place where professionals are able to exchange their current knowledge and expand their networks, through cross disciplinary encounters, with people from glass processing and manufacturing, car industry, material and technology development, building and construction, R&D or world’s best architecture practices – and establish life time friendships.

The Present
The expectation for GPD 2019 is that the branch is aware of the fact that the world faces several mega changes, from environmental and climate issues to smart technology in cities, buildings and materials, as well as globalization and cultural effects. The changes inevitably reformulate the societal operations, consequently the urban structures and buildings themselves. The industry has no time to rest on its bearings!

The Future
New technical innovations will emerge, even in surprising forms and connections. New sensor concepts and electronics will be integrated into glass. Active glass and active facade performance, media facades and touch-screen applications will appear. Products will become multifaceted and manufacturing will require the input of multiple suppliers but also deeper and wider integration of production and solutions. Different forms of alliances between industries are needed. The ever-changing society and built environment also set continuous, growing and new requirements for the work mode of industry, customer focus and customer service, on-line and remote, glass products and applications. Input is sought from sources external to the glass industry and from small start-up companies with vast unprejudiced innovation potential.

Glass is on the strategic edge of the future. I am excited to see what the GPD 2019 brings. As an architect I am waiting to be inspired by new technological and material innovations, as much as by the great work that my colleagues will present.