Vitrum and Politecnico: a glass-cum-design workshop

This year’s Vitrum trade exhibition will include a workshop to develop innovative uses for glass through design, organized together with the Milan Polytechnic University and Freiburg University of Applied Sciences and Arts.

Politecnico di Milano (the Milan-based Polytechnic University) and Freiburg University of Applied Sciences and Arts team up with Vitrum and set up a workshop to develop innovative uses for glass through design.
Studying experimental courses and developing new opportunities for students and for companies in the sector: these are the goals of the collaboration between Vitrum – the international trade show specialized in machinery, equipment and systems for glass processing – and universities of excellence.
The partnership between these two worlds has led to a special workshop that aims to have future creatives and designers learn about and test the properties of glass and its industrial processing methods.
The workshop is for university students attending a course in Industrial Product Design. The students will be involved in a very stimulating exercise that will become an integral part of their course of studies: creating and testing new combinations of glass with electronics and IT to transform this material into new-concept products. This exercise can also be a useful contribution in opening up new areas of development for the glass processing industry.
Politecnico di Milano – TeDH (Technology and Design for Healthcare) and HES–SO University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Western Switzerland – HumanTech Institute are two very prestigious universities in the world in the area of research applied to design and product innovation. Thanks to Vitrum, the two universities will use glass as the starting element to develop solutions that can improve the quality of life through the ingenious use of new technologies, demonstrating once again the leading role played by this precious material in research and innovation.
Vitrum 2015, to take place 6-9 October at the Rho Fiera Milano exhibition complex, will present the initial concepts and working prototypes created and developed by the students themselves in cooperation with some of the leading companies in the glass industry.
In this way, Vitrum has opened its doors to young talents in design and engineering who will be able to measure themselves with a material that has fascinated and stimulated the creativity of men for centuries and that has the right ductility for the widest variety of applications.
The students taking part in the workshop will also be in direct contact with a highly technical and specialized industrial sector, such as the glass processing industry, which can offer countless job opportunities in Italy too. For an ever growing sector with a strong export drive like this one, it is in fact fundamental to be able to count on qualified people who can contribute to competitiveness on international markets through product innovation.
“Glass is a noble material that we have now had the opportunity to revisit through the educational collaboration between the universities and the industry – commented Giuseppe Andreoni, Associate Professor at the Politecnico of Milan’s Design School and coordinator of the TeDH Research Group at the Department of Design – These two entities are still not talking to each other enough, but on this occasion they can share and make use of their best creative, design and manufacturing skills”.
Dino Zandonella Necca, President of Vitrum, confirmed: “The objective of Vitrum 2015 can be summed up with the following pillars:
1)    to provide visitors with an overview of the state of the art in the glass industry;
2)    to stimulate the industry into assessing Total Cost of Ownership rather than a product’s purchase price;
3)    to give food for thought on possible technological and product developments;
4)    to offer a historical-cultural vision of the industry.
The work carried out with the Politecnico di Milano – University of Freiburg will not just bring the academic world closer to the needs of industry, it is also fundamental as a generator of ideas (third pillar). In fact, the melting pot of student working groups provides many preindustrialized creative ideas that can be picked up and developed by trade people. We are proud of giving this added value to our visitors.”