Marta Armengol's glassware resembles amorphous bubbles

Marta Armengol
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Spanish architect Marta Armengol has created a collection of lights and vases called the Four Folds, which are made of borosilicate glass that has been blown into imperfect shapes.

Created for Brussels gallery Maniera, the series consists of clear, prefabricated glass pipes of various diameters that Armengol has manipulated into three lamps and one vase.

"The idea was to combine two states of the same material," Armengol told Dezeen.

"So each piece includes, on one hand, the pipe in its original state, and on the other hand, the material blown, swollen, folded and deformed. The deformed parts emerge from the raw pipes as a metaphor of the execution process, as if they had bloomed like a flower."

Because the series was designed specifically to be exhibited at the Nomad St Moritz collectible design fair, Armengol had to strike a balance between pre-planning the objects' dimensions while still maintaining an element of unpredictability.

"I had to work to generic, domestic and functional measurements, but the randomness really came into play in the more irregular elements," she explained.

"It was impossible to know in advance exactly what form that they would end up having, because it depends entirely on the moment in which they are executed – on the force of the blow or the heating that is exerted on the glass. In this way functionality and rationality coexist with chance."

The pieces are all made from borosilicate glass – a type shatter-resistant glass that is often used for laboratory equipment. They have no internal structure, leaving an empty space to be filled with flowers or, in the case of the lamps, the necessary electrics.

"The wires are like the entrails of the pieces, their internal organs, which are seen and exposed," said Armengol. "They are treaded through the raw pipes as conductors of the light that is projected inside the bubbles."

Although she works primarily as an architect, Armengo's multidisciplinary practice also spans design, sculpture and installations.

She was recruited to create the Four Folds series by Maniera, a gallery which commissions emerging artists and architects to create furniture and other objects that are actually meant to be used.

The collection was officially unveiled as part of Nomad St Moritz, which took place in Switzerland between from 6-9 February.

British brand Established & Sons used the occasion to reveal new pieces from its cult collaboration with design studio Committee, which sees miscellaneous trinkets skewered on pole to form a series of lamps.

Irregular, organic shapes have proven popular in glassware design recently, in an attempt to bring the ancient craft into the 21st century.

Architect Dima Srouji collaborated with Palestinian artisans on a series of unusual vessels, while a number Portuguese designers worked with local glassblowers for an exhibition featuring vases with legs and a container moulded around a tree trunk.

Marta Armengol's glassware resembles amorphous bubbles