Project: GlassMorphosis

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Witness the Glass Morphosis of a Boeing 737-200 tail in the hands of a glass artist, a furniture designer, and a group of polytechnic students.

Glass Morphosis is a project that grew out of an interest in exploring unfamiliar and unconventional mediums. Spearheaded by glass artist, Tan Sock Fong, the idea behind this unique project is to create visually appealing, practical art pieces by combining glass art with new age materials such as titanium and aluminium - materials which are recycled, reused and transformed.

With the tail (horizontal stabiliser) of a Boeing 737-200 as her first inspiration, Sock Fong presented her project vision to various potential industry partners and a few schools, sparking the interest of a group of 16 Singapore Polytechnic students, who volunteered to participate. Subsequently, Leslie Sim of local furniture design company, Wodd Design, was invited to join the team, volunteering his technical expertise in the making of the project's first prototypes, and imparting his knowledge and skills to the students. The first prototypes created as part of Glass Morphosis will be launched in a showcase on 3 February 2010 at Wodd Design.

The prototypes make use of the aeroplane tail to create a chair, a table with lamp, a shelf, a bird feeder, a bench and a table lamp. Each piece preserves the spirit of flying in a form that is both artistic and functional, and which can be appreciated in galleries, private homes, as well as public buildings and parks. "My vision was to go a step beyond simply taking an aircraft part and adding something on top to turn it into a piece of furniture. I wanted to create products that were more inspired and artistic, and which could be combined with glass to develop a new niche in glass art," shared Sock Fong.

The project brought together an unlikely mix including not only the design team but also Darrel Chua (formerly with the Singapore Institute of Aerospace Engineers, who procured the B737-200 tail from a scrapyard in the Phillippines) and Secular Engineering & Construction Pte Ltd, the company that dismantled and cleaned it. Glass Morphosis also plays its part in promoting the recycling of resources, demonstrating that with creative and innovative thinking, almost any material can be salvaged and given a new lease of life.

Glass Morphosis has proven to be a tremendous learning journey for all involved, overcoming unanticipated challenges along the way. The students from Singapore Polytechnic's School of Design who took part in this project, relished the hands-on opportunity to work with new tools and equipment, and see their ideas on paper realised into an actual product. They broke up the tail and reused the parts together with other materials to come up with new furniture expressions. "It was a really great opportunity to learn from Sock Fong and Leslie, and experience the process from concept to actually doing the work. It really opened our minds and widened our perspective of recycling," said 18-year-old Syarifah Munirah, a Diploma in Interior Design student.

The first prototypes represent only the start of the project. The long-term vision for GlassMorphosis is to establish a glass and materials research centre, which will incorporate production, R&D as well as offer training opportunities and demonstrations of the glass art process. The emphasis will be on original creations and the centre will be commercially viable, marketing its unique R&D concepts within the arts community, design and architecture industries, and beyond.

In order to take the project to the next level, the focus will also be on partnering the right companies and obtaining funds, while working hand-in-hand with schools to increase awareness of the potential for recycling discarded industrial parts.


You are invited to attend the unveiling of the Glass Morphosis prototypes on Wednesday 3rd February 2010 at 6.30pm, at the Wodd Design showroom.

Exhibition Venue :

4th to 6th February 2010
Wodd Design Singapore
No.1, Kaki Bukit Road 1,
#03-31, Enterprise one,
Singapore 415934

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