Vancouver Designers Bring Home Gold for Innovation

July 22, 2014
kiln cast glass

VANCOUVER, BC  – Not one, but two locally owned and operated businesses, Joel Berman Glass Studios and molo, were recognized with prestigious awards at the world’s largest product exposition for commercial design, last month in Chicago. NeoCon, which takes place annually, welcomes over 40,000 industry professionals seeking the latest resources, trends, and ideas in design.

Both studios were honored with a Best of NeoCon Gold Award, which is dedicated to products reflecting design excellence and innovation. The accomplishment of Joel Berman Glass Studios and molo is a coveted one, as the awards saw record numbers of entrants this year with over 400 qualified nominations from around the world.

Plank, the captivating product, which won Joel Berman Glass Studios gold, was inspired by the West Coast’s style and aesthetic relationship with nature. Plank is a cast glass design emulating natural wood grain with translucency, its flow of pattern and undulations emulates the properties of Vancouver’s popular cedar species. Ideal for both indoor and outdoor environments, Plank can be used in vertical or horizontal applications for feature walls, divider walls, screens, doors and flooring, enhancing any hospitality, corporate commercial, or retail space.

“Following our tradition of developing cast glass textures, we wanted to play with the idea of a truly organic surface based on nature. The texture inherent in the West Coast’s Cedar was a natural inspiration for us,” says Joel Berman.

molo won the NeoCon Gold Award for Architectural Products for the patented softwall + softblock modular system, the core of molo’s innovative soft collection designed by molo founders/designers Stephanie Forsythe + Todd MacAllen. The award coincided with the release of new benchwall + thinwall for the soft collection. benchwall + thinwall are expandable seating and partition designs made from flexible, recycled paper honeycomb structures. From a compressed form only centimetres thick, benchwall + thinwall expand and bend into a broad variety of shapes up to 4.5 metres (15’) in length. benchwall opens into a bench with a 1.8 metre (6’) tall backrest that is also an acoustic space partition, possessing a wonderful combination of strength and comfort. thinwall is an expandable partition that can be freestanding, installed as an acoustic wall liner, or enclose shelving and millwork (among other uses). Whereas typical room dividers and benches are primarily static or limited in movement, the designs of softwall, benchwall + thinwall are incredibly mobile and can be fluidly shaped to fit into any space.

“With a subtle nod to Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s chair and other high backed seating from the early 20th century, benchwall creates comfort and focus through privacy and intimacy within surrounding space. The height of the nearly 2 metre tall backrest also provides acoustic absorption, forming an aural partition that keeps conversation private,” Todd MacAllen

Joel Berman Glass Studios and molo share fundamental design traits rooted in collaboration, innovation, and the exploration of space. Both studios have developed from the ground up, starting as individual entrepreneurial projects and evolving into thriving businesses with acclaimed international successes.

Joel Berman Glass Studios is a world-renowned designer and manufacturer of contemporary glass art for the architecture and design communities offering leading edge solutions to take any glass art project from concept to installation. His designs can be seen in some of the most striking interiors and exteriors throughout the world including Tiffany & Co, Microsoft, The Four Seasons, JP Morgan Chase, New York’s iconic Chrysler Building and most recently, the world’s largest architectural art glass installation, the Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar.

molo is a design and production studio led by architects Stephanie Forsythe + Todd MacAllen. Inspired by the idea that smaller tactile objects have a real potency in the physical experience of space, molo sets out to create objects that define intimate temporal spaces. Recognized for poetic beauty and pragmatic innovation, molo’s products are chosen by Apple, Louis Vuitton, Google, Nobu, The Four Seasons, and many others to bring unique and elegant solutions to a broad variety of interiors. From entire buildings to ground-breaking furniture and glassware, Forsythe + MacAllen’s designs for molo have received numerous international awards and have been acquired into the collections of museums and galleries worldwide, including the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York.

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