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r:u vs. glass block

July 22, 2011

I know it seems silly for us to write a blog post for the sake of complaining. It might also seem silly that we would dedicate this post to a single complaint. Well folks, it had to be done. It’s almost like entering the confession booth – doesn’t it feel good to just let it out and be able to complain about something in the open?? As designers, we have learned the fine art of voicing our opinions when appropriate while also keeping them to ourselves so as not to hurt anyone’s feelings. It’s really a lot like tightrope walking sometimes!

Just a candid of James during an ordinary day as a designer.

So, we decided it was necessary to let the world know about our worst enemy and probably the one and only thing that the 3 of us can agree upon hating. Despite its ability to pop up in places we least expect, it is a design (though I hesitate to use the word ‘design’ in association with this object) element that we feel should be illegal to use – anywhere, anytime, anyplace…

THE CRIMINAL: Any person/designer that thinks this (see below) is a good idea.

THE WEAPON: Glass blocks.

THE CHARGE: Ugliness at its worst.

THE EVIDENCE: See images below.

I purposefully selected one or two of those images because they were spaces that COULD be somewhat normal/good-looking had they not been destroyed by the presence of glass blocks. I know that some people might suggest that glass blocks can be “done right” – they were done right when used for their original purpose of allowing light into industrial factories in the early 1900s (or at least that’s what Wikipedia told me). Beyond that era and that purpose, there is no way to do it right.

I also know that many people think that glass blocks are oh-so-great for privacy purposes, but we’re not buying that excuse either. Yes, they allow light in while affording for privacy, hence their omnipresence in bathrooms worldwide. We won’t deny you that. But come on. It’s 2011. There is a world of materials and design options out there that can achieve the same desired results while ALSO looking good, below are some excellent space dividing/privacy alternatives for your choosing.

….and with that, we rest our case!

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