Matt Chapman

FLOAT GLASSWARE BY MOLO DESIGN

by , 06/21/06

Float Glassware, Molo Design, Green Design

Inhabitat loves the work of Molo designers Stephanie Forsythe and Todd MacAllen. Readers will remember us (and the rest of the design community) gushing over their Softwall after this year’s ICFF, at which they won the “Body of Work” award.

Included in that body is the incredible “Float” line of glass and barware. Both the clear and frosted versions radiate a purity and crispness that we find utterly irresistable. The distinctive suspended bowl design insulates your hand and protects your furniture, making coasters unnecessary. Instead, condensation from cold drinks beads on the bottom of the glass, which heightens the delicate appeal of the design.


Float Glassware by Molo Design, Float Glassware, Molo Design, Green Design

According to the web site, each Float piece is handcrafted and made entirely of German borosilicate glass. Perhaps this material rings a bell? No? Maybe you know it by it’s commercial name: Pyrex.

And there’s the rub. It is true, like Molo says, that borosilicate glass is “extremely pure”, durable, resists heat and is chemically inert (besides being used for Bodums and beakers, it is widely used to encase spent plutonium rods). The material, however, is also fabricated at higher temperatures than traditional glass (requiring more energy) and is not recyclable.

Which begs the question: does every piece of scientific glassware in the world just get thrown away? Surely there is somewhere that all the beakers and test tubes can go to be happily born again in the flames of refabrication? Let us pray.

The Molo team’s hearts are in the right place though. The glassware has a definite heirloom quality that would seem to make recycling irrelevant and is efficiently packaged in reusable/recyclable cardboard tubes.

$50 and up from Velocity Art and Design

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4 Comments

  1. Vestal Design Blog &raq... August 16, 2006 at 4:09 pm

    [...] Well, over the course of the year, I witnessed an all-too-common, yet spectacular transformation in front of me. As I set cold cups of lemonade and iced tea on my table, condensation naturally formed and pooled on the table to make those annoying cup rings. I began by fighting this “cup graffiti” with napkins and coasters, but then this led me to question “why do we use coasters” and “what’s with my obsession to keep things looking pristine?” As time went on, I began to notice where I sat and the areas where my cups were leaving marks, telling a story about my presence, use, interaction and influence on the table. [...]

  2. Breenaronan June 23, 2006 at 4:49 am

    I think that there is nothing inherently un-recyclable about boro glass, it’s just that it has a much higher melting temperature than regular glass. It would need to be recycled seperately. Also, since its more durable, maybe it would last longer? Lots of people just throw out glasses that break anyway.

  3. Todd June 22, 2006 at 12:43 am

    Similar but different. I like float a lot more – cleaner and more refined in my opinion, but obviously I’m quite biased.

    The Bodums are made in huge factory near where ours are made. Our float is made in a small village N of Prague famous for its glassblowing school. I believe we started making ours first. The Bodums are pressed into molds by a machine and ours are carefully trimmed straight from the borosilicate tube (from Germany) and hand-blown to maintain the precision of the tube. The Bodums are cheaper. Ours involve more expensive glass and craftspeople with much higher skill.

    I really think the comment about recycling is very smart. We were aware of this from the start and sought to make something worth keeping. Borosilicate is not readily recyclable but can be recycled by a borosilicate manufacturer.

    Thank you for the intelligence of your website and keep enjoying design!!!

  4. Mike D June 21, 2006 at 8:07 pm

    A similar double-walled borosilicate glass is offered by bodum. Their ASSAM espresso glasses are fantastic.

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