Faculty Partner with Guardian Industries in Glass Research Initiative

Faculty Partner with Guardian Industries in Glass Research Initiative

Taubman College and Guardian Industries established the Innovation in Glass Design Research Program, a new initiative aimed to facilitate the exploration of important cultural challenges that may benefit from rethinking the potentials of glass to transform the built environment.

The program was developed in coordination with Nell Dority of U-M’s Business Engagement Center; Geoffrey Thün, Associate Dean for Research and Creative Practice; and Sheldon Davis PhD., Vice President of Science and Technology for Guardian Industries Glass Group.

Three projects from Taubman College faculty were provided with seed funding of $30,000 each in this initial cycle:

  • Activating Curvature: Modulating Transparency and Sound Performance across Curving Glass. Primary Investigators:  Catie Newell, Wes McGee, and Zackery Belanger (Arcgeometer)
  • STREAMING: New Educational Atmospheres, Primary Investigators:  Jen Maigret and Craig Borum
  • RGB: Robotic Glass Blowing, Primary Investigators:  Matias del Campo, Sandra Manninger, and Wes McGee

Projects submitted to an internal open call for proposals were evaluated by a three-member jury that included Sheldon Davis of Guardian Industries; Billie Faircloth, Partner, KieranTimberlake, Philadelphia, PA; and Paul Raff, Founding Principal, Paul Raff Studio, Toronto, ON.

“Guardian Industries supports a range of technical research programs across campus, and was keen to engage in modes of ‘design thinking’ and iterative creative inquiry that are a mainstay of our faculty’s work, and have become well publicized through initiatives such as our Research Through Making program,” said Thün.

The faculty will present the results of their year-long design research projects in April 2017 at the Guardian Industries’ Science and Technology Center in Carleton, MI.

About Guardian Industries Corp.:
Guardian Industries Corp. is a privately held, diversified, global company headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Guardian, and its family of companies, employ 17,000 people and operates facilities throughout North America, Europe, South America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia, with a vision to create value for customers and society through constant innovation using fewer resources. Guardian Glass is a leading international manufacturer of float, value-added, and fabricated glass products and solutions for architectural, residential, interior, transportation and technical glass applications. SRG Global is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of advanced, high value coatings on plastics for the automotive, commercial truck and consumer goods industries, providing solutions for greater surface durability, structural integrity, functionality, vehicle efficiency and design flexibility. Guardian Building Products is a leading U.S.-based distributor of specialty building products. For more, visit

Photo: Glass Slump Study: Borum and Maigret