The Decorative Glazing Segment
Challenges and Opportunity Ahead
by Ashley M. Charest
When the decorative glazing industry saw rapid growth in
the early 2000s, it looked to form a cohesive organization that would
be a conduit between industry professionals to engage in big-picture discussions
on standards, codes, marketing and education. Within the Glass Association
of North America (GANA) the decorative industry saw the potential to collaborate
with its fabricating peers and accomplish tasks that it could not start
on its own, hence the launch of the GANA Decorative Division in 2007.
With many more ideas for ways to grow the industry underway, the Decorative
Division has already completed work on an industry generic glossary and
technical documents that highlight key issues and challenges for the decorative
glazing industry. Below are thoughts from some of our industry members
that discuss what they believe are the biggest challenges for decorative
glazing in the coming future.
• “The education of designers of all the many ways they can achieve the
look they want is my biggest challenge and obstacle. There are so many
choices for them, to say ... get a logo onto their glass. They can paint
it, print it, screen it, etch it, slump it, carve it or use a decorative
film. And not every method is good for every installation. So the challenge
is for us, as fabricators, to figure out how to find our particular advantage
and sell it with as much education, possibilities and rigorous data to
back it up so that the designers can trust that the glass show piece they
envisioned will last as a reality for many years to come.” —Mandy Marxen,
vice president of marketing, Gardner Glass Products Inc.
• “As decorative glass continues to evolve into a more attractive and
functional material, it becomes more and more relevant to the interior
space. One of today’s largest challenges is helping the interior architects
and designers understand the possibilities of glass; its versatility and
immense benefits. Interior architects and designers need to know what
resources are available to understand what’s possible, how to specify
or where to source specialty or decorative products. —Diane Turnwall,
market segment director, interiors, Guardian Industries Corp.
• “The challenges for decorative glazing have shifted since they started
to rise within the market a few years ago. Today, the biggest challenge
for decorative glazing is all centered around performance. The biggest
aspect being centered around showing that coatings and other materials
that comprise a decorative glazing actually perform—as in how they perform
in regard to adhesion, color stability, chemical resistance, etc. The
second factor is how they can be measured to perform as a whole unit to
provide energy performance. Both aspects are being worked on today to
bring decorative glazing even higher in use than before.” —Kris Vockler,
CEO, ICD High Performance Coatings
• “The biggest challenge is to educate designers and architects on the
different types of decorative glazing products available and support their
decision-making process with appropriate and complete information on product
specifications, constructability and design alternatives. Architects and
designers need to better understand the differences in decorative products
from a performance and design standpoint to achieve a quality and long-lasting
result. As a result, it is important that the industry and its members
create and offer relevant education material for both interior and exterior
applications.” —Marc Deschamps, business development manager, Walker
Glass Co. Ltd.
Here to Help
With challenges comes opportunity, and GANA is here to assist the manufacturers,
installers, designers and architects that work on a daily basis with this
beautiful and versatile product. Looking for design inspiration? Check
on the Division’s website at www.decorativeglazing.com. If you need more
specific information, visit GANA at the NeoCon show, or follow up with
us after the event.
Ashley M. Charest is the account executive of the
Glass Association of North America (GANA).
© Copyright 2012 Key Communications Inc. All rights reserved.
No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.