Waltham, MA

Glass II at Milan Design Week 2017


Each year, il Salone del Mobile, more commonly known as Milan Design Week, features the latest in design. In 2017, The Mediated Matter Group at MIT Media Lab created Glass II for the Lexus YET Show to showcase evolving glass technologies. SGH consulted on the sculpture’s materials and structural design.

With their G3DP2 process, The Mediated Matter Group applies three-dimensional printing to silicate glass. The process, which is one of its kind, allowed the group to create these intricately curved, glass columns for the exhibit.

The project team formed the 10 ft columns from 10 individual printed modules. SGH helped develop a system to post-tension the modules using a steel rod hidden within the center of the modules. The rod also acted as the travel path for the continuously moving light. By adding self-equilibrating compression to the stacked modules, we increased the overall bending stiffness of the vertical cantilevers to ensure overall stability of the columns.

SGH also conducted physical testing in our materials laboratory to determine the compressive strength of the modules. Through this testing, we demonstrated that the post-tensioning system would be a feasible and safe support system for this innovative structure.

Project Summary



Completion Date
New Construction
Applied Science & Research | Structures
Culture & Entertainment
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Specialized Capabilities
Physical Testing

Key team members

Paul Kassabian
Paul Kassabian