On July 31 to August 1, 2012 Michele Oka Doner joined the Museum glassmakers of the Corning Museum of Glass to explore her designs and concepts in a public GlassLab program through the Museum. The GlassLab started by the Corning Glass Museum is an innovative program for designers from many disciplines to experience the material of glass in new ways few have access to. The portable glass workshop has traveled among the US and Europe spanning public design venues like Design Miami/Art Basel, the venue where Michele had her first experience with the glass makers in 2008. The GlassLab has also travelled to the Cooper-Hewitt, and National Design Museums. Within the portable stage, designer and glassmaker collaborate, rapidly prototyping design concepts created beforehand by the designer using the immediacy of hot glass as a catalyst for innovation.
For her second experience with the GlassLab Michele created concepts and designs inspired by a species of seaweed native to her beloved Miami Beach, Florida called sargassum. Working along side the glassmakers Michele created vessels with the essence of sargassum and the natural world. The sargassum seaweeds particles reminded Michele of lungs and breath, which she connected with the art of glass blowing.
The GlassLab continues to travel and put on shows publicly and privately, exploring alongside artists ways to innovate the design of glass. For more information on their public and private exhibitions and programs access is through the Corning Museum of Glass. Below is a picture of Michele from one of the two, two hour sessions on the glass lab stage from July 31 to August 2, 2012.