Commissioned by Design Academy Eindhoven’s GEO-DESIGN exhibition platform in conjunction with the Van Abbe Museum.

Part of the 3rd exhibition series called GEO-DESIGN: Sand. The Building Block of Modernity curated by Martina Muzi.

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Perfectly flat glass dominates the appearance of our urban landscapes today. Designed to be almost invisible, it nevertheless lends the city its face of prestige and economic wealth. The technique to produce evenly thick glass by “floating” a batch of molten sand on top of a liquid tin bath was developed in the 1960s.


Today, it has taken over almost all the flat glass production worldwide, creating an extremely uniform industry and consequential lifestyle. In a hypnotising velocity, a specific size range of relatively pure silica sand grains are transformed into a perfectly flat and smooth ribbon of glass, 24/7, 365 days a year. Unstoppable for 15 years per production line, the industry keeps on extending to feed the speculative consumption of a globally growing market.  

In the process of researching this global industry, we were fascinated by the contrast between the standardised procedures of the production and the apparent lack of official guidelines around the extraction and use of the non-renewable resource sand.

Float discusses the need to regulate the use of these materials, presenting interviews with experts across industries related to sand who speak about the use of glass and its wider social and geological impacts. Highlighting the complexities of a globally local system, this curated conversation seeks to explore the future dealings with float glass and its core ingredient, sand.