“Snapshot”, Susan Emmons.

A look at “Betweenness”

February 14, 2019

In 2003, Bullseye Glass Company and Columbia Wire & Iron Works (CWI) partnered on an exploratory project to bring kiln-glass to the attention of the architectural community. The project was conceived and curated by local architecture critic, writer, presenter, and current Executive Director of the Portland Parks Foundation, Randy Gragg. Eight Portland-based firms were invited to advance innovative approaches to kiln-glass by designing and fabricating full-scale glass screens: Allied Works Architecture, BML Architects, Colab Architecture + Design, Susan Emmons, Suenn Ho Design, Lamb Design Studios, Yost Grubbe Hall Architecture, and ZGF Architects. The project, known as Betweenness, grew to involve dozens of the city’s most accomplished manufacturers, fabricators, and support companies.

Firms were assigned to “create a piece using two of the most ubiquitous materials in architecture, glass and steel, to explore one of the most fundamental conditions of architecture, ‘betweenness’,” explains Gragg. “The result can be measured many ways. Materially, Bullseye and CWI furnished all of the glass and hardware. Timewise, the companies and their employees devoted hundreds of hours. But in a classic example of a sum turning out to be a mathematical cubing of the parts, Bullseye’s and CWI’s spirit of collaboration and generosity set off a chain reaction of support from other local vendors, fabricators and manufacturers, among them ABHT Engineering, George Batho Studios, and Fine Art Inc. for glass, and American Steel, Tice Industries, and Vera-Tech Metal Fab for metal.”

The most enduring measure of this project has been in the quality of conversation between designers, craftspeople, fabricators, and manufacturers – the transcript of which can be seen in the final projects. – Randy Gragg.

The fabricated works were shown at Bullseye Projects, in Portland, Oregon, and auctioned to benefit the Architectural Foundation of Oregon.

Purchase the Betweenness catalog here.

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