Glass at Work

The construction industry has the reputation to innovate slowly in time. Technological retrospectives, therefore, have the potential to help to identify how strategic changes can affect the built environment.

Yet, in the contemporary academic discourse on innovation, the variable of time is seldom considered as a research tool.

Based on empirical evidence from the historical archives of the Libbey-Owens-Ford Glass Company, this project identifies the evolution of glass products in the last century and the impact of glass products in the design and construction of tall commercial buildings.

Research activities have been designed to address these questions:

  • What are the technological dynamics that lead to strategic innovation in building materials?
  • What lessons can be learnt in this sense from the evolution of glass products?

Project details

Major Sponsor

Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning

Research Partners

The generous support of this project provided by the Ward M. Canaday Center, University of Toledo, Ohio (USA), in the form of access to archival materials and expert knowledge is most gratefully acknowledged.

Project Team

Giorgio Marfella (University of Melbourne)


Giorgio Marfella