Photo: Jeremy Scott Wood

Glass House Conversations

Over the course of several decades, the Glass House became the gathering place for great minds in architecture, art and design. A series of legendary conversations between figures such as Andy Warhol, Frank Stella and Robert A.M. Stern, emerged and provided an enormous influence on culture in the second half of the 20th Century. In the words of architectural historian Vincent Scully, these conversations were "the most sustained cultural salon that the United States has ever seen." 


The Glass House continues this important salon legacy with on-site and digital Glass House Conversations.  To all who participate in Glass House Conversations: thank you! If you have not yet contributed: join us! Your voices create and stimulate this online public dialogue ( on architecture, art, design and preservation. Questions and hosts change frequently, so check in often.


The 2011-2010 seasons contributed over 70 online Glass House Conversations dialogues, 20,000 participants from 150 countries exchanged thoughts, critiques, passions and ideas on questions moderated by a range of exceptional hosts.: 2×4, Adam Harrison Levy, Alan Webber, Alexandra Lange, Alice Rawsthorn, Alice Twemlow, Alissa Walker, Allan Chochinov, Birch Cooper, Christy MacLear + Whitney French, Clifford Pearson, Constantin Boym, Dan Rubinstein, David Netto, David Velasco, Deborah Marton, Demian Repucci, Designers & Books, Donald Kaufman + Taffy Dahl, Dr. Theodore Prudon, Ellen Lupton, Flavin Judd, Frank E. Sanchis III, Geoff Manaugh, Greg Lindsay, Hilary Lewis, Irene Shum Allen, Jamer Hunt, James Biber, James Welling, Jean Gardner, Jesse Ashlock, John Lilly, John Maeda, Justin Davidson, Kazys Varnelis, Laetitia Wolff, Leslie Koch, Liz Danzico, Marc Kushner, Mark Lamster, Mary Ellen Carroll, Michael Bierut, Michael DiTullo, Mimi Zeiger, Nadja Romain, Nicola Twilley, No Longer Empty, Paddy Harrington, Philip Nobel, Ralph Caplan, Rena Zurofsky, Sarah F. Cox, Sarah Rich, Sharon Johnston + Mark Lee, Steven Heller, Susannah C. Drake, SVA Interaction Design, Wendy Goodman, Ze Frank.


In 2010, The Glass House, in partnership with graduate students at the MFA Interaction Design Department at the School of Visual Arts, brought the intimate Glass House Conversations series to an expanded digital forum. International audiences with design-related interests join insightful dialogues through the new forum that expands the conversation into the 21st Century.  Each week, a moderator proposes a provocative question or debate topic and members of the public worldwide have up to fourteen days to respond and discuss. After comments have closed, the moderator chooses a "Final Word" from the replies to complete the dialogue.

The 2010 launch week featured a question by Alice Rawsthorn, the design critic for the International Herald Tribune. Conversations have been hosted by leaders in cultural fields, including John Maeda (Rhode Island School of Design), Clifford Pearson (Architectural Record), John Lilly (Mozilla), Ze Frank ( and Ralph Caplan (author, Design Mind award winner, National Design Awards, 2010).

In 2008-2009, Oldcastle Glass sponsored invitational dialogues in the Glass House. More than 120 thought leaders from across society gathered at the Glass House to explore important issues and new ideas. A culinary component of each Conversation, shaped and presented by Nils Noren and his team from the French Culinary Institute, was created to reflect the sense of adventure found in each dialogue.

Power of Place | Laurie Beckelman, Beckelman+Capalino, LLC

Procession & Seduction | Fritz Haeg, Artist, author Edible Estates: Attack on the Front Lawn

Breaking the Rules | Jeff Gordinier, author X Saves the World; Editor-at-Large, Details

Trophy l Michael Bierut, Pentagram

Transparency l Cliff Pearson, Architectural Record

Citizen Designer l Maurice Cox, National Endowment for the Arts

Solution or Sacrilege | Jean Gardner, Parsons and Susan Szenasy, Metropolis magazine 

Design + Civic Leadership | Charles Granquist, Rockefeller Brothers Fund

Attention, Attention Span | Paul Holdengraber, New York Public Library

Toward a 21st Century Renaissance | Roger Mandle, Qatar Museums Authority

Simplicity | John Maeda, Rhode Island School of Design

Legacies | Claudine Brown, The Nathan Cummings Foundation

Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope is the founding sponsor of Glass House Conversations.

PHOTOS: David McCabe, Drew Harty

my not ready for prime time stuff here