This Design Tool Turns Any Photo Into An Architectural Glass Design

This Design Tool Turns Any Photo Into An Architectural Glass Design

Forms+Surfaces’ new VEKTR Digital Canvas tool can create images of any size for large-scale architectural glass. 

Glass need not be boring. Humble panes can be transformed into stunning decorative surfaces, thanks to continued innovation in digital printing technology that makes it possible for nearly any image and pattern to be transferred to the translucent material. Architects and designers can customize interior and exterior cladding, elevator interiors, stairs and backdrops, infusing their projects and spaces with a visual identity.

But, applying imagery to large-scale glass projects comes with its challenges. Namely, finding photography, patterns and designs with a size and resolution high enough that they can be replicated and scaled without loss of quality.


A new interactive design tool from Forms+Surfaces is addressing that obstacle. The VEKTR Digital Canvas can take images of any size and turn them into infinitely scalable, multi-layered vector artwork. The images don’t have to be professional photographs — they can be snapshots taken with a smartphone or tablet, material swatches, purchased stock images, or artwork from a client. The elevator facade pictured above, for example, came from a photo taken on an iPhone.


There’s also an Instagram-like quality to the VEKTR Digital Canvas tool: filters, pattern controls and colour settings let designers and architects manipulate an image, creating abstractions and new visual effects. In the example above, an iPhone photo of a flower was manipulated into an abstract interpretation with the same colour palette and applied to architectural glass.

For a seemingly complicated technology, the process is surprisingly simple. Once a user uploads their image, they can drag it onto their canvas and set the dimensions needed for their final project. Then, they can begin tweaking saturation, brightness and contrast, applying filters and playing with the thickness, variation and surface area of the abstractions they’ve created. The canvas can then be visualized as a two- or three-dimensional image and downloaded as a PDF or image file to be shared.


VEKTR source images can even start as printed photos; this image was scanned and digitized, then used in the VEKTR Digital Canvas to create a glass design.

The canvases created with the tool are output as two interlayers within Forms+Surface’s ViviSpectra VEKTR glass, which adds depth and dimension to the glass design, and protects the imagery. The glass can be used for indoor and outdoor applications, and is available in a variety of architectural glass thicknesses and types: annealed, heat strengthened, tempered, flat or curved, single or double glazed. A selection of finishes and customizations offer varying levels of translucency and reflectivity. Customized VivaSpectra VEKTR glass are manufactured to specification and cut to size, and can be incorporated into Forms+Surfaces’ wall, column and elevator systems.

This content was published by Azure on behalf of Forms+Surfaces.

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