Updated: Jan 12
by Melanie Harbert
Designers are reimagining their built environments from office to healthcare, whether public or private, that not only fosters collaboration but also nurtures creativity. Glass is an optimal bacteria-resistant material to be specified as a writable surface in conference rooms, patient rooms, laboratory areas and can also be used as magnetic surfaces. From magnetic glass whiteboards that help teams collaborate better, to glass office partitions that provide enclosed spaces for confidential meetings—glass is significantly improving the utility, safety, and beauty of modern workspaces.
If you're familiar with the modern glass products for offices and workspaces, you’ll agree that glass partitioning systems offer a greater degree of flexibility for future changes than solid walls. The same way glass whiteboards are timely for their ability to be cleaned with the strongest bleach or antiviral compounds.
Although it took decades for the first whiteboards to become popular, glassboards are fast replacing traditional whiteboards today. According to Global Market Insights, the global glassboard market is expected to grow exponentially through 2025. Since they are made of high-density tempered glass, they are more durable than regular whiteboards and are much easier to clean. More than that, our needs are constantly evolving, which is why businesses and individuals are turning to magnetic glass whiteboards.
Why Glassboards are Replacing Traditional Whiteboards
Lower quality whiteboards are typically made of porcelain ceramics or hard-coated steel, but they are still susceptible to scratches and scuffs over time. In fact, many materials can scratch porcelain-made whiteboards and even leave permanent dents.
In contrast, glass boards are significantly more durable than the painted or ceramic alternatives. Skyline Design writable glass surfaces are incredibly durable and come with a lifetime warranty. More than that, glass whiteboards give workspaces an aesthetic feel, you can use both dry and wet-erase markers, and they are incredibly long-lasting.
Unlike regular whiteboards that wear out as you use them, glassboards do not ghost or stain. It doesn't matter how often you clean a traditional whiteboard or how diligently you guard it against scratches, it will eventually ghost and stain over time. Under normal everyday use you will not need to replace them because they are almost indestructible.
However, there’s more to glass whiteboards than the popular “white” aesthetic. Glassboards don't just come in frosted or white colors—they can also be specified in vibrant colors with digitally embedded designs, grids, and lines. They can be easily back painted in black to resemble a typical blackboard or you can choose whichever color you like to mesh with your space.
Skyline Design’s Vitracolor back-painted glass offer unlimited color possibilities for both glass partitions and glass whiteboards. You can choose from the hundreds of curated Vitracolor options included in the palette, or you can rely on Skyline’s exact color matching formula.
Whether you prefer glassboards that are permanently mounted to a wall or mobile whiteboards on wheels, either is a great choice depending on your requirements. Even so, collaborative and brainstorming work environments can rely on magnetic glass whiteboards to organize schedules, review drawings and sketches, hang cards, memos, and other documents.
Are Magnetic Glassboards Really Better?
Magnetic white boards offer you the flexibility to mount accessories, pin items, etc. to the board. No matter how you chose to use the magnets—to hang notes for brainstorming sessions, to organize mind maps for new ideas, to quickly rearrange schedules, or to update important notices—you will get an organized aesthetic look every time.
Groups or individuals can brainstorm forever, leave messages and notes, and still re-use the board at any time. This way, people don’t have to deal with hundreds of pages of paper or scroll through hundreds of pages in a Google doc.
The thing is, you can use a magnetic glass whiteboard in so many ways. You can use it as a canvas for complex projects, you can write on it, you can turn it into a reminder board, you can attach decorations, and easily replace them without stress.
Digital imagery offers an innovative way to add art and graphics to your glassboards. Skyline Design has an extensive library of licensed patterns from award winning designers, as well as playful imagery, and digital grids that can be easily embedded in glass. Any branding image can be sized to fit your glassboard, so the quality of imagery doesn't degrade and the images won't scratch or damage.
Not only do they make it easy to display information, but glassboards are also stylish, easy to install, and easy to use. Most wall-mounted magnetic glassboards come ready to install, so it will only take a few minutes for two people to hang one using either stand-offs, edge grips or Z-clips. They come with pre-drilled holes and a template that you can use to mark the wall in alignment with the holes. However, many frameless magnetic boards also come with a hidden rail fixings system that can be used to fasten them to any wall.
Many designers only consider glass partitions when privacy is prioritized. However, glass walls provide natural light and can be beneficial to any office. To maximize space, you can use movable glass partition systems to create multiple work areas within a single office. Depending on the size of your project, you can also use a simple workstation partition glass or floor-to-ceiling glass partitions that can maximize natural light in any space.
What Brands Do Innovative Designers Prefer?
Knak Group works with leading glass manufacturers that are highly specialized in creating beauty from glass. Skyline Design is one of the top glass manufacturers that we represent. They collaborate directly with designers and architects to create custom glass solutions that meet project requirements. For example, their project for Google when they were looking for their new office environment in Chicago, IL.
Google discovered the 1K Fulton space combined the perfect match between cutting-edge technology and historic architecture. The refrigeration system of the building had miraculously continued to run for over one hundred years and had naturally formed a magnificent ice landscape. An amateur photographer serendipitously captured the frozen landscape and his images were used to create the digital artwork which is featured in the Google Fulton 1K lobby (see above).
Muraflex is another glass brand that is changing the game for office glass walls. They design top quality products to not only beautify workspaces but also give life to your ideas. At Muraflex, they are all about the end-user, so they bring fresh ideas that match your specific needs for each project.
Glass offices are evolving with today's workplace. Well-being at work is becoming a top priority for designers and architects looking to build flexible and functional workspaces. Employees no longer have to sit for long hours isolated from one another by closed-in cubicles or solid walls. From demountable glass to custom-made glass solutions, glass manufacturers and architects are constantly innovating for the future of the workplace.
About the Author
Melanie Harbert is one of the Bay Area's most well-respected senior associates in premium built environments. She holds degrees in Interior and Environmental Design/BA and an MA from California State University, Long Beach. She is an IIDA Northern California Chapter Honoree 2017-2018 (https://iidanc.org/) and a member of IIDA (International Association of Interior Design) since 2000 (http://iida.org/).