Elke Westen’s main focus is on glass design, cutting-edge techniques and ecological sustainability. Her work plays with the manipulation of colours and reflections to bring spaces to life, 

Her public artworks as well as her paintings and bespoke jewellery reflect this philosophy.

‘Studio Elke Westen’ was established in 1994 and is now based in Ireland. Elke studied Product Design and holds a Master of Arts.

She lectured at universities and conferences in Germany, Ireland, the UK and Columbia.

Her work can be seen in public buildings and private and state art collections in Ireland, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Japan, Nepal and Columbia.

Elke Westen

“working with glass is like painting with light”

My ideas are mainly inspired by nature: the four elements earth, fire, water and air are transformed and playfully integrated into my work. The changing light- and colour-situations of the seasons, in all their subtleties, as well as the element of artificial light, are integrated into my glassworks and are an essential part of my philosophy as an artist.

The Glass, which forms the substrate for the image, is transparent and stays transparent even after the artistic working process, thus making the “canvas” visible from all angles. It is my intention to unite the viewer and the artistic creation in a unique, personal and long-lasting visual experience.

To experience my glassworks it is important to view them over time, from different angles and under varying conditions, both environmental and personal. In each setting – night, day, mood, etc.– different impressions can be perceived. Light and shade play a strong role in the overall effect. As a contemporary artist, I integrate up-to-date materials and new technologies into my designs and works, to make them as environmentally friendly as possible. 

The work in a design team, together with architects, building contractors and – most important – the future users of the buildings, is essential for my working process and my signature for the perfect integration of my work into public spaces.

Elke Westen, Dipl.-Des., MA


Master of Arts (MA), Glass Design, National College of Art and Design, Dublin, Ireland
Degree as a designer (B.Des.) Product Design, University of Applied Science, Dortmund, Germany                                     
Apprenticeship as reprographer


Excellence Award Glass Design – Irish Enterprise Awards

RDS Award of Excellence, Category Glass 

International design Prize “FORM”

Artwork in Collections

State Art Collection of Ireland 

Artesanias de Columbia

Collection of the Dalai Lama, India

Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling Monastery, Nepal

Private collections in Germany, Japan, France, Netherlands, Scotland

List of Public Art projects

Garda Divisional Headquarters, Kevin Street, Dublin/Rep. of Ireland

Direct Commission, “Yellow”, large-scale painting for a private villa, Germany.

Research Project “Light, Colour, Landscape”, new work in progress.

Commission, Reception, Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling Monastery, Kathmandu, Nepal

Direct Commission, Office of Public Works for Dept. of Social + Family Affairs, Dublin

Invited Artist, glass art and design work for new Kildare Library, Kildare Town/Ireland

Winner Invited Competition Irishtown Garda Station, Dublin, for Office of Public Works, glass artwork

Winner Open Competition East Down Institute of Further and Higher Education, Downpatrick, Newcastle and Ballynahinch/Northern Ireland

Winner Open Competition Altnagelvin Hospital, Derry/Northern Ireland

Winner Open Competition Downe Hospital, Downpatrick/Northern Ireland

Winner Open Competition Ulster Hospital, Renal Unit, Belfast

Winner Invited Competition State Laboratory of Ireland, Celbridge, Co. Kildare/Ireland, for Office of Public Works

Winner Open Competition Breast Check Unit, Dublin

Glass Sculpture Shekina Sculpture Garden, Glenmalure, Co. Wicklow/Ireland

Selected Artist (Open Competition) Integrated Arts Committee, Muckamore Abbey Mental Health Hospital, Antrim/Northern Ireland

Winner Invited Competition Carlow Credit Union, Carlow/Ireland, glass entrance

Invited Artist ‘Sculpture in Context”, Dublin

Winner Open Competition Cavan Innovation + Technology Centre, Cavan/Ireland

Direct Commission, Office of Public Works for Dept. of Social + Family Affairs, Dublin

2003, 04+05 
Direct Commission, Dept. of Education + Science, Dublin

Winner Open Competition Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Letterkenny/Ireland, glass entrance

State Art Collection of Ireland for Dept. of Education + Science, Dublin

Mercer Consulting Group, Dublin

Direct Commission Energy Supply Company “Stadtwerke”, Peine/Germany

Glass entrance private house Hettenleidelheim/Germany

Direct Commission water Supply Company “Stadtwerke” Hildesheim/Germany

Direct Commission Colour Scheme + Guide System Multi-Storey Car Park, Saarbruecken/Germany

Direct Commission Water Supply Company “Harzwasserwerke” Hildesheim/Germany

studio elke westen

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