Funded projects

External funding is crucial to MoDiP’s sustainablility and we are therefore grateful to the organisations that have funded different aspects of our work.

Our first external  funder was the AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council) for a project that enabled us to create basic object records and to focus attention on plastic artefacts in the collection in partnership with the Plastics Historical Society, the Bakelite Museum and the National Plastics Center and Museum, USA.

A crucial development underpinning the further development of our documentation and our ability to share our documentation on the web was funding from the JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee) for MoDiP’s Digitisation Project (MoDiPDiP) to create the world’s largest and highest quality digital record of plastic artefacts as a resource to support research into design in plastics and its cultural impact. Partners in the project were the Plastics Historical Society and the Centre for Materials Education, University of Liverpool.

We were also pleased to partner a group of museums under the leadership of the Visual Arts Data Service at the University for the Creative Arts, again with funding from the JISC, to develop a community of expertise in the creation, management, and use of digitised library, museum, and archive collections for learning, teaching and research in the creative arts. For more information about this project please got to:

We have been grateful to the Museum, Libraries and Archives Council and now Arts Council England to receive funding to scope a Plastics Subject Specialist Network, to create resources for the network, and to hold seminars at which members of the network can come together and discuss shared issues and learn from others’ experiences.

We have also been funded by the South West Lifelong Learning Network to develop a continuous professional development resource, entitled The Culture of Plastics. It  consists of three units: Materiality of Plastics, Why Preserve Plastics?, and Theory of Plastics.

We were pleased to partner and receive funding from the Victoria and Albert Museum to hold Futureproof plastics, a seminar, which took place on 18th May 2011 in celebration of the EU funded project, Preservation Of Plastic ARTefacts (POPART) . It brought together academics, artists, designers, manufacturers, conservators and curators to discuss the impact of plastics on art and design and their future potential in our lives.

We are grateful to the Worshipful Company of Horners for sponsorship to enable us to document its outstanding collection of horn which is on long term loan to MoDiP and delighted to receive funding from the Esmée Fairbairn Effective Collections fund administered by the Museums Association to help us research the collection and make it more widely available.

We were pleased to be sponsored by the Higher Education Academy to hold a workshop  on 27 March 2013 in its Discipline Workshop and Seminar series, 2012-13. Entitled Object power: the use of museum artefacts in creative object-based learning and teaching in HE. An account of the day is provided here.

We were also the lead partner in a project, 10 Most Wanted, funded by the Digital Research and Development  Fund for the Arts, a partnership between Nesta, the Arts Council England and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (project funding £119,460).  Other partners were Brighton University and Adaptive Technologies Limited. The project involved the creation of an online game to engage the public in hunting down missing information about cultural artefacts. By placing cultural artefacts in the competitive world of game play, it tested innovative ways of engaging new audiences with the arts, sustaining that engagement and enhancing collection data with a view to making its findings freely available to a wide range of collections nationally. The project report can be read here.

On 17th and 18th September 2015 we held an international peer-reviewed conference, Provocative Plastics: Plastics in Design from the Practical to the PhilosophicalIt provided a forum for scholars, art & design practitioners, and members of the plastics industry from five continents to examine the past, present and potential of plastics in a balanced way, juxtaposing the positive with the negative. The papers were filmed. Once the book of the conference has been published, the films of the papers will be released for all to see on the web. We were grateful for sponsorsorship from Covestro AG, Germany; Reliance Industries Ltd, India; British Plastics Federation; the Plastics Historical Sopciety; and Rutlands Plastics. We were also grateful for support in kind from the Knowledge Transfer Network; British Plastics and Rubber; and Plasticity.

We are grateful also to have received in 2015 an Arts Council England Grant for the Arts of £14,824 to support the residency of the artist, Mariele Neudecker at the Arts University Bournemouth.  The brief was to create a body of work re-presenting the collection of the Museum of Design in Plastics in order to engage new audiences.  The residency led to the creation of Plastic Vanitas, 49 photographic artworks, which formed the complementary exhibition of the Provocative Plastics conference.