In this section of the Spotlight on... exhibition the focus is on the use of plastics by designers. Sometimes used in a supporting role but often celebrated as the star performer, the particular properties of plastic have inspired imaginative design and have given rise to many design classics.
'Woody' Woodfull, who trained in silversmithing, was the first British designer to be identified specifically with plastics; Martyn Rowlands became the first British designer to design specifically for plastics in the industrial context. Robin Day recognised the potential of polypropylene as a material for furniture as exemplified by the seat of his side chair first sold in 1963 and still on the market. A number of the designers whose work is represented have collaborated with Alessi to produce products that demonstrate a sense of humour that the mouldability and colourful potential of plastics facilitate. The finish, feel and flexibility of a chosen plastic have resulted in a simplicity of form in everyday objects such as Karim Rashid's dishwashing liquid container and hand held vacuum cleaners.