This exhibition explores the relationship between material and design in relation to plastics and how the contribution of plastics is distinct from that of other materials.
The earliest wonder of plastics was thought to be the extent to which they could convincingly substitute for a wide range of materials as different as say stone and lace. However plastics have liberated design from the constraints of traditional materials. Something made of plastic can be any shape or colour and have a greater variety of texture, strength, density, flexibility and weight than any other material. Plastics can also be mixed with other materials and thus extend their potential. Exploitation through design of developments in plastics during the last 100 years has transformed the manufactured environment and achievement within it.
Plastics are now the group of materials with the most uses in the world. This exhibition focuses on specific applications of plastics in order to demonstrate how the properties of plastics have influenced design and how the contribution of plastics is distinct from that of other materials.