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Project dates : 1 October 2008 - 30 September 2009

Lead Institution:
The Arts University Bournemouth

Project Partners:
Plastics Historical Society

UK Centre for Materials Education

This project involves the creation of the world's largest and highest quality record of artefacts demonstrating design in plastics. It is funded by JISC as part of the Enriching Digital Resources programme, a strand of the Digitisation programme.

The modern world is made of plastics. The story of design in plastics is the story of the industrial and social development of the 20th and 21st century environment. Yet except in connection with the world's sustainability, plastics tend to receive considerably less attention than more traditional materials. Contrary to popular belief plastics are usually less stable than wood, ceramics or metal. Thus the project represents a unique opportunity to capture and share this material before it disappears for ever.

About Us
MoDiP (Museum of Design in Plastics) is the UK's leading accredited museum in its field. It is based at the Arts University Bournemouth, a specialist university college in art, design, media and performance.

JISC supports UK further & higher education and research by providing leadership in the use of Information and Communications Technology in support of learning, teaching, research and administration. JISC receives funding from all the UK further and higher education funding councils.

Aims and Objectives
The project's aim is to create the world's largest and best digital record of design in plastics as a resource for academics, designers and the cultural heritage sector, in order to foster understanding of the significance of design in plastics in the modern world.

To achieve this we have five key objectives:

  • Creation of multiple digitised images of 1500+ artefacts.
  • Provision of new and enriched metadata for these resources.
  • Development of a functional web specification.
  • Building of relationships with humanities, arts and sciences research communities.
  • Dissemination of knowledge and expertise in plastics design.

Project Methodology

The project has been divided into 7 complementary work packages:

  • Management
  • Intellectual Property rights
  • Digitization
  • Enhanced descriptive metadata
  • New descriptive metadata
  • Development of functional website requirement
  • Dissemination & sustainability.

The Project Director/Manager is responsible for ensuring delivery of a high quality project on time and within project. The Project Documentation Officer is responsible for management of day to day workflow, documentation, and quality assessment. Project officers will execute the digitisation, contribute metadata and gain permissions. The project team works to an Advisory Group representative of the interests of the project.

Anticipated Outputs and Outcomes:

  • 1500+ artefacts digitised with multiple views
  • New and enhanced descriptive metadata for each artefact
  • A functional web specification
  • A planned programme of engagement with the HE community
  • A better skilled and more knowledgeable staff
  • Great understanding of a significant aspect of the modern environment
  • Enhanced opportunities for research within the subject area
  • Reduced wear and tear on objects that are fragile and easily damaged by handling.

Project Team

Project Director/Manager : Susan Lambert
Project Documentation Manager: Pam Langdown
Senior Project Officer: Louise Dennis
PHS Project Officer: Steve Akhurst

Project Advisory Group

Terms of Reference

To advise on, monitor and approve:

  • the quality of records (text and image) created in relation to target audiences
  • the website specification
  • the dissemination and sustainability programme.

The monitoring of targets will be the responsibility of the MoDiP Steering Group, the Group to which MoDiP works within the Arts University College at Bournemouth.


  • Steve Akhurst, Plastics Historical Society
  • Jim Hunter, Deputy Principal, Arts University Bournemouth
  • Susan Lambert, Project Manager of MoDiP
  • Richard Langley, Services Manager, Modes Users Association
  • Adam Mannis, the UK Centre for Materials Education
  • Christian Mclening, Senior Lecturer in the School of Design, Arts University Bournemouth
  • Marcia Pointon, Professor Emeritus of the History of Art, University of Manchester
  • Nick Poole, Chief Executive, Collections Trust
  • Ben Showers, Programme Manager, JISC.

Working Method

The Advisory Group will normally operate virtually. The Project Manager will communicate directly by email with the members relevant to particular issues copying in the rest of the Group to keep them up-to-date and to enable them to contribute if they wish. In addition the Project Manager will provide members with a report on progress and issues quarterly.