Plastics SSN

PSSN logo

The Plastics SSN, founded in 2006, is an Arts Council England recognised Subject Specialist Network.

It aims to share expertise in the history, development, care and interpretation of plastics within and beyond the museum community, in order to enhance understanding of and engage varied audiences with the key role played by plastics in modern society.

In particular members wish to:

  • Facilitate and disseminate dialogue and debate on research methodologies in relation to plastics.
  • Increase use of plastics collections with an emphasis on learning and teaching.
  • Reach new audiences for plastics collections.
  • Collaborate on out-come based projects.
  • Learn from and involve the plastics and design industries in plastics' collections.

The Plastics SSN is managed by the Museum of Design in Plastics (MoDiP), Arts University Bournemouth, working to a Steering Group. Its members are:

  • Ray Bush, Society of Plastics Engineers and Worshipful Company of Horners
  • Dr Katherine Curran, UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage
  • Carla Flack, Sculpture and Installation Conservator, Tate
  • Dr Brenda Keneghan, Polymer Scientist, formerly Victoria and Albert Museum
  • Prof Susan Lambert, Chief Curator, Museum of Design in Plastics, Arts University Bournemouth (PSSN Convener)
  • Dr Susan Mossman, Chair of Plastics Historical Society and Research Associate, Science Museum Group
  • Dr Anita Quye, Head of History of Art, University of Glasgow
  • Jacqui Ready, Conservator, formerly Hampshire County Council Museum and Archives Service, currently freelance
  • Vicky Singleton, Conservation Manager, IWM Duxford

Membership is open to all who have an interest in plastics in collections, public and private; to those managing archives with material relevant to plastics; and to members of societies in the plastics subject areas.

The inaugural meeting was held on 13 December 2006 at the Design Museum, London. Activity is dependent on project funding. To date the Plastics SSN has made three resources:

A survey of our members showed that the most pressing subject not yet addressed by the SSN is synthetic textiles. We are grateful to have received funding from the Art Fund for a joint project with the Dress and Textiles Specialists network (DATS) to address this need. Our aim is to create a toolkit to provide guidance in the curation of synthetic garments and, when it is again possible to meet in person, to hold two workshops jointly with our members to trial it and receive feedback. If you would like to take part in this project please email modip@aub.ac.uk.

Also, if you would like to contact the Plastics SSN on any other matter, likewise, please email modip@aub.ac.uk.  You can also join the PSSN JISCmail list.