|The Design Museum|
We also found its long-term display structured around ‘Designers, Makers, Users’ worked. It opens up useful ways of understanding and engaging with design. Visitors have to fall within at least one and sometimes more that one of these categories. Design is a dialogue between these three protagonists. It was a really good experience until it came to our subject: design in plastics.
|Designer Maker User|
|Crowd Sourced wall, Design Museum|
We were delighted to see three ‘Valentine’ typewriters presented on separate pedestals giving them iconic status but disappointed at the description of the material, as just ‘plastic’, when specific metals elsewhere are identified.
Then we came to a space intended to inspire would-be designers to try out designing in different materials. It includes named sample sheets of copper, aluminium and brass and also a material called ‘acrylic’, which is, of course, a plastic, probably the very same as the boxes that protect the Valentine typewriters. Additionally there is a clutch of corrugated materials described just as plastic. Which plastic, we wondered?
The wonderful thing about plastics is that they are a huge family of materials, each with different potential. They can even be made to the recipe to meet a particular requirement, as in the case of formula 1 cars which have more than a little in common with the Ferrari exhibition down the stairs. Plastics have transformed the vocabulary and potential of design but they were nearly invisible in the commentary provided within this exhibition.
|LaFerrari Aperta on display at the Design Museum|
Susan Lambert, (Head of MoDiP)