Wednesday, 27 April 2022

MoDiP’s large objects.

We have a number of large objects within the collection that are too big to fit into our museum display cases. This means that we are rarely able to display them within our exhibition programme, but it doesn’t mean that they are never used. One such example is our wonderful Hawker Sea Fury cockpit canopy (refer image below).



Image ref: The Hawker Sea Fury cockpit canopy (left) and on open display at TheGallery (right).
Image credit: MoDiP



Thermoformed from a single piece of polymethyl methacrylate, also known as acrylic, the canopy came into the museum in 2018, having travelled all the way down to Bournemouth from National Museums Scotland. Almost immediately we were able to include it within a collaborative exhibition with TheGallery entitled ‘Dazzle & the Art of Defence’ and since then it has generated quite a bit of interest from aviation enthusiasts. It is currently on loan to the touring exhibition, ‘Plastic: Remaking Our World’, where it will be on display at the Vitra Design Museum in Germany until October 2022 before going back to Scotland to the V&A Dundee followed by the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology in Lisbon for March 2023. This object just keeps clocking up the miles!

Another example is the lovely Zanussi Oz fridge (refer image below).


Image ref: The Zanussi Oz fridge.
Image credit: MoDiP




Designed by Roberto Pezzetta and reaction injection moulded (RIM) in polyurethane, both the casing and interior are made from the same material, making end-of-life recycling much easier. It has a distinctive curved outline with a roller ball on the base of the door and was chosen by AUB modelmaking student Lydia Rogers for a project to explore the differences between traditional modelmaking, compared to rapid prototyping, techniques. Her 1:4 scale model (refer image below) was really beautiful and was shortlisted for an industry award at #newblades2019.



Image credit: The 1:4 scale model (left) and on display at New Blades (right).
Image ref: Lydia Rogers




Sometimes, if we cannot display the entire object, it is possible to feature parts of it instead, to illustrate a specific point. This was achieved with the Magic Crib Giuli for the Design for Childhood exhibition. Designed by Lara Grana for Ecobabydesign, the crib is transparent so that the parents can observe their child without having to approach, and thereby potentially disturb, what was a sleeping baby! Laser cut in polymethyl methacrylate again, it is suitable for up to age 6 months when it can then be transformed into a different piece of furniture: a desk or a bookshelf. The separate pieces all slot together so there is no need for screws or glue. Ingenious!



Image ref: The Magic Crib Giuli
Image credit: MoDiP



We have two fabulous bicycles that have not yet managed to get into an exhibition, although we are having a think about doing something to celebrate the Tour of Britain when this prestigious cycling race visits our local area later this year. The Pinarello FP2 Carbon 105 Team Sky 2010 bicycle (on the left in the image below) and the classic Itera bike from Volvo (on the right) are both very distinctive plastics bicycles; one extremely light and the other very heavy!



Image ref: The Pinarello (left) and Itera (right) bicycles.
Image credit: MoDiP



There are lots of other large objects we would love to acquire if only we had both the space to store them and the budget to purchase! Top of our wish list would probably be a Futuro, the iconic 1960s prefab house that looks like a flying saucer, designed by Matti Suuronenan and made from glass-reinforced plastics. Next would have to be a Concorde nose cone and if anyone has one they would like to donate, I’ve got my eye on a nice piece of lawn outside the museum where we could custom-build an external case, just like the one in the image below!!



Image ref: A Concorde nose cone up for auction in 2019.
Image credit:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-northamptonshire-48598190




Katherine Pell
Collections Officer

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