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ABOUT THE EXHIBITION

A unique design exhibition born from the artistic imagination of 40 international
designers and the unlimited possibilities of plastic!


D Museum presents PLASTIC FANTASTIC, a unique exhibition showcasing designs born from the artistic imagination of international designers and the unlimited possibilities of plastic, from September 14 2017 to March 4 2018. PLASTIC FANTASTIC illustrates the magical journey of plastic, the substance sometimes described as the 20th century's miracle material, as it entered the public realm and brought such wide-ranging transformation to our everyday lives. The exhibition offers an overview of more than 2,700 products, items of furniture, lights, graphic designs, and photographs produced over the past half-century via the individuality and innovative spirit of around 40 international creators.

One of key highlights of PLASTIC FANTASTIC is its exploration of the close, decades-long collaboration between giants of international design and Kartell , the leading Italian design brand that, for three generations, has helped develop a new identity for plastic beyond that of the product of the single-use consumption system. At the same time, the exhibition conveys a sense of Italy's uniquely humorous and bold design by a selection, handpicked from a vast archive, of remarkable advertising graphics, illustrations, and photographs that capture plastic furniture in novel ways from the perspectives of exceptional photographers and artists.

In same spirit of the etymology of the word plastic, “to mold”, PLASTIC FANTASTIC offers a wide-ranging illustration of the organic evolution produced by the interplay between this endlessly flexible, ever-changing material and artistic inspiration. The exhibition reveals the magical moment when the imaginations of master designers come together with plastic to produce pure innovation.

More than a substance, plastic is the very idea of its infinite transformation;
as its everyday name indicates, it is ubiquity made visible.
Roland Barthes, 「mythologies」

VIEW POINT

01 The Beginning of a Dream, Polymer

The Beginning of a Dream, Polymer, marks the beginning of a journey into the fantastic world of plastic, introducing the unique characteristics and potential of this material. An installation work made from achromatic, translucent plastic begins at the entrance to the exhibition, demonstrating its pure qualities and form and signaling towards the start of the infinite change that is to come.

The Invisible Collection by Tokujin Yoshioka (2010)

02 Bring Colors to Domesticity

Bring Color to Domesticity shows the broad development of plastic from the beginning of the 1950s as it started replacing natural materials, from glass labware to household items, and began to demonstrate some of the material’s earliest changes, leaving behind its monotone colors and featuring a range of bright colors.

Jars with cover 7301-7325 (1974-1981)
by Anna Castelli Ferrieri

Third evolution sketch for "Mr.Impossible"
(2006) by Eugeni Quitllet

Bowls "Kartell in tavola" (1976-1981) by Anna Castelli Ferrieri,
Centrokappa, Franco Raggi

03 Molding New Living

Molding New Living explores the time of prosperity for plastic, as design began reflecting upon the practicality and rationality-oriented atmosphere of the 1960s and 1970s, as the optimism for the future, the dawn of the Space Age, and the outdoor lifestyle trends.

Featuring both interior and exterior design products, as well as light fixtures, this section examines plastic’s full-scale introduction to color, along with its development to modular furniture that allowed its users to flexibly change the products in accordance with their own aims, tastes, and desired functions. On display are a variety of bold, uniquely designed products that could only have been produced by plastic, along with outdoor items that take advantage of plastic's outstanding waterproof qualities and lightness, children's furniture collections, and plastic light fixtures that lead the way from the end of the first floor of the exhibition up until the stairs.

Hook 4702 (1972-) by Olaf von Bohr

Umbrella stand 7610 (1965) by Gino Colombini

Suspension lamp KD 5 and KD 6 (1959-1981)
by Achille Castiglioni, Pier Giacomo Castiglioni

04 Design Becomes Everyday Landscape

Design Becomes Everyday Landscape is divided into two rooms, offering unique perspectives of plastic and design. The photography room features selected works from Kartell's publication 150 Items 150 Artworks, in which some of the most eminent contemporary photographers and artists capture the company’s plastic products in new contexts. The film room presents interviews with the leading designers most represented in the exhibition, providing a direct testimony of their design philosophies and world of art.

Ashtray designed by Anna Castelli Ferrieri,
Photographed by Bettina Komenda

FPE Chair Mobil Drawer and Shelves System Upper Step-ladder
designed by Ron Arad, Antonio Citterio, Alberto Meda with Polo
Rizzatto, photographed by Lee Jenkins

Dustpan designed by Gino Colombini,
photographed by Delaporte Sophie

05 When Designers Dream

When Designers Dream divides the works of master designers and those that are up-and-coming into three themes, as they have expressed their own unique artistic sensibilities and imaginations over the generations through plastic.

The first theme celebrates of the centenary of legendary Italian designer Ettore Sottsass, introducing both Sottsass's pattern-based works and those of the younger designers inspired by him. The second theme uses large installation works for the three towering figures of design - Philippe Starck, Antonio Citterio, and Piero Lissoni - whom applied their own artistic sensibilities to the transparency, ease of production and assembly, and lightness of plastic. The final theme goes beyond form and explores the development of plastic as a surface material, offering a close-up experience of a different aspect of the material noticed by artists ranging from design giant Mario Bellini to young star designers such as Patricia Urquiola and Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec.

Piuma chair (2016-) by Piero Lissoni

Papyrus Chair (2008-) by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec

06 Constantly Evolving

Constantly Evolving hints at the future journey for plastic in the same way as that of the exhibition's opening section, Polymer, the Beginning of a Dream. As the final section of PLASTIC FANTASTIC, this space takes the form of another symbolic installation work and film produced by design studio SHOWMAKERS to inspire new developments for the future of plastic, as it continues to defy our imaginations thanks to its boundless potential.
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