RAW Plastic Project

Graduation project Gerrit Rietveld Academy (BA) design

RAW plastic project is about searching for a new production method, less concerned with efficiency and perfection, but rather seeking to embrace imperfections, lucky accidents, and artistic expression, creating a sense of character and personality in each object. Questioning the difference between synthetic and natural, and between a raw material and waste material.

The RAW plastic project is about rethinking the way we treat and value plastic.

A production process requires a fitting raw material, the starting point is to adapt the production process to fit the available material, creating a new process defining new material characteristics.

The project has no moralistic aims, it is a material experiment, its starting point has been to use this resource of thermoplastics which is abundant and originally designed to be remelted, a perfect material to work with.

Plastic does not have the long history of traditional craftsmanship that for instance woodworking, metal, Glass, Ceramic etc. have, but this does not make it a less qualified material or less useful in the context of an artisan’s workshop.

Seeking for a way to utilise the inherent value of discarded plastic items, without the need ship around waste and to grind objects down to be remade into pellets or homogeneous mass. The following quote from R.B.Fuller summarises this approach to discarded plastic and valuing it as a raw material ready to be used for artistic expression or to design unique objects.

“In order to change an existing paradigm you do not struggle to try and change the problematic model. You create a new model.”

A machine that can transform a diverse range of plastic, creating unique objects, allowing some irregularities to form. This idea led to building a combined oven and pressing machine. Testing and appreciating the imperfections in a material that is traditionally processed with extreme accuracy.