THE FUTURE OF FANTASTIC PLASTIC
The monobloc chair opened doors to various takes and designs on plastic, a material that is versatile and can be formed using different molding processes. Plastic molding is basically inserting molten liquid plastic into a ready-shaped mold. A few popular processes when making plastic chairs include injection molding, rotational molding, and gas assist molding.
Made out of a single piece of injection-molded polypropylene, the monobloc’s material and form render it lightweight, stackable, and portable, making it extremely convenient for everyday use. Injection forming is a process developed in the 1930s often used for mass production and prototyping. On the other hand, rotational molding requires heated hollow molds packed with powdered plastic that is slowly rotated so it sticks to the walls of the mold. Meanwhile, gas assist molding uses high-pressure gas to fill the mold cavity with plastic.
The monobloc is proof that technology is important to design, and it can truly transform lives. But one new technology may challenge the monobloc: 3D printing. Initially used to make prototypes of furniture and décor, 3D printing allows designers to create increasingly complex forms and patterns on furniture pieces, and in a shorter amount of time.
While 3D printing technology isn’t used on a widespread basis locally, let us continue to enjoy our simple and humble monobloc chair; or check out the rest of the pages for some noteworthy designer takes on the monobloc, plus other single-form plastic chairs that have caught our eye.
MS4 Dining Chair by Marc Stadler and Skin Stackable Chairs by Archirivolto, prices available upon request, Calligaris