THE FU­TURE OF FAN­TAS­TIC PLAS­TIC

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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

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