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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Plastic: Remaking Our World

Until Closing Soon
V&A Dundee / Dundee

The first fully synthetic plastic dates back to 1907, when the pioneering Leo Baekeland combined phenol and formaldehyde to invent a plastic he called Bakelite, hard and shiny as shellac. During W.W. II, the use of plastic proliferated—as nylon for parachutes, to make ropes and body armor, and as plexiglass for aircraft windows. By the end of the war, production of plastic in the U.S. had increased by 300 percent. It was only years later that the negative impact of plastic began to come to light. In the 1960s, the first plastic debris was observed in the ocean, and stories about chemical pesticides and pollution gained traction. How did we get to where we are today? This exhibition traces the history of plastic from wondrous invention to wasteful overproduction. Architects and designers from all over the world offer cutting-edge solutions to the plastics problem we face. —E.C.

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V&A Dundee 1 Riverside Esplanade, Dundee DD1 4EZ, United Kingdom
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