Exploring alternative expressive qualities for the aging of plastics – The case of 'timelapse' experimental project
In collaboration with the Italian design company Serralunga, this project was developed as a research on new expressive qualities for plastics. The goal was to convey a feeling of impermanence through the surface of plastics, thus reducing the perception of a timeless perfection. Among synthetic materials, plastics are characterized by an unnatural aging, which can occur in two ways. They can be immune to traces, resulting as unrealistic and 'always-perfect'. Alternatively, they can crack,
... hey can crack, break, and sallow, often degrading their aesthetic value. The inability to mature gracefully contributes to the overall association of plastic artifacts to cheap and disposable products. Thus, plastic artifacts are scarcely the targets of users' affective attachment, ultimately shortening their lifespans. The point of departure of this project was then the possibility to make plastics grow traces of time and usage. The resulting concepts aim at increasing users' emotional attachment to artifacts, linking our stories to theirs. By undertaking a collaborative process, the designer, together with company experts, explored different design directions, to achieve several outcomes that are depicted in this pictorial.