Categories / Books, Design and Interiors

Plastic Dreams: Synthetic Visions in Design by Charlotte and Peter Fiell

When I think of plastic in design, I tend to think of 1960s space-age pieces, but its importance actually spans the past 150 years rather than just one decade. Plastic Dreams: Synthetic Visions in Design looks at the influence the material has had over that period.

The book charts the use of plastic from the mid-nineteenth century to the present, but of course it covers a lot of our favourite design periods in between. It features over 120 landmark designs, including Wells Coates AD 65 radio from the 1930s and Konstanin Grcic's MYTO chair, a modern design that we’ve featured here before on account of its retro looks.

Plastic Dreams is available to buy from Amazon, priced £23.70.

Categories / eBay watch

eBay watch: 1970s Schneider space age portable record player


Yes, I know – we feature a lot of portable record players. But that's because they always prove very popular and in many circumstances, they offer up some great period design. This Schneider portable record player certainly doesn't disappoint on that score.

Described by the seller as 'one of the coolest and most desirable' portable players, as as well 'a really rare and hard-to-find object', it's a mains-powered player than spins vinyl at 33, 45 and 78rpm, offers better than expected sound and of course, has those great space age stereo speakers. It's also been featured in L'Utopie du Tout Plastique, the benchmark of cool space age design.

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Categories / Food and Drink, Homeware

Retro-style Popcorn Bowl at Cox and Cox


Night in with a good movie? You might need some popcorn – and this Popcorn Bowl at Cox and Cox could be the perfect accessory.

It's a retro-styled popcorn holder and not just for single use – made of plastic, you can wash it and use it again and again.

Which makes it a bit of a bargain at just £3.

Find out more at the Cox and Cox website

Categories / Women's Fashion

Lady Dragon Cherry Slingbacks by Vivienne Westwood


While everyone knows that British fashion heavyweight Vivienne Westwood found her beginnings in the 1970s, that hasn't stopped her having a keen eye for earlier retro influences. These new Cherry versions of her Lady Dragon Slingbacks have an undeniable hint of rockabilly style that works well with Westwood's quirky vision.

The plastic material used throughout many of Westwood's latest shoe lines lends a high gloss and vibrant colour to the shoes, ensuring a kitschy fifties appeal. Add the cherry detailing to the toes of this neat little pair and these are an ideal rockabilly pair.

Get them online from My Wardrobe for £110.

Find out more from the website

Categories / Design and Interiors

Vitra Eames DAR plastic upholstered chair


The original dates back to 1950, but this is a new take on a classic – the Vitra Eames DAR plastic upholstered chair.

It's still essentially the same Charles and Ray Eames classic, complete with chrome 'Eiffel Tower' leg base and of course, a polypropylene shell (replacing the original fibreglass for ecological reasons). It was the first industrially manufactured plastic chair and is still one of the best.

But in 2010, to add versatility, Vitra has introduced an upholstered version, throwing in a choice of inner Hopsak lining for comfort, which gives it an added use as a stylish lounge chair.Many colours available for the finish, with prices around the £474.30 mark.

Find out more at the Utility Design website

Categories / Books, Design and Interiors

Plastic Dreams: Synthetic Visions in Design by Charlotte and Peter Fiell


If you are interested in the history of plastic design, you'll want to pick up a copy of the newly-published Plastic Dreams: Synthetic Visions in Design by Charlotte and Peter Fiell.

From the creators of the excellent Scandinavian Design, Plastic Dreams celebrates plastic as a material, showing some of its finest works – from Bakelite in the 1920s to the icons of the modern era.

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