Saturday, July 5, 2014

Plastics as Design Form | Thelma Newman | Chilton Book Company, publisher | 1972

Plastics as Design Form

Plastics as Design Form is part of a series of books authored by Thelma R. Newman that discuss a variety of material topics.  This book was written to complement and not to repeat content of the earlier published Plastics as an Art Form. 

In the preface, Dr. Newman explains that Plastics as Design Form “was designed to speak to a broad sector of interest – to the designer, architect, manufacturer, artist, educator, and craftsman, in fact, to all those people who have something to do with designing and making useful forms.”

Plastics as Design Form is an excellent technical resource for the materials science and of plastic materials.  As one would expect, it also delves deeply into design, featuring many of the prominent names of the time.  The book interestingly shows the state of the art in 1972.  This happens to be the same year as the seminal New Domestic Landscape exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art.  Plastics as Design Form is well worth the $4 ($0.01 plus $3.99 shipping) it costs to have it delivered by Amazon.  The book is so well written and illustrated that after leafing through it, I immediately went back to Amazon and spent $4 on Plastics as an Art Form.  Be sure to get these books in hardcover if you decide to purchase them.

Table of Contents by chapter
1  The plastic presence 1
2 Plastic facts and generic extents 30
3 Design Parameters and the sixth sense 67
4 Light and transparency 122
5 Designing with rigid sheet, block, rod, and tube 153
6 A gallery of designs with acrylic 193
7 Designing with foam, film, and fiber 217
8 Designing with casting and laminating liquids 266
9 Plastic prospective 308

Also contains Appendices, Glossary, Bibliography, and Index


Newman, T. (1972). Plastics as design form: Philadelphia, United States of America: Chilton Book Company.

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