In The Tropenmuseum Amsterdam you can visit the exhibition The Plastic Crush; one of the first exhibits on the global history of plastic and its impact on our daily lives.
Until now, plastic in the museum world has often been approached from a Western design point of view. The Tropenmuseum now focuses on daily life with plastic from a global perspective. The exhibition features objects made from the forerunners of plastic, the first plastic products and work by contemporary artists and designers. Plastic has a longer history than you might expect. Concerns about environmental pollution from plastic also go back further than the past fifty years.
An eye on plastic
Natural materials were successful before the arrival of plastic, but the production is very expensive, both for nature and people. Think of a comb, piano key or billiard ball made of ivory. This changed radically with the introduction of plastic. Plastic in its many guises became the material for everything in our lives and a mass product with global impact. Take the water bottle, for example, which made clean drinking water more accessible. At the same time, it also caused environmental pollution. With various themes, it is illustrated how plastic has penetrated our daily lives.
And what does our future with plastic look like? One thing is certain: plastic is here to stay. Four young, talented designers give their vision of the future. The perspective of designers, artists and activists offers opportunities for a more sustainable coexistence with plastic.
Making a sustainable exhibition
With Plastic Crush, the Tropenmuseum is working on a pilot for sustainable exhibitions. In collaboration with Studio Harm Rensink and design studio KODE21, the museum is making a serious effort to put together an exhibition that produces as little waste as possible. The museum also creates new and custom-made parts with sustainable, environmentally friendly and recycled materials. The NMVW will then use these again for future exhibitions.
Plastic Crush, until 7 May 2023, Tropenmuseum Amsterdam, Linnaeusstraat 2