Plastics have transformed our lives like few other inventions, since their creation, a little more than a hundred years ago. If we were to name our age, based on the kind of materials that configure the world we live in, it would be the Age of Plastic.
Thus, the Plastics Heritage Congress — History, Limits and Possibilities, aims at approaching the history and heritage of plastics and reaching a deeper understanding of Historic Polymeric Materials (HIPOMS) in their various representations and social functions.
This meeting stems from the research project "The Triumph of Bakelite: Contributions for a History of Plastics in Portugal", funded by FCT, and coordinated by Maria Elvira Callapez. It is organised by the Interuniversitary Centre for the History of Science and Technology (CIUHCT), and supported by the Plastics Heritage European Association (PHEA).
We highlight the participation, as keynote speaker, of american art historian Jeffrey Meikle. His book "American Plastic: a Cultural History" is a very important reference to this field of studies. Also in attendance, the Historian Robert Friedel, who has been dedicated to studying "pioneer plastics", and Hugh Karraker, producer, actor, and grand-grandson of Leo Hendrik Baekeland, the pioneer industrial chemist of the plastics industry.
Furthermore, the meeting will include a roundtable with scholars, businessmen, and other personalities (Hugh Karraker, Jeffrey Meikle, Robert Friedel, Susan Mossman, Tom Fisher, Penny Sparke, Jaime Rezola Clemente, Miguel Ritto, Paulo Almeida, Nuno Guimarães, Pedro Gonçalves).
Lastly, the second day of the event will encompass a guided visit to the exhibition Plasticity — a History of Plastics in Portugal, at the Leiria Museum, produced in collaboration with the "Triumph of Bakelite" project. The exhibition will be showing from April 2019 to December 2020, and can be visited every day, from 9.30am to 5pm.
Know the full programme and other details at the meeting's official website.
- The Triumph of Bakelite