Unlike other fields in the domain of crafts where one can just pick-up a pencil and draw, use a brush and paint or take a piece of granite and sculpt, working with plastic is generally a two step process where you first need to create what you want in a three dimensional mould and then use the plastic materiel of your choice in order to bring it to reality.
Although on the surface of it all this may not sound like a big deal, working with plastic, from a pure artistic perspective, does not really allow a designer to conserve the uniqueness character that they may require. To put this into context, lets take two simple examples:
- If you take a sculpture and ask him to create the same apple our of clay five times, he may produce five items that may look the same on the surface but it is a virtual certainty that on closer inspection you will find them all to be individually unique.
- If you take a designer and ask him to create the same apple our of plastic five times, he will create a mould and then use on of the common injections molding methods in to order to produce the requested five items. The difference here is that each item, barring any production issues, will result in the production of five identical items.
This clear advantage that you have with this design approach is of course the ability to mass produce and effectively "copy and paste" products but from a pure creative process you lose on the uniqueness aspect that nearly all designers are taught to aim for.
The technological challenge for the future is to try and close this gap between mass production and "one of a kind" uniqueness in order allow artists and designers to fully explore their creative potential.