Fibreglass exciting early design medium

Known as glass-enhanced plastic (GRP) in Britain, fibre-enhanced plastic (FRP) in the USA or by the trade name fibreglass (after the manufacturer Fibreglass Ltd.), GRP has been used for a wide range of applications from car body panels and boat hulls to furniture and tennis rackets. It has the virtue of a good weight to strength ratio, rust resistance, and ability to be moulded in a wide variety of ways.

It became increasingly widely used in the post-Second World War period, a pioneering design being Charles and Ray Eames’ famous DAR armchair for the 1948 Low-Cost Furniture Design Competition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Alongside the organic shapes found in many contemporary products, train and automotive design in Italy, the fluid, sculptural shape of the seat (supported on a metal frame) expressed the new medium’s creative potential.

Woman Test Portable fibregalss shelter
Fibreglass shelter designed for both military personnel and equipment, it was composed of 12 separated sections, each interchangeable with any other. It

These were realised in subsequent designs, such as the elegant Tulip chair of Eero Saarinen from 1956. Verner Panton was another designer to explore the medium’s expressive qualities in his moulded, cantilevered chair, first produced in West Germany in the 1960s. Many furniture designs first produced in GRP were subsequently manufactured in ABS plastic.

Fibreglass roof of a DS Citroƫn
Fibreglass roof of a DS Citroƫn on display during the 42th Paris Car Show in the Grand Palais. (Photo by AFP) (Photo by STF/AFP via Getty Images)

Early use of GRP in automotive manufacturing included the Citroen DS (1955) roof and the Chevrolet Corvette body panels (1953). Since the 1970s, improved production processes have led to more widespread use in architecture and interior design, whether in weatherproof details and services or bathrooms. Start writing or pasting something here, and then press the Paraphrase button.

Sources

INSTRUMENT DESIGN: 2007. https://instrumentdesign.blogspot.com/2007/

Glassā€reinforced plastic – Oxford Reference. https://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/acref/9780191762963.001.0001/acref-9780191762963-e-343

More Design Terms

  • Ceramics a gift from the ancients

    Ceramics a gift from the ancients

    Ceramics are objects made of moistened clay, shaped and then baked. All ceramics are Earthenware, terracotta, brick, tile, faience, majolica, stoneware, and porcelain. Ceramicware is decorated with clay inlays, relief patterns on the surface, or incised, stamped or embossed designs. Read More →

  • Fibreglass exciting early design medium

    Fibreglass exciting early design medium

    Known as glass-enhanced plastic (GRP) in Britain, fibre-enhanced plastic (FRP) in the USA or by the trade name fibreglass (after the manufacturer Fibreglass Ltd.), GRP has been used for a wide range of applications from car body panels and boat hulls to furniture and tennis rackets. Read More →

  • What is the Pantone Colour Matching System?

    What is the Pantone Colour Matching System?

    The Pantone Colour Matching System is a system for identifying, matching and communicating colours across product design, graphic design and marketing. It utilises a unique numbering system for identifying its colours.Read More →

  • Gestalt – design from chaos to order

    Gestalt – design from chaos to order

    As a visual designer, I am fascinated how people process visual perceptual information. The designRead More →

  • Standardization of Design – Design Ideas

    Standardization of Design – Design Ideas

    Standardization is a critical feature of designs designed for industrial mass production. It allows componentsRead More →

  • Netsuke – Small Mythological carvings from Japan

    Netsuke – Small Mythological carvings from Japan

    Netsuke:Ā A little Japanese sculptured item of ivory, wood, or porcelain that ranges in height and width from one-half to three inches. Mythological images, flowers, animals, gods, and goddesses are among the carvings. Netsuke pieces were initially employed as toggles in the fourteenth century. A cord was slipped under and over the obi and through a hole in the netsuke.Read More →

  • Exploring fractals and design

    Exploring fractals and design

    Fractals are intricate geometric structures created when patterns (or pieces of patterns) are altered and duplicated at ever-diminishing scales.Ā  Besides having a tremendously important effect across a range of sciences, fractals make a stunning picture on your tablet. Even simple shapes can quickly grow complicated when they are altered again and again.Ā  A close look can reveal endless variations of the same design theme.Read More →

  • Rattan – a natural design material

    Rattan – a natural design material

    Rattan is a type of climbing or trailing vine-like palm native to southern Asia, Malaysia and China. Its outer bark is used for caning, and its inner, reedlike section is used to weave wicker furniture. It was introduced to the West in the early 19th century, rattan has become the standard material for caning, and its strength and manipulability have made it the most popular of the many materials used in wickerwork.Read More →

  • Acroter –  a pedestal for a statue

    Acroter – a pedestal for a statue

    Acroter is a plinth or pedestal for a statue or other ornament, placed at the apex or lower corners of a pediment. Read More →

  • Mission Furniture – Design Dictionary Term

    Mission Furniture – Design Dictionary Term

    Mission Furniture – Design Dictionary Term. The early twentieth-century American furniture design style. American Arts and CraftsRead More →

  • Brandewijnskom – brandy bowls for birth ceremonies

    Brandewijnskom – brandy bowls for birth ceremonies

    Brandewijnskom. Brandy bowls were made in Holland and Friesland in the 17th and 18th centuries.Read More →

  • Bracket Foot – What is it?

    Bracket Foot – What is it?

    Bracket foot. In furniture, a right-angled foot, with each Inner and Curt. Bracket feet may be straight or ogee (a double curve also known as a cyma curve, typical in Chippendale Designs) or French ( a flared foot standard in the furniture of Hepplewhite and his successors).Read More →

  • Garniture – Decorative set of Porcelain

    Garniture – Decorative set of Porcelain

    Garniture. A Decorative set of porcelain may be displayed above or below a cabinet or table.Read More →

  • The Origins of Punk

    The Origins of Punk

    The realities of dissatisfied working-class urban teenagers with little hope of a job, housing, or a meaningful future shaped Punk in the mid-1970s. Read More →

  • Dutch Design – what is it?

    Dutch Design – what is it?

    The phrase “Dutch Design” refers to an informal artistic school of design in the Netherlands, particularly in product design. More specifically, the word refers to the design aesthetic used by Dutch designers. Read More →

  • Typography Glossary – Design Terms

    Typography Glossary – Design Terms

    It helps to have an appropriate language to talk about typography.Ā  The following is a glossary of some of the words and their definitions that are used to described typography.Read More →

  • Taylorism was a search for industrial efficiency

    Taylorism was a search for industrial efficiency

    His 1911 book Principles of Scientific Management outlined these concepts, and they have influenced various aspects of design, including labour-saving kitchens and more ergonomic household equipment. These included the writings of fellow American Christine Frederick, who published Scientific Management in the Home in 1915, and Lillian Gilbreth’s assessments of domestic efficiency for the Brooklyn Gas Company in 1930, which looked at the kitchen as a location of industrial production. Read More →

  • Adhocism – an idea of improvisation

    Adhocism – an idea of improvisation

    Adhocism’ ideas were coined in their book Adhocism: The Case for Improvisation by architect, theoretician, former Designer Charles Jencks and Nathan Silver (1972). Read More →

  • Vorticism British Art Movement – 1914 – 1918

    Vorticism British Art Movement – 1914 – 1918

    Vorticist painting merged cubist reality fragmentation with hard-edged imagery taken from machines and urban environments. It was essentially a British version of futurism, albeit with ideological distinctions. Lewis was a staunch opponent of the futurists. Lawrence Atkinson, Jessica Dismorr, Cuthbert Hamilton, William Roberts, Helen Saunders, Edward Wadsworth, and the sculptors’ Sir Jacob Epstein and Henri Gaudier-Brzeska were among the group’s other members. Read More →

You may also be interested in

Ceramics a gift from the ancients – Encyclopedia of Design

Ceramics are objects made of moistened clay, shaped and then baked. All ceramics are Earthenware, terracotta, brick, tile, faience, majolica, stoneware, and porcelain. Ceramicware is decorated with clay inlays, relief patterns on the surface, or incised, stamped or embossed designs. For coating, the ware, a creamy mixture of clay and water (slip) can be used.

Lithography (Design Term) – Encyclopedia of Design

A method of printing from a design drawn directly on a slab of stone or other suitable material. The design is not raised in relief as in woodcut or incised as in line engraving, but drawn on a smooth printing surface.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.