Gangjian Cui’s “The Rise of the Plasticsmith” speculates China’s post-industrial future. Cui envisions the rise of a new breed of workers who will use plastic crafts to tell the history of the industrial age. (Photos and videos)



In the 1950s, thousands of people moved to downtown Daqing in northeastern China, building oil towers and refineries to manufacture plastic. For the people of the metropolis, plastic was more than just an industry, and the struggle of the early fabricators of the material has been immortalized in myths and legends. The city is competing with many other contemporary areas of China, each trying to produce more, faster, cheaper, but each uncertain about their future.

With oil production predicted to decrease drastically in the next 50 years, their glory could be short lived. As a result, the project realizes potential in the idea that plastic could play a much larger role in the world of manufacturing furniture, structural elements, and other mechanical objects. To further his argument, Cui has developed a set of tables and cabinets constructed entire out of the clear material using simple joints that have been melted together.

THE RISE OF PLASTIC SMITH from gangjian cui on Vimeo.

gangjian-cui 1Cabinet and table

gangjian-cui 2Air bubble in plastic

gangjian-cui 3gangjian-cui 5Round table

gangjian-cui 4Cabinet

Daqing 1950s from gangjian cui on Vimeo.

Via Design Boom