I prefer to design inexpensive, accessible, democratic goods -- so that everyone can have and afford good design. I hate the idea that only an elite gets to have interesting or beautiful things -- sadly most of the elite have bad antiquated tastes anyway. Plastics afford me to do this but I must say for every plastic product that I design that goes to market, I have designed 50 other products in ceramic, glass, metal, and other materials -- so I have not really produced a great deal of plastic products -- only a few that are very successful. But also let me speak about plastics for a moment. There are many plastics that are 100 percent recyclable and some even biodegradable. Seventy percent of medical components and parts in hospitals are plastic -- there are 20,000 different polymers and the performances and properties, vary immensely. We have plastic hearts, plastic cars, plastic houses, plastic clothes (polyesters, etc.), credit cards, mobile phones, ... -- latex prevents the transmission of sexual decease, contact lenses are plastic, and I could go on and on. There are many plastics that cost much more than glass, or marble, or silver. It is a very simple and backward idea that plastics are 'dangerous' and we want to automatically criticize them without knowing anything about them.Rashid has been criticized in some circles for his use of plastics in so-called fast-moving consumer goods. But he's taken the shots and stuck by his philosophy, that plastics help designers make high-quality products accessible to the mass market.
Karim Rashid defends plastics
Karim Rashid, a celebrity industrial designer whose work has been featured in museums -- and on TV commercials -- has long been a defender of the capabilities and utility of plastics. He sticks his neck out for plastics here in a Q-and-A interview with the Web site Pure Contemporary. Here's what Rashid, who has been called the "Poet of Plastics," has to say about polymers:
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