July 21, 2021
Healthy Materials Lab Launches Season 2 of Podcast Focused on Plastic
The Stone, Bronze, and Iron Ages outlined human historical past primarily based on the affect these respective supplies had on civilization. Now, we live in a “Plastic Age,” in accordance with the creators of Trace Material, a podcast from the Healthy Materials Lab (HML) at Parsons School of Design that explores one materials every season.
“Stories from a Plastic Age” debuted not too long ago, and investigates plastic by means of iconic objects like Tupperware and Bakelite, whereas diving into matters starting from American consumerism, environmental racism, feminism, and extra. The podcast, now in its second season, is hosted by Ava Robinson, MFA Creative Writing ‘22, HML Producer, and Burgess Brown, (*2*) ‘18, HML Researcher and Producer, and is produced with help from The National Endowment for the Humanities.
“This season, we decided to look back on the material that, for better or worse, defines our past and present,” shared Robinson. “Plastic is the material with which we have built our modern world. It has changed the makeup of both our bodies and our environment and this season we’re tracing the ways it has shaped our culture.”
The Healthy Materials Lab is dedicated to elevating consciousness about toxics in constructing merchandise, and to creating sources for the subsequent era of designers and designers in order that they will make more healthy locations for all individuals to stay. Through Trace Material, which highlighted hemp in its first season, the workforce behind the podcast goals to untangle the advanced internet of the story of plastics so as to assist individuals perceive some of essentially the most urgent well being and environmental points of our time.
“As we continue to learn more about the ways toxic chemicals are poisoning our bodies and planet, our reliance on plastics becomes less and less tenable,” mentioned Brown. “To chart a path to a healthier future, we can look to the lessons of the past. Our arrival in the plastics age has been fueled by innovation, but also greed.”
Throughout the season, Robinson and Brown interview all kinds of consultants, together with design historians, a Tupperware saleswoman, environmental justice activists, politicians, attorneys, youth local weather organizers, and extra. While the overarching subject is plastic, the workforce wished to hone in on the individuals behind the plastic so as to extra absolutely discover and perceive bigger themes in American historical past and tradition.
“Tupperware allows us to tell stories of suburbanization and feminism in 1950s America, while the disposable plastic bag leads us to a story of corporate control over local legislation,” explains Robinson.
In addition to the broad vary of tales they’re capable of inform by means of audio, Healthy Materials Lab additionally wished to attach with a bigger, extra common viewers, which led to the creation of the podcast. They problem listeners to consider the way in which plastic impacts their every day lives, and in flip, suppose extra critically about the way in which different supplies of their lives have an effect on them.
“We hope people will come away from this season with a better understanding of just how influential this one material has been on our culture over the last century,” says Brown. “Materials change our bodies, our environment, and they even change our culture. Therefore, they deserve to be interrogated.”