Join us for this special screening at DCA celebrating our current exhibition Plastic: Remaking Our World.
The monobloc plastic chair is the bestselling piece of furniture of all time, known on every continent, across all national borders and social boundaries.
With more than a billion units in circulation worldwide, this deceptively bland piece of furniture was originally conceived by designer Henry Massonnet as a fashionable commodity for upper-class consumers. The pursuit of lowered production costs above all else soon turned the monobloc into a symbol of cheap design, environmental waste, and bad taste across much of the Western world. Hauke Wendler’s documentary Monobloc takes a closer look at its ubiquity and streamlined production process, finding a microcosm of economic globalization and inequality.
Filming across five continents, Wendler contrasts this disparaging view of the monobloc with its role in many developing countries, where its low cost has made it one of the few pieces of furniture that impoverished families can afford. Expansive in scope, Monobloc reveals how a single consumer product can tell a much broader story of global development, aesthetic judgement and economic inequality.