On this website you will find information on Felix Hardmood Beck's involvement at New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) from 2015–2020.

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Required Films

  • A Plastic Ocean, We need a Wave of Change, 2016
  • Plastic Change, Episodes: 1–9, 2018
  • Plastic Surgery, Forever Young: Facelifts, BBC, 2016

As supplemental materials there will be a wide range of online video resources and project documentation. Links will be shared via NYU Classes or other online sites (t.b.a.).

List of Discussion Topics

Day Theme Discussion Topics
01Introduction to the Course
Tour through NYUAD’s Plastic Lab
 NYUAD’s waste management

Workshop Session: Plastic types Going Green (How to reduce your garbage)
02Before Plastics…
Toys and Tools Plastic’s predecessors

Workshop Session: Prototyping tools A life without plastic?
03Oil and Plastic Production
Activity: ADNOC site visit in Ruwais Improving on Nature
Workshop Session: Bioplastic Sustainable materials

04Environmental Pollution
Microplastics Man-made disasters

Activity: Nurdle Hunt/landfill site visit Alternatives to plastic?
05Plastic Fashion
Low-cost single-use cloth Recycling of clothes
3D printed fashion Future technologies
06Plastic Surgery
Botox What is beauty?
Documentary: Forever young Ethics: Anti-Aging, Career Advancement?
07Happy Land – The Slums of Tondo
Site visit Seminar field trip – Day 1
Field Work Session
08Smoky Mountain – The Slums of Tondo
Site visit Seminar field trip – Day 2
Field Work Session
09Workshop Session

Preparation Seminar field trip – Day 3
Students give plastic recycling workshop
10Workshop Session

Cultural Day
 Seminar field trip – Day 4
Museum visit
11Global perspective: Politics & Policies
The global foot print of plastic
, Cradle to Cradle/Upcycle
Project work
12The design of everyday Things
Design Thinking/Service Design Innovation and Problem Solving
Project work Human Centered Design
13Plastic Furniture
The Repair Manifesto What is good design?

Project work Improving life
14The Battle of the Bag
Project work How to present?
Project presentation

Example themes for case-study presentations:

  1. The story of Barbie and the Woman Who Created Her
  2. Masters of the Universe: The story of He-Man and She-Ra

  3. Before plastics: Drinks from bottles and straws
  4. Before plastics: Chopsticks and cutlery
  5. The origin of oil in the Jurassic era
  6. Oil production in the 18th century
  7. Top 10 supertanker disasters and pipeline crashes
  8. Spaceship Earth
  9. 3D printing with Makerbot and Ultimaker
  10. Fashion design by Anouk Wiprecht
  11. Fast fashion brands: H&M and Zara
  12. Less but better (Dieter Rams Ten Rules on Good Design)
  13. Death by Design
  14. Bakelite
  15. The Monobloc Chair


Students must complete all assigned coursework in order to pass the course. All required documents must be submitted electronically via NYU Classes. No extensions will be given on assignments or papers without sufficient extenuating circumstances and prior approval from the instructor. Any two missing classes will result in (-) minus point automatically. A grading rubrik will be available via NYU Classes.

I. Class Participation (individual) 10 %
Students are expected to come to each class fully prepared, having read through the texts and have watched the films assigned for the class – and thought about them carefully. Participation will be assessed on the basis of both the regularity and the quality of contributions. Students will be asked to initiate class discussions without prior warning and may be asked to perform this function more than once.
II. Case-study presentation (individual) 20 %
Every student will present a case-study presentation during class. Themes are given out on the first day of class. The presentation should not be more then max. 15 slides (keynote, powerpoint or google slides). The presentation has to be submitted as PDF format through NYU Classes and must follow the following naming standard: presentation-title_YourFirstName_YourLastName.pdf
III.Field-Trip Report (group work, 3–4 students per group) 20 %
Students are required to write a field trip report about a predefined topic handed out during first day of class. The report should use the format defined by the Modern Language Association: http://www2.ivcc.edu/rambo/eng1001/format.htm. The report has to be submitted via NYU Classes.
IV. Realisation of Final Prototype (group work, 3 students per group) 20 %
Students are required to realise a prototype of a plastic product/object. The material to be used for the final prototype will be recycled plastic. There will not be any budget for the realisation of the prototype.
V. Artistic Statement (individual) 10 %
The Artistic Statement will reflect the student’s project theme. The project theme has to be submitted in advance for critique and approval by the instructor in a one-on-one session. The text should feature the concept behind the project (approximately ±600 words in three paragraphs: Introduction, Technical Paragraph, and Research Timeline Paragraph. See PDF here). The concept should be clear and understandable. The text should contain additional drawings, information graphics and photographs to explain and underline the project's idea. Integrate your personal view based on the many discussion in this course and on the reading. The text document must be submitted as PDF through NYU Classes and must follow the following naming standard: project-title_YourFirstName_YourLastName.pdf
VI. Exhibition Participation, Documentation, Final presentation (group work, 2–3 students per group) 20 %
Every student will have to present the final product at the end of J-Term in class and display it in the class exhibition. The Artistic Statement has to be integrated into a predefined poster template. The poster has to printed in advance in the library and has to be displayed during the exhibition.
Total: 100 %

Plagiarism and Academic Fraud:

If you like something enough to use it in your thinking and writing, you must identify your source for that thing. This includes phrases, sentences, passages, images, charts, diagrams, YouTube clips or anything else you did not create yourself. But this also includes ideas that are not your own. Anything that does not come from your own thinking mind must be cited. The faculty instructing this course will not tolerate cheating or plagiarism. When academic dishonesty is suspected, it will be dealt with in adherence to the official guidelines of New York University Abu Dhabi.


/is/htdocs/wp1061956_LA2T3X3UH9/www/nyuad/teaching/data/attic/plastic_fantastic_19.1578906883.txt.gz · Last modified: 2020/01/13 10:14 by felix_hardmood_beck