Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.



  • Date:

    1967-1968 (manufactured)

  • Artist/Maker:

    David Harman Powell, born 1931 (designer)
    Ekco Plastics Ltd. (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Styrene acrylonitrile co-polymer

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The 'Nova' range of stackable plastic tableware included cups, saucers, plates, bowls, sugar bowls and jugs in four different colours; red, yellow, blue and brown. The bi-injection, two-colour moulding system of the 'Nova' range was a new technique - previously only used in the automotive industry for moulding red, amber and clear plastic rear light covers. Innovative in design terms, all the decoration occurred during the manufacturing process. Though this type of plastic was comparatively expensive, it was very rigid and resistant to staining, with high thermal resistance and good colouring properties.
During the 1960s a general fascination with new materials helped break down the traditional response to plastic as a cheap substitute for more luxury materials. Instead it was treated as a quality material in its own right. The 'Nova' range won the Duke of Edinburgh's Prize for Elegant Design in 1968. The judges especially commended the simplicity of production and the attempts to meet consumer requirements. Designs created an idea of the 1960s kitchen as a small area full of high-tech equipment. Modern-looking, space-saving, and stackable, 'Nova' appealed to designers as well as consumers. The range was retailed through image-conscious design stores like Habitat and Heal's.

Physical description

Stackable plate made from plastic, with white inner and lower section, and brown rim.


1967-1968 (manufactured)


David Harman Powell, born 1931 (designer)
Ekco Plastics Ltd. (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques

Styrene acrylonitrile co-polymer


Height: 1.3 cm, Diameter: 16.6 cm

Descriptive line

Brown plate from the 'Nova' range of stackable plastic tableware, designed by David Harman Powell and made by Ekco Plastics Ltd., 1967-1968.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Duke of Edinburgh's Prize for Elegant Design, Design Journal, May 1968, no.223, pp.26-28.
The Plastics age: from modernity to post-modernity, edited by Penny Sparke (London: Victoria & Albert Museum, 1990)




Plastic; Containers; Drinking; Eating; Household objects; Tableware & cutlery


Ceramics Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.