In every History of Industrial Design class, you look at slide after slide of the hits, the successes, the breakthroughs. But couldn't we also learn something about successful design by studying the failures?
Dr. Samuel West believes so. As Director of the Museum of Failures in Helsingborg, Sweden, West presides over exhibitions of both notable and obscure product design fails, from Apple flops to ill-conceived beautification gadgets to redundant technological devices. The point is not to pillory, but to learn. Take a look at these and tell me you wouldn't visit:
Presentations are conducted in both Swedish and English, with German soon to be added. Intriguingly, West also has his eye on expanding beyond objects:
We are planning to host evening activities related to failure. How about a failed gourmet tasting menu at a fancy restaurant? A tasting of failed brews from regional microbreweries? Or a world-renowned classic pianist giving a concert of failed music? Fuck-up-night talks? We welcome any further suggestions. The crazier the better…
You can learn more, or arrange a visit, here.
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This would be a fantastic museum to go to! Having a User Experience map showing Idea, Experiment, Failure, and what we learned as each exhibit would become something mandatory within Industrial Design curriculum for new designers. If not a centralized museum, at least a book!