Strategy Firm Turns Banal New York Objects Into A Museum Of The Ordinary


The Partners created gallery tags similar to the ones in museums and attached them to identify commonplace and mundane designs around NYC.

Leah Gonzalez
  • 14 may 2014

Museums usually place those little information cards next to the works of art on display to let museum visitors know a few details about the piece, like the creator, when it was made, what it is made of, and sometimes a brief history of the work or the collection. This way, people get to know more about the item beyond what they see to help them appreciate it even more.

What if similar kinds of cards were placed on the everyday objects that we take for granted?

Brand strategy firm The Partners have created gallery tags and attached them to commonplace and mundane designs around New York City – designs like Chinese takeout boxes, manhole covers, the coffee cup sleeve, the hotdog sandwich, and more.

The project, which they have called The Museum of the Mundane (MoMu), was inspired by Design x NYC and aims to better understand and appreciate 20 commonplace objects whose designs are deemed mundane and insignificant since they are things that people see everyday. The key purpose of the project is to highlight the functional, mostly underappreciated and sometimes overlooked objects all around us and show that design brilliance can be found everywhere.

Madeleine Kronovet, Account Manager at The Partners, stated that the tags were placed in different locations in SoHo and Nolita. The firm hopes the tags will stay where they are as long as possible, though some have already been removed or possibly stolen.

She also shared that the project was a group effort. After coming up with the idea, the group got together and came up with an initial list of about 60 well-designed commonplace objects. After doing a bit of research on each item, the group whittled down the list to 20 items with the most interesting histories.

Kronovet said,

We’d like people to take away a few things from the project. Design touches all of our lives. And it doesn’t have to be high design, wildly abstract, or within the confines of museum walls to be great design. We wanted to give homage to the objects we encounter every day that are relevant to all city inhabitants. We also wanted people to stop and take a closer look at things, to think and learn more about the simple (and sometimes not so simple) brilliance of the things that we regularly overlook.

The Museum of the Mundane features objects such as the chain driven bicycle, a bus shelter, the chain link fence, a clothes hanger, the elevator, a bagel, the revolving door, among others. Each gallery tag includes information like the name of the creator, where it originated, what the object is made of, the dimensions, and a brief history of the item.

The Partners are inviting people to contribute their own “mundane” designs via Instagram and Twitter by using the hashtag #theMoMu.

View some images of the gallery tags below. View the rest on the MoMu microsite.

MoMu // The Partners


Dubai And The Future Of Humanitarian Design

Design & Architecture
Technology Yesterday

Concept Camera Designed To Only Take Unique Photos

Camera Restricta is tool that prompts photographers to only capture one-of-a-kind images

Design & Architecture Yesterday

Fragrance Will Release The Smell Of Data If Your Private Information Is Being Leaked

The device is designed to create a physical cue for the potential dangers lurking online


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Retail Yesterday

LYNK & CO Is A New Auto Brand That Promises Mobile Connectivity On Wheels

Online access and mobility sharing are driving the company to disrupt the auto industry

Related Expert

Nicolas Roope

Product & Brand Development

Travel Yesterday

Become A Citizen Of The First Nation In Space

Asgardia is a new concept for a floating society above Earth

Entertainment Yesterday

Speaker Displays Song Lyrics As Music Is Played

The device is able to generate the graphics on a translucent screen and retrieve the words from a connected database

AI Yesterday

Travel Assistant Scans Your Emails To Make Planning Easier

This AI add-on will sync with your inbox and sends reminders to make sure you don't miss anything important


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed Yesterday

Health Expert: Nutritional Meal Replacements Are A Solution To Corporate Wellness

Ample Foods Founder Connor Young explains why supplements are the next food trend coming to the workplace

PSFK Labs Yesterday

PSFK Picks: Top 5 Performance-Enhancing Wearables

Our new report looks at innovations pioneering the future of performance through intelligent activewear and predictive analytics

Millennials Yesterday

FOMO Survival Kit Helps Millennials Cope With Social Anxieties

The satirical product is meant to be a playful diversion for people who feel like they are missing out

Food Yesterday

New York Restaurant Uses Tomato Sushi As Its Newest Meat Alternative

fresh&co is using sous vide Roma tomatoes to create a vegan option that has the texture and taste of tuna

Advertising Yesterday

Red Bull Converts Sao Paulo Payphones Into Data-Driven Bus Schedules

The booths allow city residents to check local transit times through a simple toll-free phone call

Retail Yesterday

Why Experiential Events Could Replace Trade Shows

Marketers are seeking creative and impactful new ways to connect with influencers

Children Yesterday

Modular Kit Teaches Kids How To Make Their Own Robots

MODI features magnetic modules and a platform for programming to encourage experimentation

Infants Yesterday

Work Table Doubles As A Baby Seat

Designer Kunsik Choi created the furniture to facilitate emotional communication between between parents and their children

Technology Yesterday

Album Turns Into Something New Each Time It’s Streamed

Bill Baird's new album explores the relationship between time and music through a website crafted by design team, One Pixel Wide

Technology Yesterday

Wearable Device And Lamp Recreate Beautiful Sunsets In Your Home

Sun Memories can record up to six hours of natural light and reproduce it via a connected light at a later date

No search results found.