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


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