Category Archives: Hidden Heroes

A selection of Hidden Heroes

What do you use our Hidden Heroes for?

Hidden Heroes – a celebration of everyday things – opened at the Museum last week and it’s certainly opened our eyes to just how much we use these items. Especially every time we open our drawer for a new pen or pop another post it note on someone’s desk.

A selection of Hidden Heroes

A selection of Hidden Heroes

This realisation also got us talking about the objects’ other uses, their re-appropriation if you like.

Most people thought that they never used paperclips because they work on a computer most of the time. But when we asked them how they put their new sim card into the iphone’s they were holding, the answer was pretty much a unanimous ‘paperclip’.

Post it notes are a staple element of any to do list in our office and we even realised that when at home if we ever need to restart our wireless router a ballpoint pen is always the instrument of choice!

After discovering these other uses we started looking at some of the more creative uses for these Hidden Heroes.

The paperclip has become an inspiration for artists and designers alike. Tim Sterling makes beautiful, intricate sculptures out of paperclips.

A cube made from Paperclips

Photo Source:

And we discovered this great post it art coming out of a group of offices in Paris.

Ghostbuster logo made from sticky notes

Photo Source:

And striking abstract works of art by collaging used tea bags from Armén Rotch:

A collage made from recycled Teabags

Photo Source:

This theme of appropriation is explored further in the exhibition. We have a print of David Mach’s giant coat hanger sculpture alongside our wire coat hangers and a portrait of Mike Tyson made completely out of scotch tape.

Mike Tyson Portrait made from Scotch tape

Photo Source: Advertisement for ‘Tesa Ultra Strong’ parcel tape created by Mark Khaisman, 2008 - © Jung von Matt/Neckar für teas S

The more we talk to people the more anecdotes and insights we gather. Which is where you come in…

Henry Ford said that ’Every object tells a story’ and we want to hear your stories. Tell us your genius uses for these everyday objects in the comments below, or on Twitter with the hashtag #HiddenHeroes

Or if you want to get really creative why not upload your own art work made out of these everyday objects to our Facebook page.

A selection of Hidden Heroes

Hidden Heroes

Next Wednesday we’ve got an exciting new exhibition opening. Hidden Heroes explores the way in which 36 of our unsung design classics came into existence.

The exhibition, curated by Vitra, is being shown in the UK for the first time and brings to life objects that are so familiar that we might forget – or never even consider – the stories that lead to their existence.

A selection of Hidden Heroes

Where would fashion be without the snap fastener, the zipper or the hook & loop fastener? Innovative little solutions such as these have helped create masterpieces we drool over and spend millions of pounds a year on.

When is the last time you used a rawl plug? A condom? Or picked up a 6 pack of beers by the plastic carrier? Every day we use seemingly unimportant little inventions that help make our world go round. But have we ever really considered where these came from?

Find out how Napoleon brought about the invention of the tin can, which museum inadvertently commissioned the rawl plug, or how a descending aeroplane inspired the design of bubblewrap.

Hidden Heroes opens Wednesday 9th November, tickets are £6 and you can book them online now.

Finally keep an eye on our blog and Twitter feed over the next few weeks. Not only are we celebrating the original stories and ideas that lead to these objects, but we want to know your stories and how these objects might impact your day to day life. Maybe in their conventional manner or perhaps in some brand new way!

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