Swedish design gallery celebrates the monumental failures of the product design world

We so often learn about the breakthroughs, the triumphs and innovations of creativity – what about the blunders?

The Museum of Failures is a new design gallery situated in downtown Helsingborg, Sweden. It offers a fascinating learning experience based on the embarrassing faux pas of the brands we love. These are products and services that immediately tanked upon launch. It is an assembly of commercial flops from nearly every silo of product design, including automotive design, cosmetic products, smartphone devices and personal gadgetry.

Curated by psychologist Samuel West, the Museum of Failures reveals interesting insights on the way leading brands such as Google and Apple pour resources into experiments with little regard for user experience, as it is the opinion of the consumer that ultimately capsized all of these designs.

The Ford Edsel

For example, the Ford Edsel was thought to be the automobile that would revolutionise the way cars were laid out. Launched in 1958, the Edsel’s unique transmission allowed gears to be changed on the steering wheel itself. Though the designers believed this would be convenient for the driver, it proved to be very dangerous as the hooter function could slam the car into reverse gear while at speed.

Toning Mask device

The Rejuvenique Toning Mask, on the other hand, was a facial beautification device endorsed by Linda Evans of popular 1980s television programme, Dynasty. The cosmetic gadget was designed to make the user’s face smoother and more supple by literally shocking it with electricity.

Apart from showcasing the costly blunders of the design world, Museum of Failures also hosts events centred around the idea of mistakes, such as gourmet tasting evenings of ill-conceived menus, samplings of botched beer brews and piano concerts from well-known pianists playing failed musical pieces.

This video, produced by NBC Left Field, features some of the items on display at the Museum of Failures with comment from West on why they have earned a spot in this unique gallery.