Success and Failure delves into the Powerhouse Museum collection to find examples of research, design and development that have led to unconventional or surprising results, frustrated hopes, ethical challenges and outstanding triumphs. Exploring the seemingly opposing terms of success and failure reveals how the two are intimately connected.
Thought-provoking Australian writers Bruce Pascoe and Delia Falconer and six Museum curators have contributed essays sparked by collection objects. ‘Revisiting previous successes and failures is important in appreciating the struggles that lie at the heart of conceiving, developing, making and distributing anew,’ writes Research Manager Deborah Lawler-Dormer in her introductory essay.
The origins of porcelain and board games, and innovation in engineering, architecture and design, agriculture, prosthetics, medicine, weapons, sound technology, garments and robotics are included to name a few. Even the humble tyre swan is lauded. As well as the many struggles towards success, there are poignant tales of objects at first thought to be successes, which over time can be viewed as failures.
Success and Failure is illustrated with exquisitely detailed object photography and historical images from the collection.