Hidden Heroes at Museum of Design Atlanta


In modern society, most of us would hail the computer as one of the most exciting innovations of the 20th century. Same goes for the automobile, air conditioning, and telephones. But what about inventions like paperclips, zippers, or even (dare we say) condoms?

MODA paper clips etc smaller

While the paperclip may not be the most exciting invention ever made, objects like these play an important role in the way we live our modern lives:

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Without paperclips, documents would run amok, papers scattered hither and thither.

Without zippers, coats and tents and backpacks would be left open and vulnerable.

And without condoms… well, let’s just say our worldwide population would be a lot more than 7 billion people.

Helpful inventions like these, and many more, are veritable classics, invented by a person who saw a problem, worked to solve it, and ended up creating an object that had such universal appeal, it went on to last decades, sometimes even centuries, and have spawned spin-offs, customizations, and whole other products.

Keeping that in mind, you definitely want to pop into the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) for their current exhibit. It's called Hidden Heroes: The Genius of Everyday Things, and it turns these often-supporting actors into the stars of the show.

Located across the street from the High Museum in Midtown Atlanta, MODA consistently brings thought-provoking exhibits to our city so we can explore the various designs and innovations that make our world tick.

Exhibits range from architecture to city planning to furniture design to arcade games, and MODA delights in introducing the art of design to fresh eyes.

This new exhibit arrests your attention with its simplicity. Developed by the Vitra Design Museum in cooperation with Hi-Cone, Hidden Heroes is a touring exhibit that celebrates 36 of the ordinary objects that have revolutionized the way we live.

From egg cartons to clothespins, bubble wrap to tea bags, MODA is celebrating a wide range of everyday genius.

The exhibits are displayed in elevated cardboard boxes throughout the XYZ-square-foot space, and are accompanied with film, audio, patent drawings, photos, really anything that will help bring the story behind these hidden heroes to life for you.

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Someone invented the humble pencil.

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Someone also invented the six-ring beverage carrier.

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Carabiner anyone?

Indeed, getting lost in the curious story of an object’s origin is what turns the disposable Post-It note into much more than merely a way to scribble a hasty reminder to your husband or boss.

All in all, there are lots of topics to explore and appreciate at this exhibit, and I am positive you will enjoy yourself.

AND… there's a cherry on top waiting for you at MODA! What might that cherry be, you ask? Oh, just 3D printers.

Yes! MODA has 3D printers on-site and available for you to try out!

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In fact, MODA will be hosting classes on 3D printing for both adults and children, so if you’ve been reading articles and noticing Facebook posts about 3D printing but wanted to learn what the heck it is, now is your chance to get up close and personal with the machine of the future. (Basically, we’re talking George Jetson here.)

How this machine works is that, if you’ve got the drawings for it, a 3D printer can make anything, from clothing to furniture to iPhone cases!

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In fact, take a peek at my very own 3D-printed bracelet!

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Between the Hidden Heroes and the 3D printers, you have every reason to head on over to MODA. Check out their website to learn more about the cool things cooking over there. The Hidden Heroes exhibit runs through May.

And the next time your grandmother hands you a jar of homemade strawberry jam, you can smile and tell her the story of how the humble mason jar came to be.

Atlanta, BlogBethany Clark