It is called the Museum of Unintended Use. In the Museum, I collect pictures and stories. Pictures and stories about objects, and the way people use them. Which is often not the way designers intended them to be used. Unintended Use is opening a bottle of beer with a cigarette lighter, using your mobile phone as a pocket light, decorating your cherry tree with cd’s to chase away birds, or using a pencil to pin up your long hair. And much more, of course. [Click on the image of the Spock coffee mug to see its story.]
I suppose there is a lot of unintended use hidden in scientific laboratories all over the world. Often scientists need to do very specific experiments for which no special tools are available. So they start thinking what tools to use instead, tools that are meant for other purposes. Perhaps some of your readers know good examples of unintended use. If so, I invite them to send them to me at the museum.
If you have a good discovery for the museum, please email a description to: unintendeduse AT gmail.com
Here is the museum’s official explanation of the photo displayed at right:
What does a neurosurgeon do, if he needs to practice a new technique? He orders a loose head at the anatomical lab. Heads with soft blood vessels are best, because they resemble living heads. At Utrecht University, the man managing the bodies donated to science found a way to soften the vessels. He flushes them with… fabric softener. ‘It even smells nice, now’, he said with a smile.