News / City Life

Think your mistakes are bad? There's an entire Museum of Failure coming to L.A.

Think your mistakes are bad? There's an entire Museum of Failure coming to L.A.
Photograph: Courtesy the Museum of Failure/Sofie Lindberg

We’ve all had business ventures, relationships and financial planning go up in smoke at one point or another, but when your bad calls and regret fill your head at 3am, just remember that it could always be worse: at least your goofs aren’t on display in the Museum of Failure. On December 1, the hall of fame for bad ideas is coming to L.A., providing a glimpse into some of the world’s worst inventions, now-defunct technology and even a place for you to confess your own shortcomings. 

The two-month exhibit is popping up in the Arts District’s A+D Museum, after a popular run in Sweden. Now the collection of more than 100 disaster items is making its way around the world, and through February 4, 2018 it’s our turn to gawk at failures from the 17th century to today. Highlights include frozen beef lasagna by Colgate (we’re feeling nauseous), Donald Trump’s 1989 board game (creatively titled “Trump: The Game”) and the dumpster fire that was Coca-Cola Blak (remember when Anderson Cooper tried it and promptly spit it out?), in addition to a “failure confessional,” where guests are encouraged to anonymously write out their own mistakes and post them on the wall.

Beyond the schadenfreude and comedy of it all, the exhibit also wants to highlight just how common—and acceptable—failure can be. (Hey, even Apple’s got a device in there.) After all, 80 to 90 percent of industries’ projects fail, according to psychologist Dr. Samuel West, the founder of the museum. “At large, as a society, we are too obsessed with success and underestimate failure,” he says in a news release. “I started the Museum of Failure out of frustration—it’s time we accept failure, learn from it and truly achieve progress. I am thrilled to bring the hilarious, yet impactful memories of these colossal flops to Los Angeles.” 

It certainly lacks the cheeriness of the Museum of Ice Cream and the forthcoming sunshiny, limited-run installations—see: 29Rooms and Candytopia—but it’s still bound to make you laugh. Here’s a fun glimpse of just a few of the gaffes you’ll be able to visit:

Inside the Museum of Failure from NBC Left Field on Vimeo.

The Museum of Failure runs from December 1 through February 4, 2018, at the A+D Museum. Tickets cost $15.

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