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The San Jose Museum of Art invited area design and architecture firms to submit proposals for a “pop-up” installation in the Museum’s café, with the challenge to use everyday objects in unexpected ways. The Museum’s goal was to create a ‘teaser’ in the café that generated interest in viewing the international exhibit by Vitra “The Design of Everyday Objects”. The jury selected the submission designed by Steve Polcyn and his team from seven submitted designs. 

The winning design celebrates the iconic, gem-style paperclip patented by William D. Middlebrook in 1899. On the primary wall of the café is an enormous photomontage of the silhouette of the classic paperclip, embedded with photographs that depict the many ways that artists and hobbyists have creatively modified and co-opted the common paperclip. A glistening curtain made of paper clips hangs from the ceiling and drape over the wall. The intervention addressed the public flow and scale of the café space in an unexpected and delightful way. The design was so well received that it remained in place well over a year after installation. 

SIZE                   N/A

TYPE                Art Installation

LOCATION     San Jose, California

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