Examining the collections at the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences I gravitated to some compelling signposts on my journey, those phosphorus flashes of youth, but inevitably the eye turns to the peculiarity of Australia — Bruce Pascoe What looks like greatness in one era or to one culture might look less appealing to another while, on the other hand, some ventures written off as worthless may accrue value over time — Delia Falconer The Success and Failure publication delves into the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences 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 MAAS 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 MAAS 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, women’s underwear 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.