Don’t look now, but we may have just passed through the golden age of earplug design. The Museum of Modern Art seems to have become cognizant of this possibility in 2006 when, in one fell swoop, it acquired at least 11 sets, designed between 1978 and 2003. With contours variously biomorphic and gently jagged, they include single- and multiple-use plugs and some designed specially for musicians or swimmers.
The 11 pairs are among the smaller items on view in “Born Out of Necessity,” a survey of mostly recent additions to the museum’s collection of architecture and design that, as the title suggests, have a fairly direct bearing on quality of life or actual survival. Also small is the Subtle Safety Defensive Ring, created in 2003 by RedStart Design. A four-looped ring that can be expanded into a very lightweight but effective form of brass knuckles, it is a great improvement on its chief inspiration, the D.I.Y. solution of door keys held between the fingers of a clenched fist.
You can read the full article via NY Times here.