The Lost & Found
Office of Oddities


The Lost & Found Office of Oddities by Dominic Wilcox – part of the UK City of Culture

Variations on Normal

This project, a personal favourite of mine, was based on a Lost and Found Office but in this case it was full of odd and unusual objects… The project was led by artist Dominic Wilcox.

Posters were put around the area to ask the public for suggestions. Photo: Liam Rich

The Lost and Found Office of Oddities was the place that objects go that no one knows what they are or what they do. The staff of the office travelled around asking the general public for their ideas and suggestions about the objects and also help in tracking down the owners of these strange and odd objects. The suggestions were noted down to share and as part of the officious record keeping.

The mobile office, with actors playing the part of staff, was set-up at local events to engage with the public. Photo: Liam Rich

This amusing project was commissioned as research and development work done in readiness for the UK City of Culture. Although it didn’t lead on to a larger project, I felt it was a very successful project in and of itself and it was great to produce.

The actors playing the office staff remained in character throughout and it didn’t matter that many people knew it was all a joke.

An official-looking website was also created so that the public could see the objects and give their suggestions as to what the objects could be.

One (pair) of the dozens of objects made to confuse, confound and inspire, by the artist, Dominic Wilcox.
What would you say these glasses were actually for?

This project aimed to inspire the imaginations of the public. It is a form of ‘reverse design’ in that the meaning or use of the objects are created after the object has been made by the artist.

An object at the Lost & Found Office
Lost & Found Office at a local boot fair