A collection of timely new scholarship, Repair: Sustainable Design Futures investigates repair as a contemporary expression of empowerment, agency, and resistance to our unmaking of the world and the environment. Repair is an act, metaphor, and foundation for opening up a dialogue about design’s role in proposing radically different social, environmental, and economic futures.
Thematically expansive and richly illustrated, with over 125 visuals, this volume features an international, interdisciplinary group of contributors from across the design spectrum whose voices and artwork speak to how we might address our broken social and physical worlds. Organized around reparative thinking and practices, the book includes 30 long and short chapters, photo essays, and interviews that focus on multiple responses to fractured systems, relationships, cities, architecture, objects, and more.
Repair will encourage students, academics, researchers, and practitioners in art, design and architecture practice and theory, cultural studies, environment and sustainability, to discuss, engage, and rethink the act of repair and its impact on our society and environment.
Foreword by Arturo Escobar
Introduction by Markus Berger and Kate Irvin
PART 1: Reparative Thinking_Broken Worlds
Five Theses on Repair in Most of the World
Who Decides? Power, Brokenness, and Healing
Repairing the Cracked Concrete
Broken Urban: Repair as Postapocalyptic Design
Why Save This?
Anna Rose Keefe
Repair and Imperfection through the Lens of the Spectral
Jakko Kemper and Ellen Rutten
For the rain, for the wind
PART 2: Reparative Practices_Wounds, Sutures, and Scars
Aesthetics of Visible Repair: The Challenge of Kintsugi
Repair and Design Futures: An Exhibition and Call to Action
Darning Over Renewal
Jeremy Lee Wolin
Thinking Rubble: Ruin and Repair at War’s End
Open Dialogues and Material Memory
What Is the Work of Love Today? Repair, Care, and Carrying
Kurhirani no ambakiti (Burning the Devil): Since That’s the Only Way They Listen to Us
PART 3: Reparative Thinking_Alternative Ways
Borderlanders: A Political Concept for Repair
Vazira Fazila-Yacoobali Zamindar
Repair on the Move
Bec Barnett and Tristan Schultz
My Grandmother’s Mended Socks: Layered Design Thinking and Durability
Is Business Beyond Repair?
Repairing Imaginations: Rethinking the Ethics of Growth and Degrowth
Is Repair Repairing Architecture?
Trans-Repair: Emancipatory Techno-Poetics
PART 4: Reparative Practices_Patched and Reassembled
Community Repair in South Africa: An Interview with Kevin Kimwelle
Esther Akintoye and Markus Berger
Fixing as Learning
Make-Do-and-Mend: The Repair and Reuse of Existing Buildings
Hand Me Up
Recovering a Sense of Place
Evelyn Eastmond, M Eiffler, David Kim, and Joy Ko
(Hi)Stories of Repair
Notions of Repair as a Pedagogical Dialogue
Toward Repairing the Social Fabric: Music Performance and Pedagogy at Work
Epilogue: Stronger Futures—a Call to Action
Lexicon of repair
"There’s no hope for a sustainable future without ‘Care and Repair’ becoming as sexy and seductive as ‘Use and Lose’. In this very timely book we have some smart creative minds riffing on how to start this re-imagining. There’s a deliveryman at the door. On the cardboard box is written ‘HANDLE WITH CARE AND REPAIR.’"
Peter Gabriel, musician, singer, songwriter, record producer and activist
"Pulling together scholars and activists from around the world, this splendidly curated collection of essays forcefully reminds us how varied repair is, the remarkable skills such work requires, and the crucial role of such work in resistance to the unrelenting powers of decay and destruction."
Elizabeth V. Spelman, Professor of Philosophy, Smith College
"This text makes an essential contribution to debates about repair now exploding across design, the fine arts, architectural studies, critical theory and many other spaces and places. Beautifully illustrated, carefully curated and containing a wide range of vital critical interventions from some of the leading thinkers and practitioners in the field, this book will set the agenda for sustainable repair studies for years to come."
Damian White, Dean of Liberal Arts and Professor of Social Theory and Environmental Studies, RISD
"Repair: Sustainable Design Futures is an important contribution to the ongoing discussion about repair, with a special focus on its significance and impact on society and the environment."
Silke Langenberg, Editor of Repair. Encouragement to think and make (2018) and Upgrade. Making things better (2022)
"'Repair' is a word that is simple yet complex. The authors show how different ways of thinking contribute to a broader notion of this simple word, one based in different ways of knowing. Through this exploration they develop more eclectic understandings of the world we live in, the processes and systems that surround us, how these inform what we do and fundamentally help us make sense of who we are. This book is an excellent example of how we can think and act to be better participants on this planet."
Pradeep Sharma, Director of Arts|Culture|Heritage at the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation