Repair Culture: Research for an old tradition!

Repairing gives a second live to damaged industrial products. Since nearly all our daily life is filled with mass fabricated objects, we have to deal with the replacement or repairing of industrially produced parts. From the car-industry until digital-electronic devices, all products arrive to the moment when they need repair or spare parts.

Unfortunately since more than half a century our consumerist evolution has brought us to a, as Victor Papanek called it, “Kleenex Society”. Unlike in traditional, rural communities, industrialized products are not always designed to be repaired. Long-lasting products don’t make “sense” for a company which need to change his products every two years (as last). Only in the recent times some designs seems to change this idea of planned obsolescence of products lifespan in favor to the idea of repairing or substituting components without to change the whole product. In the last years, moved by the crisis of the liberal western economics, climate changes, pollution and toxicity, a broad movement of Repair-Culture has appeared. “Slow Products” are on the rise. Locally made or reduced low batch production as well as customized Rapid-manufacturing types to print out just the number of units people really need.

Near to this approach we can find proposals and initiatives of a swing to a “Circular Economy” instead of the no more affordable “Linear Economy”. This concept is represented in a diagram of two dynamic circles:  the Biological- and the Technological Circle. Inside the Technological we find the importance of designing products that can be maintained, repaired, refurbished, or reused for a long-lasting lifespan.

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