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robertogreco : repairing   48

Darning Sampler | Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
"When we talk about sustainability, why don’t we talk about mending?

The Netherlands-based Platform 21=Repairing project and its offshoot, Repair Cafés, do just that. Platform 21=Repairing published a manifesto extolling the benefits of mending, and the Repair Cafés bring together skilled tinkerers and those with items in need of repair together in a free social space over tea and coffee. Both of these initiatives engage the community, promote the sharing of hand skills, and resurrect a culture of caring enough to repair.

This darning sampler is also Dutch and was made in 1735 by a girl of about 12. She was confronted with a piece of fabric with 17 square-cut holes and with all four corners cut away. In the center and lower right corner she carefully darned the missing bits back into place and the rest she repaired with needle weaving (what you might call re-weaving if you were at the dry cleaners with a hole in your favorite wool pants). Each hole is filled in, thread by thread, with a different woven pattern to demonstrate the girl’s skill at repairing weave structures found in common household and clothing textiles such as herringbone, birds-eye twill, etc. Bright colors were originally selected to make it easier for the instructor to check for accuracy, but also contribute to a wonderfully fresh and modern overall effect.

While the textile industry is striving along with other industries to create fabrics from recycled, rapidly renewable or organic materials, the only truly sustainable option is to consume less. This sampler shows a reverence for the humble everyday objects that fill our homes (such as napkins, dishtowels, jeans, etc.) that we cannot afford not to emulate."

[Also here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BKmn7ktj6T2/ ]
cooper-hewitt  sustainability  via:litherland  clothing  fashion  textiles  fabrics  reuse  mending  glvo  repair  repairing  slow  recycling  platform21  darning  susanbrown  consumption 
september 2016 by robertogreco
Making as an Act of Caring — Medium
"My friend Deb Chachra wrote a great piece ‘Why I am not a Maker’ in the Atlantic last year, about the problems with taking on the identity of a “maker”, especially in tech culture, as it assumes intrinsic superiority to other forms of repair, fixing and especially, care-giving. Around the same time, friend and collaborator Tim Maughan wrote about his journeys through Chinese factories, a deeply moving piece on the conditions and lives of the people who actually make most of the things we use. I believe that such critique that challenges the dominant understanding of the ‘maker culture’ and its implications on labour, geopolitics and consumerism is important and urgent.

On a personal front, Deb and Tim’s essays got me thinking a lot about what ‘making’ means to me, and I realised that my understanding of this term is coloured by Jon, whom I live and work with. It got me thinking about the amount of time and energy Jon spends ‘making’ things. It is the sort of making that requires him to find, forage, build or improvise tools and materials in order to make things work.

From quickly knocking up a set of ‘acrylic chisels’ from waste plastic pieces as a bespoke toolset for gilding, to building an enormous drone with his partner-in-crime Jon Flint, resurrecting his grandfather’s cherished lamp, fixing the neighbour’s bike, reconfiguring his mother’s phone, retrofitting his son’s electronic toys, creating a DIY bioreactor, applying ancient Japanese techniques of Kintsugi as a means of adding the history of repair to his bike, and most recently foraging the city for waste in order to build salvaged prototypes that might help mitigate the shock of climate change. But he is not trained as a carpenter, metalsmith, engineer, or product designer. Nor does he go to makerspaces, he probably feels bit overwhelmed by them. He is an artist and then a designer.

Most importantly, Jon is a maker because, over the years he has developed an uninhibited curiosity for found materials and their potential applications to either fix things or build new things in the future. This deep knowledge of materials embodied within the stuff we use in our daily lives, as well as the numerous tools and techniques of making, is critical to understand the impact the things we use have on our environments. It also generates a pattern of lateral and anticipatory thinking, as he constantly scours the environment looking for materials and tools, anticipating their potential (re)use in an entirely different context. It’s an attitude of mending, helping, and, most importantly, caring, that defies mainstream consumerism.

This sort of an attitude is neither new nor unheard of. There are hundreds of thousands of people who would not call themselves makers but would quite easily fit this bill of a ‘maker’. The recently visible projects by such makers include the brilliant Fixperts and Engineering at Home amongst others. These projects and activities are often packaged as ‘fixing’, ‘jugaad, or ‘up-cycling’, and remain on the periphery of the dominant maker-culture discourse. These approaches are often associated with resource stripped individuals and communities (especially Jugaad in India), or some sort of hippie do-gooders. No, they are not just fixing, not just doing some little bodging in the corner, they are mainstream makers. In fact, I would argue that they are more than makers, they are actually care-givers, who steadfastly push back against the dominant philosophy of planned obsolesce.

Maker-carers who may not use 3D printers to make shoes or dresses, but instead embody making as a way of life. They are quietly shaping the ethos and values of a 21st century maker — adaptive, crafty, anticipatory makers who care deeply about the people and environment around them. And this is the sort of making-as-caring that we need much more of. As we head towards increasingly precarious political, social and environmental crisis, we will all need to nurture the capacity to think through materials and the systems that these materials manifest within, so we can find the means to restore, revive, resurrect, rewire, and reimagine the physical world of consumption we are drowning in. Obviously this would mean we will buy less things, but it also means that we will know what we buy and mostly importantly have the skills to adapt and re-appropriate materials and tools for uncertain conditions.

If we are going to idolise makers and create large-scale foundries, incubators and educational programs to inculcate and embrace the love for making, then lets nourish this idea of making as care-giving too, and ensure that the ‘maker-culture’ we build is diverse and inclusive. And in doing so, encourage a relentless inquisitiveness, integrity, and pliancy that it can bring for us, those around us and the environments we live in."
anabjain  jonardern  making  care  caring  caregiving  repair  maintenance  2016  adaptivity  resourcefulness  sfsh  ingenuity  jugaad  consumerism  debchachra  timmanaugh  technology  climatechange  consumption  labor  geopolitics  reuse  recycling  superflux  jonflint  art  design  makers  openstudioproject  lcproject  repairing  mending  fixing  fixperts  engineeringathome  upcycling  makerculture  caitrinlynch  sarahendren  kintsugi 
july 2016 by robertogreco
Innovation is overvalued. Maintenance often matters more | Aeon Essays
"Capitalism excels at innovation but is failing at maintenance, and for most lives it is maintenance that matters more"



"At the turn of the millennium, in the world of business and technology, innovation had transformed into an erotic fetish. Armies of young tech wizards aspired to become disrupters. The ambition to disrupt in pursuit of innovation transcended politics, enlisting liberals and conservatives alike. Conservative politicians could gut government and cut taxes in the name of spurring entrepreneurship, while liberals could create new programmes aimed at fostering research. The idea was vague enough to do nearly anything in its name without feeling the slightest conflict, just as long as you repeated the mantra: INNOVATION!! ENTREPRENEURSHIP!!

A few years later, however, one could detect tremors of dissent. In a biting essay titled ‘Innovation is the New Black’, Michael Bierut, writing in Design Observer in 2005, lamented the ‘mania for innovation, or at least for endlessly repeating the word “innovation”’. Soon, even business publications began to raise the question of inherent worth. In 2006, The Economist noted that Chinese officials had made innovation into a ‘national buzzword’, even as it smugly reported that China’s educational system ‘stresses conformity and does little to foster independent thinking’, and that the Communist Party’s new catchphrases ‘mostly end up fizzling out in puddles of rhetoric’. Later that year, Businessweek warned: ‘Innovation is in grave danger of becoming the latest overused buzzword. We’re doing our part at Businessweek.’ Again in Businessweek, on the last day of 2008, the design critic Bruce Nussbaum returned to the theme, declaring that innovation ‘died in 2008, killed off by overuse, misuse, narrowness, incrementalism and failure to evolve… In the end, “Innovation” proved to be weak as both a tactic and strategy in the face of economic and social turmoil.’

In 2012, even the Wall Street Journal got into innovation-bashing act, noting ‘the Term Has Begun to Lose Meaning’. At the time, it counted ‘more than 250 books with “innovation” in the title… published in the last three months’. A professional innovation consultant it interviewed advised his clients to ban the word at their companies. He said it was just a ‘word to hide the lack of substance’."



"Nixon, wrong about so many things, also was wrong to point to household appliances as self-evident indicators of American progress. Ironically, Cowan’s work first met with scepticism among male scholars working in the history of technology, whose focus was a male pantheon of inventors: Bell, Morse, Edison, Tesla, Diesel, Shockley, and so on. A renewed focus on maintenance and repair also has implications beyond the gender politics that More Work for Mother brought to light. When they set innovation-obsession to the side, scholars can confront various kinds of low-wage labour performed by many African-Americans, Latinos, and other racial and ethnic minorities. From this perspective, recent struggles over increasing the minimum wage, including for fast food workers, can be seen as arguments for the dignity of being a maintainer.

We organised a conference to bring the work of the maintainers into clearer focus. More than 40 scholars answered a call for papers asking, ‘What is at stake if we move scholarship away from innovation and toward maintenance?’ Historians, social scientists, economists, business scholars, artists, and activists responded. They all want to talk about technology outside of innovation’s shadow.

One important topic of conversation is the danger of moving too triumphantly from innovation to maintenance. There is no point in keeping the practice of hero-worship that merely changes the cast of heroes without confronting some of the deeper problems underlying the innovation obsession. One of the most significant problems is the male-dominated culture of technology, manifest in recent embarrassments such as the flagrant misogyny in the ‘#GamerGate’ row a couple of years ago, as well as the persistent pay gap between men and women doing the same work.

There is an urgent need to reckon more squarely and honestly with our machines and ourselves. Ultimately, emphasising maintenance involves moving from buzzwords to values, and from means to ends. In formal economic terms, ‘innovation’ involves the diffusion of new things and practices. The term is completely agnostic about whether these things and practices are good. Crack cocaine, for example, was a highly innovative product in the 1980s, which involved a great deal of entrepreneurship (called ‘dealing’) and generated lots of revenue. Innovation! Entrepreneurship! Perhaps this point is cynical, but it draws our attention to a perverse reality: contemporary discourse treats innovation as a positive value in itself, when it is not.

Entire societies have come to talk about innovation as if it were an inherently desirable value, like love, fraternity, courage, beauty, dignity, or responsibility. Innovation-speak worships at the altar of change, but it rarely asks who benefits, to what end? A focus on maintenance provides opportunities to ask questions about what we really want out of technologies. What do we really care about? What kind of society do we want to live in? Will this help get us there? We must shift from means, including the technologies that underpin our everyday actions, to ends, including the many kinds of social beneficence and improvement that technology can offer. Our increasingly unequal and fearful world would be grateful."
leevinsel  andrewrussell  maintenance  infrastructure  innovation  technology  2016  capitalism  repair  growth  robertgordon  siliconvalley  creativeclass  economics  claytonchristensen  entrepreneurship  business  michaelbierut  inequality  love  fraternity  courage  beauty  dignity  responsibility  change  society  maintainers  labor  care  repairing  themaintainers 
april 2016 by robertogreco
The Maintainers: A Conference
"Many groups and individuals today celebrate “innovation.” The notion is influential not only in engineering and business, but also in the social sciences, arts, and humanities. For example, “innovation” has become a staple of analysis in popular histories – such as Walter Isaacson’s recent book, The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution.

This conference takes a different approach, one whose conceptual starting point was a playful proposal for a counter-volume to Isaacson’s that could be titled The Maintainers: How a Group of Bureaucrats, Standards Engineers, and Introverts Made Technologies That Kind of Work Most of the Time. Conference participants come from a variety of fields, including academic historians and social scientists, as well as artists, activists, and engineers. All share an interest in the concepts of maintenance, infrastructure, repair, and the myriad forms of labor and expertise that sustain our human-built world.

Presentations will cover a wide variety of technologies and practices, including software, spaceflight, trolleys, meteorology, digital archives, and the politics of funding for infrastructure. The conference keynote speaker will be Ruth Schwartz Cowan, Professor Emerita in the History and Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylvania and author of several books, including the pathbreaking More Work for Mother: The Ironies of Household Technologies from the Hearth to the Microwave.

The call for papers is now closed."

[via: "Trading "innovation" for maintenance, repair + care:"
https://twitter.com/shannonmattern/status/719327821777223680

pointing to: https://twitter.com/lubar/status/719323080573730816 ]

[Matt Thomas was there.]
maintenance  infrastructure  repair  care  2016  innovation  repairing  themaintainers  maintainers 
april 2016 by robertogreco
Daniela K. Rosner: Design as Inquiry
"Design and fieldwork to understand emerging cultures of digital production, from hobbyist fixer groups to feminist hacker collectives. I am an assistant professor of Human Centered Design and Engineering and co-direct the TAT Lab at UW."

[via: https://jentery.github.io/syracuse/
https://jentery.github.io/syracuse/#/twenty ]
design  inquiry  danielarosner  designthinking  craft  hacking  research  feminism  maintenance  repair  repairing 
march 2016 by robertogreco
The Next Black - A film about the Future of Clothing - YouTube
"The Next Black' is a documentary film that explores the future of clothing. Watch as we meet with some of the most innovative companies on the planet to get their opinion on clothing and its future, including: heroes of sustainability, Patagonia; tech-clothing giants, Studio XO; sportswear icon, adidas; and Biocouture, a consultancy exploring living organisms to grow clothing and accessories.

Learn more about the project: http://www.aeg-home.com/thenextblack

Join the discussion on Facebook, Twitter and on the hashtag #thenextblack

https://www.facebook.com/pages/AEG-Global/586037381449750
https://twitter.com/aeg_global "

[See also:
http://www.studio-xo.com/
http://www.biocouture.co.uk/
http://www.patagonia.com/us/worn-wear
https://www.ifixit.com/Patagonia
http://www.patagonia.com/us/worn-wear-repairs
http://www.patagonia.com/email/11/112811.html
http://www.patagonia.com/us/patagonia.go?assetid=106223
http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/ad-day-patagonia-136745
https://www.patagonia.com/us/patagonia.go?assetid=2388
http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/articles/2013-11-25/patagonias-confusing-and-effective-campaign-to-grudgingly-sell-stuff ]
design  documentary  fashion  video  clothes  clothing  glvo  reuse  mending  repair  materials  textiles  studioxo  biocouture  adidas  patagonia  recycling  waste  consumerism  consumption  capitalism  biology  wearable  wearables  suzannelee  technology  nancytilbury  suzanne  slow  slowfashion  fastfashion  dyes  dying  industry  manufacturing  globalization  environment  rickridgeway  uniformproject  customization  ifixit  diy  alteration  resuse  repairing 
july 2015 by robertogreco
On seams and edges - dreams of aggregation, access and discovery in a broken world | ALIA
"Visions of technological utopia often portray an increasingly 'seamless' world, where technology integrates experience across space and time. Edges are blurred as we move easily between devices and contexts, between the digital and the physical.

But Mark Weiser, one of the pioneers of ubiquitous computing, questioned the idea of seamlessness, arguing instead for 'beautiful seams' -- exposed edges that encouraged questions and the exploration of connections and meanings.

With discovery services and software vendors still promoting 'seamless discovery' as one of their major selling points, it seems the value of seams and edges requires further discussion. As we imagine the future of a service such as Trove, how do we balance the benefits of consistency, coordination and centralisation against the reality of a fragmented, unequal, and fundamentally broken world.

This paper will examine the rhetoric of 'seamlessness' in the world of discovery services, focusing in particular on the possibilities and problems facing Trove. By analysing both the literature around discovery, and the data about user behaviours currently available through Trove, I intend to expose the edges of meaning-making and explore the role of technology in both inhibiting and enriching experience.

How does our dream of comprehensiveness mask the biases in our collections? How do new tools for visualisation reinforce the invisibility of the missing and excluded? How do the assumptions of 'access' direct attention away from practical barriers to participation?

How does the very idea of systems and services, of complex and powerful 'machines' ready to do our bidding, discourage us from seeing the many, fragile acts of collaboration, connection, interpretation, and repair that hold these systems together?

Trove is an aggregator and a community. A collection of metadata and a platform for engagement. But as we imagine its future, how do avoid the rhetoric of technological power, and expose its seams and edges to scrutiny."
seams  edges  interactiondesign  collections  archives  mrkweiser  timsherratt  seamlessness  connections  meanings  meaningmaking  discovery  trove  fragmentation  centralization  technology  systemsthinking  collaboration  interpretation  repair  repairing 
march 2015 by robertogreco
26 Bit Driver Kit - iFixit
"Repair on the go made easy.

• Ultra-portable and rugged, this driver kit includes a comfortable handle and 26 specially selected bits to help you overcome most common repair challenges.
• This bit set is the base of our very popular Essential Electronics Toolkit—a great value for simple electronics repairs.
• If you're looking for a more comprehensive selection, check out our end-all 54 Bit Driver Kit.

Note that this kit does not include Pentalobe bits, which are required for iPhone 4/4S/5/5s/5c, and newer models of MacBook Air/Pro. For these bits, check out our more advanced 54 Bit Driver Kit.

Kit Contents:
• 4 mm Driver Handle - rubberized for a sturdy grip and magnetized to hold bits and screws
• 60 mm Driver Extension - increase your reach into smaller devices
• Metal Tweezers - grab hold of small screws and components
• 26 bits in the following sizes:
• Flathead sizes 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3 mm
• Phillips sizes #000, #00, #0, #1, #2
• Torx sizes T4, T5, T6
• Torx Security sizes TR7, TR8, TR9, TR10, TR15, TR20 (compatible with non-security)
• Hex sizes 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 4 mm
• Tri-wing sizes #0, #1
• Spanner size U3.0"
tools  via:andrewjanke  repair  computers  repairing 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Transitory Map .:. Milena Bonilla
"I randomly took several bus rides in Bogotá and sew the torn fabric of some of the buses seats. The size of the holes defined the time invested in repairing them while traveling along the city. After each journey, I highlighted the bus's itinerary by sewing it on a map of the city, using the same thread color as the one used to sew the seat. Twenty-five tours were completed in the project and sixteen are documented."

[via: https://twitter.com/ablerism/status/566767100556247041 ]
milenabonilla  art  bogotá  colombia  repair  sewing  glvo  mending  buses  publictransit  publictransportation  repairing 
february 2015 by robertogreco
Put This On • A Little DIY Wabi Sabi Whereas most of us value...
[via: https://twitter.com/mattthomas/status/552690009028198402 ]

"A Little DIY Wabi Sabi

Whereas most of us value things that are perfect and enduring, wabi sabi is the Japanese worldview that sees beauty in imperfection, impermanence, and incompleteness. Things such as a slightly lopsided vase, a shirt that’s missing a button, or an old, wooden desk that’s a little too dry. It’s believed that by recognizing the beauty in such things, we can better appreciate the natural cycle of life — from growth to decay to eventually death.

Jonathan Lukacek — the very talented blogger behind Bandanna Almanac — is certainly familiar with the concept. He’s an American living in Japan, having stayed there after studying abroad for college. He’s also an inveterate thrifter who likes to collect garments with a lot character (rather than things that happen to be rare or hold value). In other words, “things that tell a story,” as he put it to me.

Seen above are some of the creative ways he’s repaired his vintage finds. There’s a pair of jeans with pocket bags made from cut-up bandannas; a dirty collar of a denim shirt made new again through some more bandanna cloth; an old Five Brothers flannel with a slightly askew internal pocket (made with just the right amount of pattern matching); a denim jacket with blanket lining on the outside of the coat; and finally, some decorative sashiko stitching on the collar of an old chambray shirt.

Everything was done with fabrics that Jonathan has either thrifted or found over the years. Some repairs he did himself; others he did in collaboration with his good friend Narita at Brown Tabby (a vintage repair shop in Japan). All of it is awesome — especially if you’ve ever appreciated anything at a thrift store or flea market, or even the designer lines that are inspired by such things (e.g. Blue Blue Japan, Kapital, and Visvim).

You can see more of Jonathan’s work at his Instagram account. He also occasionally sells things at Etsy and eBay."
fixing  mending  repair  repairing  clothing  denim  jeans  wabi-sabi  sashiko  jonathanlukacek  japan  sewing  clothes 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Fix It (Don't Ditch It) | Valet.
[via: https://twitter.com/mattthomas/status/552690009028198402 ]

"We've always advocated the motto of "buying less, but buying better." When you shell out for quality items, they not only look and feel better, but they last a whole lot longer. Of course, even with things made with integrity, sometimes you're going to need to have something fixed—a seam repaired, a strap restitched or a shoe resoled. Thankfully, when you buy from upstanding companies that stand behind their products, they're usually more than prepared to handle the refurbishment for you. Herewith, a dozen menswear brands that offer in-house repairs."
fixing  mending  repairing  clothing  clothes  barbour  nudiejeans  patagonia  llbean  goruck  flintandtinder  duluthpack  redwingshoes  quoddy  suitsupply  selfedge  repair  bags  backpacks 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Repair Your Own Jeans | Submitted For Your Perusal
[via: https://twitter.com/mattthomas/status/552690009028198402 ]

"[video embedded: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXL0X193HDw ]

The white patch thing is one of Vlieseline’s many iron-on interfacings but I’m not sure which one. More information — including a link to order a free repair kit — can be found at the Nudie Jeans website.

Jeans, like leaves in the fall, are at their most beautiful just before they disintegrate. This guy’s got the right idea: [image]"
matthomas  jeans  denim  mending  2012  sewing  beausage  repair  slothes  clothing  fixing  repairing 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Fixperts
"Is fixperts a company or a network?
No, it is a social project. An open knowledge sharing platform.

Why did we start this project?
We believe fixing is a valuable creative and social resource and we now know that people all over the world feel the same. Fixperts creates content that encourages people to use the power of fixing to solve everyday problems and that’s awesome.

Is there a vision?
We want everyone in the world to feel that they can fix stuff and solve problems. We believe that the design process applied to small fixing challenges has the potential to give people the insight and confidence to find solutions for themselves and others.

How did it start ?
A conversation between James Carrigan (co-founder of sugru) and Daniel Charny (curator of Power of Making). We’ve been talking about working together for a long while and fixing as a way of thinking seemed like the right thing.
We loved the idea of involving as many makers as possible and decided to test it out so we set ourselves a 6 week deadline to build the pilot.
It took a group of passionate people that believed in the idea to pull it together and we launched fixperts.org with the first 5 films in September 2012.
We discovered that people connected with the idea and wanted to get involved.

After the pilot we concentrated on projects in design education:
We think that design education is a good place to start, so we are talking to and looking for schools, universities and colleges that are interested to run Fixperts as a project in or bedside their curriculum. We have developed a brief and project guidelines to support educators to run Fixperts as part of their course. We would one day love to see it become part of creative education also in secondary schools but we know have to build up the film archive first.

Education is a great resource of creative people ready to explore a diverse range of projects that can positively influence their creative process.
Fixperts as a project structure combines many important factors in offering a valuable learning experience;
Working in a collaborative team
Real world experience
Creating strong visual communication through film
Developing strong relationships with a “client”
Developing a solution through an iterative design process
Learning to listen and understand the needs of others
Connecting with your immediate environment"

[via: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/04/arts/design/the-fab-mind-a-tokyo-show-highlights-design-activism.html ]
fixing  mending  repair  design  diy  repairing 
december 2014 by robertogreco
tomofholland | The Visible Mending Programme: making and re-making
"My name is Tom van Deijnen and I live in Brighton, UK. I’m a self-taught knitter and mender, originally from The Netherlands. I love doing things that take forever and technical detail, tradition and narrative inform many of my projects. Both knitting and mending projects feature on this blog. In my projects I always try to achieve the very best results as my abilities will allow. I prefer to use 100% wool yarn from independent yarn suppliers and particularly enjoy using breed-specific yarns from British breeds. They provide such a rich variety of textures and natural colours, I could never get tired of them!

Get In Touch

You can contact me on tomofholland@gmail.com.

About The Visible Mending Programme

The Visible Mending Programme seeks to highlight that the art and craftsmanship of clothes repair is particularly relevant in a world where more and more people voice their dissatisfaction with fashion’s throwaway culture. By exploring the story behind garment and repair, the Programme reinforces the relationship between the wearer and garment, leading to people wearing their existing clothes for longer, with the beautiful darn worn as a badge of honour. By writing this blog, running darning workshops and taking repair work commissions I provide mending inspiration, skills and services to people and hopefully persuade them that shop-bought clothes deserve care and attention too, just like a precious hand-knit."
tomvandeijnen  mending  repair  knitting  glvo  blogs  clothing  repairing 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Kintsugi - Wikipedia
"Kintsugi (金継ぎ?) (Japanese: golden joinery) or Kintsukuroi (金繕い?) (Japanese: golden repair) is the Japanese art of fixing broken pottery with lacquer resin dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum a method similar to the maki-e technique.[1][2][3] As a philosophy it speaks to breakage and repair becoming part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise."
art  design  japanese  japan  words  seams  scars  repair  kintsugi  repairing 
june 2014 by robertogreco
Alexandra Lange on 3D printers versus the sewing machine
"In March, Slate Magazine's Seth Stevenson provided a public service when he borrowed a Solidoodle 4, pitched as the "accessible", "affordable" 3D printer, and attempted to print a bottle opener from Thingiverse. [http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2014/03/solidoodle_4_testing_the_home_3_d_printer.html ] Results, as they say, vary, but he ended up, after a series of phone calls and false starts, with "a functionless, semi-decorative piece of plastic."

The bumbling encounter with technology is a popular stratagem for Slate, but here it pointed directly to the reason we're not seeing a 3D printer in every den. I've seen those rhino heads, those dinosaur skulls. They do not fill me with delight, but remind me instead of the cheap toys my kids bring home from birthday parties and I throw away in the night. Why bother? How is printing your Triceratops at home more creative, more making, than buying one from a store? In either case, step one is scrolling through pages of online options, pointing and clicking in 2D.

Stevenson concluded that 3D printing was no place for amateurs, but for tinkerers. Those able to work under the hood of the printer: to understand the terms in the manual, to customise or create their own products for Thingiverse. For such tinkerers, neighbourhood printing hubs like Techshop, where subscribers can go to use physical or digital tools, make more sense. Designers taking advantage of 3D printers' capabilities for rapid prototyping and small-batch production have already started farming out the actual printing to places like Shapeways. When we stopped having to fax even weekly, we all got rid of those machines.

But then Stevenson took a turn toward the larger question of craft. He wrote, "Once upon a time, people purchased sewing patterns (like a program from Thingiverse) and yards of fabric (like filament) and they made their own clothes. I wasn't alive back then, but I'm pretty sure the process sucked."

I must be older than Stevenson, because my mother and grandmother sewed clothes for me. My mother, aunt and I have all sewed clothes and quilts for my children. They are not amateurishly constructed. We managed to make them while also holding down full time jobs. And judging from the extremely active online sewing community, the active trade in old machines and patterns on Ebay, and the ease with which one can locate a scan of a thirty-year-old sewing machine manual, the digital age has not turned sewing into a novelty, but spawned a revival of interest. In fact, if 3D printers are truly going to become a consumer good, they have a lot to learn from the sewing machine.

Because Stevenson snidely generalised from his own limited experience, he missed the instructive dialogue between craft and the machine age. Post-industrial sewing is not a freak but a respite. In Evgeny Morozov's recent New Yorker essay on the new makers, he quotes historian Jackson Lears' critique of the Arts & Crafts movement as "a revivifying hobby for the affluent." I'd say middle-class: (mostly) women who aren't seeing what they want, at a price they can afford, in the marketplace.

There’s an appetite for the "refashion," recycling an old dress or an adult T-shirt, and turning it into something new. Once upon a time, the use of flour sacks as fabric prompted grain-sellers to start offering their wares in flowered cotton bags. If some boutique grain company began doing that again, there would be a run on their product. Under the technology radar, there's a community of people sharing free patterns, knowledge and results, without the interpolation of brands, constantly obsolescent machinery, or the self-serving and myth-making rhetoric Morozov finds in Chris Anderson's Makers. There are the answers to the questions "Why bother?" and "How creative?" Rather than sewing being a cautionary tale, 3D printing can't become a consumer good until it learns a few lessons from why we sew now.

Number one: what's not available on the market. If you have a girl child in America, it is often difficult to find reasonably-priced, 100 per cent cotton clothing for her without ruffles, pink or purple, butterflies and hearts. If you go to the boy section, you run into an equally limiting set of colors, navy and army green, and an abundance of sports insignia. A full-skirted dress, a petite skirt, prints for the plus-sized – there are plenty of styles that are not novelties but, when not in fashion, disappear from stores. Online you can find patterns to make any of the above for less than $10, and fabric at the same price per yard. Online you can find step-by-step explanations, with photos, of how to make that pattern. That world of patterns is vast, constantly updated, and historically rich. Yes, sewing your own garment will take some time, but then you will have exactly what you want. That's why women bother.



Second lesson: recycling. Say my mother did actually sew something amateurishly. That's not the end of the story. A mis-printed jet-pack bunny is so much trash (unless I buy a second machine like a Filabot to remelt my filament). A mis-sewn seam can be ripped out and redone. An old dress can be refashioned into a new one. A favorite vintage piece can be copied. Sewing does not create more waste but, potentially, less, and the process of sewing is filled with opportunities for increasing one's skills and doing it over as well as doing it yourself. What are quilts, after all, but a clever way to use every last scrap of precious fabric?

So far, 3D printing's DIY aspects seem more akin to the "magic" of an ant farm, watching growth behind glass. Sewing lets the maker find their own materials, and get involved with every aspect of the process. 3D printing could do this, and there are classes, but even at the Makerbot showroom the primary interaction seemed to be ordering from Thingiverse. My local sewing shop has to teach more women to sew to survive; I don't see the printer makers coming to the same conclusion.

In addition, the machines themselves are constantly becoming junk. It's not unusual for new technology to change quickly. That's the fourth Solidoodle since 2011. Makerbot is on its fifth generation. It is early days for 3D printing, and the machines may eventually stabilise. But the rapid obsolescence suggests a lifecycle closer to that of a mobile phone than of a washing machine, which might also turn consumers off. The sewing machine was considered a lifetime purchase.

Last but not least, sharing. This is the one consumer area where 3D printing approaches sewing's success. From the Free Universal Construction Kit to full-body scans, the idea of open-source, free, and social-media enabled printing has been built-in to the 3D process. Showing off what you made is better when you created it, rather than printed it out. On the sewing blogs, the process pictures are half the fun, and most of the interest. What does it really teach your children when you can get doll house furniture on demand, except a desire for ever-more-instant gratification? For me to believe in 3D printers as a home machine, I'd have to see the digital file equivalent of women in their off-hours, making up patterns as they go along, sharing mistakes, dreaming better dreams. 3D printing feels bottled up, professionalised, too expensive for the experimentation of cut and sew and rip and sew again.

Stevenson wrote, "most people would much rather just get their clothes from a store — already assembled by people employing industrial-level efficiency and a wide variety of materials," and that's true. What Solidoodle and Makerbot and the rest should be looking at is the people who have seen everything in the store and found it wanting."
alexandralange  2014  sewing  3dprinting  makerbots  making  makers  repair  reuse  glvo  sharing  obsolescence  process  howwework  cv  waste  utility  technology  fabrication  alteration  thingiverse  purpose  usefulness  solidoodle  makerbot  recycling  agency  need  necessity  patterns  clothing  wearables  techshop  shapeways  sethstevenson  craft  lcproject  openstudioproject  homeec  repairing 
may 2014 by robertogreco
What I’m working on lately: Practices of the minimum viable utopia (long) | Speedbird
"In the fusion of each of these three archetypal processes, el Campo de Cebada, Godsbanen and Unto This Last, we can see the outlines of something truly radical and terribly exciting beginning to resolve. What can be made out, gleaming in the darkness, is a — partial, incomplete, necessarily insufficient, but hugely important — way of responding to the disappearance of meaningful jobs from our cities, as well as all the baleful second-order effects that attend that disappearance.

When apologists for the technology industry trumpet the decontextualized factoid that each “tech” job ostensibly creates five new service positions as a secondary effect, what they neglect to mention is that the lion’s share of those jobs will as a matter of course prove to be the kind of insecure, short-term, benefits-lacking, at-or-close-to-minimum-wage positions that typify the contemporary service sector. This sort of employment can’t come anywhere close to the (typically unionized) industrial-sector jobs of the twentieth century in their capacity to bind a community together, either in the income and benefits they produce by way of compensation, in the conception of self and competence they generate in those who hold them, or in the sense of solidarity with others similarly situated that they generally evoke.

At the same time, though, like many others, I too believe it would be foolish to artifically inflate employment by propping up declining smokestack industries with public-sector subsidies. Why, for example, continue to maintain Detroit’s automobile manufacturers on taxpayer-funded life support, when their approach to the world is so deeply retrograde, their product so very corrosive environmentally and socially, their behavior so irresponsible and their management so blitheringly, hamfistedly incompetent? That which is falling should also be pushed, surely. But that can’t ethically be done until something of comparable scale has been found to replace industrial manufacturing jobs as the generator of local economic vitality and the nexus of local community.

So where might meaningful, valued, value-generating employment be found — “employment” in the deepest sense of that word? I have two ways of answering that question:

- In the immediate term, I believe in the material and economic significance of digital fabrication technologies largely using free and open-source plans, deployed in small, clean, city-center workshops, under democratic community control. While these will never remotely be of a scale to replace all the vanished industrial jobs of the past, they offer us at least one favorable prospect those industrial jobs never could: the direct production of items immediately useful and valuable in one’s own life. Should such workshops be organized in such a way as to offer skills training (perhaps for laid-off service-sector workers, elders or at-risk youth), they present a genuinely potent economic and social proposition.

There are provisos. The Surly Urbanist correctly suggests that any positions created in such an endeavor need to be good jobs, i.e. not simply minimum-wage dronework, and my friend Rena Tom also notes that the skills training involved should be something more comprehensive than a simple set of instructions on how to run a CNC milling machine — that any such course of instruction would be most enduringly valuable if it amounted to an apprenticeship first in the manual and only later the numeric working of materials. I also want to be very clear that, per the kind of inclusive decision-making processes used at el Campo de Cebada, such a workshop would have to be something a community itself collectively thinks is worth experimenting with and investing in, not something inflicted upon it by guileless technoutopians from afar.

- In the fullness of time, I believe that the use of relatively high-technology techniques to accomplish not merely the local, autonomous production of everyday objects, furnitures and infrastructures, but their refit and repair, will come to be an economically salient activity in the global North. In this I see a congelation of several existing tendencies, logics or dynamics: the ideologically-driven retreat of the State from responsibility for stewardship of the everyday environment; the accelerating attrition and degradation of the West’s dated and undermaintained infrastructures, and their concomitant need for upgrade or replacement; increasing belief in the desirability of densifying urban infill; the rising awareness in the developed world of jugaad, gambiarra and other cultures of repair, reuse and improvisation; the emergence of fabricator-enabled adaptive upcycling; the circulation of a massive stock of recyclable componentry (in the form of obsolescent structures as well as landfill-bound but effectively nondegradable consumer items), coupled to the emergence of a favorable economics of materials recovery; broader experience with and understanding of networked, horizontal and leaderless organizational structures; the creation of a robust informational commons, including repositories of freely-downloadable specifications; and finally the clear capability of online platforms to facilitate development and sharing of the necessary knowledge, maintain some degree of standardization (or at least harmonization) of practice, suggest sites where citizen repair might constitute a useful intervention, and support processes of democratic decision-making."
utopia  2014  adamgreenfield  openstudioproject  pocketsofresistance  resistance  institutforx  godbanen  aarhus  madrid  spain  españa  elcampodecebada  untothislast  london  making  makerculture  economics  production  fabrication  democracy  labor  upcycling  collectivism  collaboration  repair  furniture  agency  denmark  davidharvey  postcapitalism  sharingeconomy  sharing  libraries  lcproject  community  communities  cooperatives  anilbawa-cavia  renatom  airbnb  couchsurfing  kintsugi  seams  minimumviableutopia  douglasmeehan  idealism  practicalism  jeremyrifkin  self-reliance  murraybookchin  jugaad  fabbing  gambiarra  fixing  maintenance  cv  repairing 
april 2014 by robertogreco
Bike Tools for Every Home Shop | Bicycling Magazine
"Trust us, you don't need a lot of tools—you just need the right tools. If you have these 16 in your home shop, you'll be able to fix anything."
toolbox  repair  tools  biking  bikes  repairing 
february 2012 by robertogreco
Bicycle Self-Repair Vending Machines - Core77
"While it's difficult to predict the location where your bike will crap out on you, I'm still digging the idea of Minneapolis-based Bike Fixtation's bicycle repair vending machines. In addition to selling refrigerated drinks and snacks, the machines are stocked with commonly-needed parts; next to it is a free air compressor, and several feet away, a work stand is mounted to the ground, with eight tools permanently attached to it via aircraft cable."
bikes  biking  repair  diy  vendingmachines  repairing 
august 2011 by robertogreco
Not in isolation / from a working library
"Wise words about making things from A Pattern Language, page xiii:

"This is a fundamental view of the world. It says that when you build a thing, you cannot merely build that thing in isolation, but must also repair the world around it, and within it, so that the larger world at one place becomes more coherent, and more whole; and the thing which you make takes its place in the web of nature, as you make it."

I love the use of the word “repair” here. It presumes that—while things are not perfect—neither are they forlorn."
meaning  making  connectedness  creating  apatternlanguage  christopheralexander  glvo  repair  repairing  isolation  longhere  bignow  relationships  context  nature  make  lcproject  decentralization  schools  education 
december 2010 by robertogreco
sugru | Hack Things Better
"This is Jane. She's from Ireland and she's lovely. Jane was studying product design at RCA London when she had an idea: "I don't want to buy new stuff all the time. I want to hack the stuff I already have so it works better for me." So she phoned some clever materials scientists called Ian and Steve and together they invented an interesting new material for hacking things better. It's called sugru and is a little bit brilliant."
diy  repair  design  hacking  materials  clay  glvo  sugru  texture  repairing 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Bike blog: Can you fix it? Why cyclists need more bike mechanics | Environment | The Guardian
"Once upon a time it was plumbers. Now bike mechanics are in dismally short supply. So is it time to consider a change of career?"
bikes  biking  mechanics  repair  careers  shortage  maintenance  diy  edg  glvo  srg  repairing 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Golden State Highways Are A California Nightmare : NPR
"California is known for its car culture. But it turns out those wheels are rolling over some of the worst roads in the nation. A recent study ranked California 49th out of the 50 states for the quality of its pavement. New Jersey came in last. But California has the distinction of having the nation's worst roads in urban areas."
california  roads  infrastructure  cars  bikes  biking  maintenance  repair  losangeles  sandiego  sanfrancisco  repairing 
november 2009 by robertogreco
The Oil Drum: Campfire | How to Set Up and Run a Bicycle Repair Company
"Many of the articles that discuss the causes and effects of humanity's unprecedented energy use are entirely theoretical, offering little practical guidance for the everyday reader.
bikes  howto  environment  jobs  tutorials  repair  biking  repairing 
november 2009 by robertogreco
The Fixer's Collective
"The Fixers' Collective is a social experiment in improvisational fixing and mending that grew out of the yearlong exhibition at Proteus Gowanus entitled MEND. The Collective meets every Thursday evening from 6-9 pm at Proteus Gowanus.

We place broken objects on our large, common fixing table for collective consideration and share ideas and techniques for repairing, mending, enhancing or repurposing the objects before us. Our skilled Master Fixers provide support and guidance as needed. For a $5 donation, you can get help fixing your broken thing OR you can sign up to become a Fixers Apprentice* for free and earn your Fixers Apprentice Badge!"
sustainability  diy  green  nyc  brooklyn  repair  crafts  experiment  community  lcproject  repairing 
october 2009 by robertogreco
Wheelhouse Detroit - Bicycle Rentals, Retail, Service & Tours
"Wheelhouse Detroit makes it easier for the whole world to experience the Motor City on two wheels. Detroit is fun to cycle, and Wheelhouse will get you going – whether you want to tool down our beautiful RiverWalk for a couple of hours or have a day-long Detroit adventure, we can help!"
bikes  detroit  tours  repair  repairing 
july 2009 by robertogreco
The Hub of Detroit
"The Hub of Detroit is a non-profit, full-service retail bike shop. Funds raised by The Hub support our free youth and adult education program, Back Alley Bikes."
bikes  detroit  recycling  sharing  repair  repairing 
july 2009 by robertogreco
How To Tune Up Your Bike - Bicycle Tutor
"Today we’ll learn how to tune up your bike, which I’d recommend doing at least once a year, or even every few months if you ride every day. Since I can’t demonstrate every step of the procedure while keeping this video short, I’ll give a general overview and cover each step further in separate tutorials. You’ll notice below that I’ve written out all of the steps and included links to related tutorials. I’ll be adding new links as future videos are uploaded."
bikes  maintenance  howto  tutorial  diy  tuneup  repair  repairing 
may 2009 by robertogreco
Platform 21 - Platform21 = Repairing
"Platform21 = Repairing starts from the notion that repair, as a creative, cultural and economical force is underestimated. With this, an incredibly rich body of knowledge, a part of our independence and pleasure could be lost. This situation is especially puzzling if you consider the global interest in other durable visions like recycling, and the cradle-to-cradle philosophy. Hence Platform21 = Repairing wants to create more awareness of a mentality, culture and practice that not so long ago was completely integrated in life and the way we designed it. It is not too late though."

[see also: http://www.good.is/?p=15984 ]
repairing  repair  sustainability  diy  make  environment  beausage  plannedlongevity  plannedobsolescence  future  manifestos  platform21  wabi-sabi 
march 2009 by robertogreco
Pasta&Vinegar » If as a citizen you can no longer fix your own car...
"If as a citizen you can no longer fix your own car – which is a quite recent phenomenon - because it is software driven, you have lost more then your ability to fix your own car, you have lost the very belief in a situation in which there are no professional garages, no just in time logistics, no independent mechanics, no small initiatives. (…) Any change in the background, in the axioms that make up the environment has tremendous consequences on the level of agency of citizens. They become helpless very soon, as they have no clue how to operate what is ‘running in the background’, let alone fix things if they go wrong. As such, Ambient intelligence presumes a totalizing, anti-democratic logic.“
design  software  freedom  repair  maintenance  democracy  diy  agency  ambientintelligence  brokensystems  self-sufficiency  dependence  internet  hardware  cars  repairing 
february 2009 by robertogreco
The End of Obsolescence: Engineering the Post-Consumer Economy: ETech 2009
"Consumerism is crashing, but the logic of digital, networked products promises a path forward. The emerging sustainable economy connects a renewed “repair culture,” to reputation systems for companies and customers. It leads to the platformization of everything, ultimately allowing digital products to drive an overwhelming share of economic activity. The result will be a refreshed economy less bounded by the limits of natural resources."
etech  2009  postconsumerism  plannedobsolescence  plannedlongevity  repair  diy  sustainability  thrift  platformization  repairing 
january 2009 by robertogreco
Cool Tools: Barnett's Manual
"The "bible" of bicycle mechanics, this 2000-page, four-volume manual is filled with detailed diagrams and repair steps for every aspect of fixing and maintaining a bicycle. Starting with a brief introduction to materials science, lubricants, and basic tool use, this comprehensive manual covers everything -- from tires and tubes to wheel building, drive-train theory and application to frame alignment, brakes, seats and more in explicit detail. If anything can break on a bike, Barnett's Manual tells you how to fix or replace it. The manual is far from cheap, but nothing else comes close to duplicating its value."
bikes  books  repair  howto  diy  repairing 
january 2009 by robertogreco
RepairPal [via: http://blog.wired.com/cars/2008/06/dont-get-taken.html]
"RepairPal gives you independent and unbiased repair estimates, user ratings and reviews, plus advice you can't get anywhere else."
repair  cars  money  finance  household  howto  comparison  consumer  maintenance  mechanics  prices  repairing 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Tikkun olam - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Hebrew phrase that means "repairing the world" or "perfecting the world." In Judaism, the concept of tikkun olam originated in the early rabbinic period. The concept was given new meanings in the kabbalah of the medieval period and further connotations i
repair  hebrew  words  judaism  terminology  via:adamgreenfield  language  optimism  acitivism  justice  repairing 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Nina Katchadourian - The Mended Spiderweb series
"In the forest and around the house where I was living, I searched for broken spiderwebs which I repaired using red sewing thread. All of the patches were made by inserting segments one at a time directly into the web. Sometimes the thread was starched, w
art  nature  sculpture  spiders  photography  installation  repair  biology  ninakatchadourian  repairing 
april 2008 by robertogreco
Nokia remade - Raphael Grignani - Thoughts
"Remade offers a realistic and beautiful interpretation of upcycling and a tangible starting point for discussion. A discussion we have already started a few weeks ago when two designers from our team joined Jan Chipchase and a few others in Accra to disc
recycling  unproduct  nokia  janchipchase  mobile  phones  reuse  repairing  repurposing  business  cradletograve  future  sustainability  upcycling  repair 
february 2008 by robertogreco
textually.org: Nokia's Remade Concept
"The intent was to create a device made from nothing new....use of reclaimed and upcycled materials that could ultimately change the way we make things...designed to help inspire and stimulate discussion on how mobile devices might be made in the future."
nokia  sustainability  mobile  phones  reuse  recycling  materials  concepts  future  unproduct  repairing  repurposing  business  cradletograve  janchipchase  upcycling  repair 
february 2008 by robertogreco
Jan Chipchase - Future Perfect: Recycled, Upcycled: Remade
"Is it possible to make an upcycled mobile phone entirely from recycled materials? One that consumers want to buy? At a price that puts it within reach of the mass market? The discussion is well underway."
recycling  unproduct  nokia  janchipchase  mobile  phones  reuse  repairing  repurposing  business  cradletograve  future  sustainability  upcycling  repair 
february 2008 by robertogreco
OLPC One Laptop Per Child Easy to Repair and Recycle – Greener Electronics and Computers - thedailygreen.com
"How simple is it? In Nigeria a 5-year-old girl with a can-do spirit took it upon herself to troubleshoot and repair the OLPCs of her classmates, said Jepsen. A teacher encouraged her, and the class set up a "Laptop Hospital," where the kids learn to repair their own hardware.

How is this green? Shipping is greatly reduced if people can fix their own gadgets on site. Jepsen pointed out that communities in Peru that now have OLPCs take 20 days to reach via roads from major cities. Instead of tossing whole products that have one or two problems, people can swap out individual pieces, leading to much less resource use."
green  hardware  kids  olpc  sustainability  unproduct  repair  environment  maryloujepsen  repairing 
february 2008 by robertogreco

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