Week 7: Repair Project

October 14, 2019 - Sustainable Systems


1) Painting with Bacteria Lab

I enjoyed the painting with the bacteria lab, but the result was disappointing because none of my three paintings success. Next time, I will choose simple designs and be more careful and gentle when painting with bacteria.



There are serval repair practices in my home country – China. The first one is called “Kintsukuroi” in Japanese, which is the one we talked about in class. The porcelain pieces glued by natural lacquer, and the surface coated with gold powder or gold foil. The natural lacquer will not cause chemical pollution, and the gold powder is highly decorative.

The second one is called “锔钉法” in Chinese. This is a traditionally repaired process that is preserved by the public by re-riving the pieces of porcelain together with metal dowels after drilling holes in the porcelain pieces. Due to technical limitations, this repair can only restore the function of the utensils, not only can not restore the original appearance of the utensils but also cause more damage to the glaze.

The last one is called “Hot repair,” in which the glaze is spliced with materials such as glaze and then re-fired in the kiln. This kind of repair method not only damages or distort the historical information carried by the cultural relics, but also may cause damage to the cultural relics and is not used by the cultural relics repair experts.


I think kintsugi fulfill repair, cost, function, and design. If someone is willing to repair an object, it must be valuable to them that makes them want to keep it forever. So based on this reason, I think it is necessary to wait for a slow and long process of repair. After the object gets repaired, it will become more meaningful and precious. I’m interested in the practices of kintsugi and 锔钉法, because I feel like it becomes a new design, as part of the object, like decorative design.



Yes. I think it will be exciting and meaningful if I am willing to fix an object by someone who good at fix stuff or fix it by myself. That sense of accomplishment may make me very happy. The reason why people like to repair an object maybe because this way would extend the life of the item, cost less money, takes less time, and for someone who enjoys the process will become more meaningful. People can share the story of their object. It also can avoid the carbon footprint of buying a new product and environmental friendly.



I think either in my home country or in the U.S., it could be a better way to make people try to fix the object instead of buying a new replacement. In fact, in life, many of the items we purchase will have a repair date and a warranty guarantee. The purchaser can repair it for free within a limited time. You can apply for after-sales repair after the time exceeded. But many times, people are more willing to buy new items on the grounds of this situation instead of trying to repair things that could have used for many years. So I think this method can not only reduce costs, avoid unnecessary consumption, but also reduce material consumption to protect the environment.



I agree with the author’s point of view, but I don’t entirely agree. High-quality things must be good, but expensive is not necessarily the best. High-quality things can last for a long time, but in fact, many items in life also have high quality, but they do not mark expensive prices; because they are creating for people to use, not limited to Among people. People always give the best protection to items they particularly like, perhaps because of its uniqueness, its meaning, or the design of the item, rather than just focusing on its price.



I think this design is very practical and unique. The most innovative part would be the technology of making clothes. This design and technology can save resources and money not only for long-term use but also greatly help the clothing industry. In real life, there must be many possibilities for us to explore to achieve that adults to enjoy long life design clothing or objects. A common method I know in life is to use unwanted cups as flower pots to grow flowers or put dried flowers as decorations.




1. Chose a Repair

What object will you repair and why?

I chose to use two different shapes of three-dimensional graphics that I used to create before using a 3D pen. The reason why I chose these because I really like the color combination and the shapes, but I want them to be more useful instead of just placing them in a corner.

Do you consider repair to be an important design skill?

Yes, it will bring a lot of benefits, and sometimes the repair result will give the object a brand new look.


2. Do Research

What are 2-3 possible ways this object could be repaired?

– adding materials or shapes

– connect all three parts together

– placing things inside the object


What do you need in order to do the repair?

– Decorative chain

– 3D pen

– PCL material


Do you have the materials and skills?

Yes, I have the 3D pen and the filament refills in different colors. And other materials that I bought before that I no longer use them. I think I can successfully repair this object with the patient.

How have you closely considered your choice of materials (not using toxic glue/plastic etc.)?

I will use the same material as the object, which is called PCL. This material can be recycled and reusable. PCL is a new type of environmentally friendly biodegradable materials made from renewable plant resources (such as corn) starch material. It’s green and saves. Then I will connect them by using a chain instead of toxic glue.

What will your process of repair be?

First, I will use the 3D pen to create another new three-dimensional graphics by using the same colors as the other two graphics, want to add more volume, so that it’s more creative and even. Then I will use the 3D pen to make three rings like a loop for each graphics and connect them on the top of the graphics. This way, I can use the decorative chain to go through each ring to hold them together. I want this object to become a decorative bag, hang on your trousers or other bags where you can put things inside.

How long do you expect the repair take? How long do you want your repair to last?

I think it will take an hour if the process goes well. I feel like my object can last for a long time if I take care of it.

3. Attempt Repair

4. Does it work? Was the repair successful? Are you happy with the results?

I successfully repaired the object, and it works very well. I found that it was fun when I use the 3D pen to make an object more useable and creative. The final result looks good, and I like it.

Is the repair more beautiful/interesting in some way than the original? How is the object more resilient after the repair?

I think the object becomes more creative and interesting than the original design. The function of the object increased, and it is much more unique after adding a little detail.

5. Analyze and Draw Conclusions

I learned that many things in life could be very different, as long as you have ideas and have the patience to spend some time to change it. I still think that the object that I repair can be kept for more than ten years as long as there are no accidents. Before I looked for 3D pen filament refills, I thought that the different colors of the material were regular plastic, but what surprised me was that these materials are very environmentally friendly and healthy, which makes the change of the object more meaningful. If I have more time next time, I will make or look for materials that can replace the decorative chains. I think if my object uses the kintsugi method, it will present a combination of two completely different elements. After experiencing maintenance, I believe that this skill not only enriches your life but also expresses your ideas and makes the items in your life unique.

7. Reflection

I think it is to avoid extra costs and reduce material consumption, and it is very important to the environment. I have a mini Bluetooth speaker that always be unable to connect my phone, I want to fix it, but it is difficult because I don’t understand its construction. Back to the repair project, my repair only uses three materials I have, and there is no extra cost. It seems that there is no connection to any system, but if you buy a new replacement online, it will be related to the online shopping system.



6. Communicate Results








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