Repair into Resiliency

  • Posted on: August 9, 2017
  • By:

image Yihan Ma


Find a small object, device or material that needs to be repaired in some way. Follow steps 1-10 and post responses to each question and images on your LP. Come prepared to present your repair next week (please bring the object to class, if possible).

In preparation,  read the following three articles. What do you think of these approaches to repair?

At Repair Cafes, ‘Beloved but Broken’ Possessions Find New Life.

– Would you like to visit a repair cafe? Why do you think so many people are interested in repair?

Waste not want not: Sweden to give tax breaks for repairs

– Would you like to see this kind of tax be possible in your home country? Do you think it is possible there or the United States? Why or why not?

Spend the Money for the Good Boots and Wear the Forever

– Were you surprised by this article? Do you agree with the author? Do you think an object has to be expensive to be well made? What might make people take care of objects, even if they aren’t expensive?

Origami-inspired clothing line that grows with kids wins Dyson award

– What do you think of this design? What is most innovative about it? Do you think it’s possible for adults to enjoy long life design clothing or objects that transform/change in other ways (than getting bigger)? What kind of designs might be possible? 


Scientific Method

  1. Ask A Question
  2. Do Research
  3. Construct a Hypothesis
  4. Test with an Experiment
  5. Does it work?
  6. Analyze and Draw Conclusions
  7. Communicate Results

Ask A Question

  1. What object will you repair and why? Do you consider repair to be an important design skill?

Do Research

  1. What are 2-3 possible ways this object could be repaired? What do you need in order to do the repair? Do you have the materials and skills?

Construct a Hypothesis

  1. What will your process of repair be? How long do you expect the repair take? How long do you want your repair to last?

Test with an Experiment

  1. Attempt repair.

Does it work?

  1. Was the repair successful? Are you happy with the results? Is the repair more beautiful/interesting in some way than the original? How is the object more resilient after the repair? Can it be used in new and different ways as a result of your creative innovation?

Analyze and Draw Conclusions

  1. What did you learn? How long do you expect this repair to actually last now that it is complete? What surprises did you encounter? What would you do differently next time? Are there other ways you could have repaired this item, that you realize now? After completing this project, do you consider repair a more valuable skill? 

Communicate Results

  1. Create an illustrated LP post showing your process and results. Be mindful of lighting, focus, background and final results.


  1. What is the most important aspect of making a design easily repairable?
  2. After completing this project, what’s one object that you wish you could repair but don’t feel as though you currently have the skills to do so?
  3. Did your repair require fewer materials and involve fewer systems than buying a new replacement? Which systems?


Read the following articleDesigner Tom Dixon Unveils His ‘Secret’ Project With Ikea and write a reflection on how it connects with the themes of our class. How does it relate to your work this semester? Do you aspire towards similar practices in your final project? Does it change how you think about mass produced designs?

Read the following article: Damaging Your iPhone, Accidentally, on Purpose  How you ever felt this way about an object you’ve owned? How does your final project challenge having this mentality towards objects?


Student work samples 

Jia Hui “From Trash to Trend”

Vella Zhao, embroidered stain

Jamie Kruse is an artist, designer and part-time faculty at Parsons School for Design. In 2005 she co-founded smudge, ( with Elizabeth Ellsworth, based in Brooklyn, NY. She is the author of Friends of the Pleistocene:

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