Curated by Bridget Harvey, Karen Richmond, Michael Hurley and Maiko Tsutsumi.
The Department of Repair explores (re)making through fixing, repairing and mending. The project reframes the theme of ‘repair’, exploring its identities, and potential for environmentally and socially engaged practice.
Designed as a two-part project, the first part will involve an exhibition and generative workshops with visiting (re)makers, (re)designers and repairers, both to demonstrate and teach repair skills. Outcomes from the workshops will join the exhibition for the latter weeks. A website and two-part publication will complement the project, with writings from and about the repairer agents on various perspectives on repair. The project is also loosely categorised into repair narratives, agents, materials, methods and systems, allowing space for experimental interpretations of repairing, fixing and mending. Materials, guides and tools of repair will also be available to visitors during the project.
With the aim of a fully zero-waste project, the exhibition and publication will engage with a larger scale of repair through the reuse of materials; furniture for the exhibition is being made from reclaimed materials and will be used as furniture or dismantled back into materials after the exhibition. The publication is being hand printed onto reclaimed paper, and will be produced on demand in small batches to avoid waste at the end of the project.
The project’s collaborators are each engaged in material practices which use accessible making skills (lo-fi/low tech) and tools. Collaborators are: Michael Marriott (designer), Hendzel and Hunt (furniture makers using reclaimed wood), Second Sitters (re-upholsterers), Tim Mitchell (photographer and researcher), Fixperts (a framework for fixing), Bridget Harvey (designer and researcher), Hans Stofer and Michael Hurley (designers and educators), Harry Owen (leather repairs), Tom of Holland (darning), Restart (electrical repairs), Yuri Suzuki (designer), with workshops or demonstrations by most exhibitors. Other contributors include artist David Cross (of artist duo Cornford and Cross), and socially-engaged artist, Chris Cawkwell, who is leading the graphic design and publication production.