This Friday, we will pitch our platform to the Urban Prototyping Hackathon at Imperial College. The themes of the UPLondon Festival really resonate with The Restart Project: sustainability, the city and entrepreneurship. The platform we are proposing is at the intersection of all three themes – our aim is to create a space for the urban crowd to generate its own bigdata about where to repair, which will feed a future economy of maintenance and repair.
Please read more about our concept, and if you are a have skills in the areas of coding, mapping, UX, gamification, and service design, why not come along and help us prototype something really game-changing? (And potentially help us win prize money!)
We had a fun, blustery day at Brixton Market – our first – on Easter Saturday. We have been keen to pop-up in a market, to promote repair “elsewhere”. Our idea is not to take business away from local repairers, but instead to encourage people to repair and reuse in a place where they are receptive to new ideas. So the Give and Take Day organised by Brixton Market was the perfect opportunity. Continue reading →
Photo remixed from Flickr user sarahandiain on CC license
Since we got started, we have been interested in bringing repair back into public spaces and getting people engaged in a hands-on way. This post is about how we arrived at one of our most exciting concepts.
Last year, we participated in OpenIDEO’s E-Waste Challenge which asked the question: How can we manage e-waste & discarded electronics to safeguard human health & protect our environment?
We had experimented with OpenIDEO earlier but really felt the creative and collaborative power of its global, online collaboration with this challenge. We were interacting with professionals from a number of different fields, and from around the world, on the issue of preventing electronic waste. Now in 2013, we plan to take some of the best ideas from the challenge and prototype them, including mashing two of our favourite concepts together. Continue reading →
Why not give the gift of a simple promise to help a friend or loved one repair something in 2013? You could either include this in a Christmas card, or present it with a gift as a “personal warranty” for the gift, or you could fold up and drop in a stocking.
From London, we have been inspired by Holland, the US, Australia, Brazil, and now we realise that there are many more community repair and fixit groups than we ever knew of before… Milan, Barcelona, Finland, the list just grows.
We decided the time has come to visualise this growing movement of repair! Mapping repair groups will help connect people to their local repair gurus and fixit friends – and who knows, inspire the creation of more.
On the site Crowdmap we can collaboratively map the repair movement – if you would like to add a group, simply click “submit report” to add to the map. If you would like to help us curate this map, please get in touch, we would love the help.
We’ve been enjoying some welcome media hits (but not yet from here in the UK aside from an early interview with BBC’s Outriders).
The media interest from southern Europe is not a surprise to us – given the deep and unrelenting crisis the region is going through. Restart itself is a response to what we perceive to be a slow burn, deep economic and ecological crisis. Continue reading →
We’re currently doing some research to test some of ideas about fostering economies of repair, and we thought why not share some of what we found.
In this south London neighbourhood, like many, there are a number of mobile unlocking/repair/accessory places. Laptop repair is advertised in a couple of unexpected market stalls, storefronts or cyber cafés.
We talked to a handful of these, and all said they get business from passers-by and from word of mouth referrals – they said their clientele was diverse, all ages, all races, and interest in technology. We noticed that the more visible places had more customers and a diverse group at that.
We took this video in March 2012 during a visit to Kenya. We have known Ephraim Ngali for three years, and he has since been a saviour for personal and our friends’ devices. If a device is broken, Ephraim either already knows how to fix it, can call someone to access a spare part, or is willing to go the extra mile and learn how to fix it.
Getting to know the ethos of his work was an eye-opener, and a big inspiration for what is today the Restart Project. This is a first cut of the interview with Ephraim, but it already gives plenty of food for thought on smartphone design, designing for repairability, learning from Kenya and the Global South in how to deal with gadgets in need of repair…