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 →
It’s been exciting and very powerful to learn more about people’s perceptions about repair and their frustrations when the products they own break. But perhaps the most interesting insight is that so many people actually care. So many people want to take part in Restart and to learn together how to make a difference. When we started this journey, we thought that repair was out of fashion. We couldn’t have predicted that so many people are actually interested in self-repair, in learning how to become a bit more independent and taking direct action. Instead, what we see more and more is real citizens desiring to regain control of the things they own, whether by learning how to manage their laptop better, so that it doesn’t become slow and unresponsive, or by learning how to keep their printers clean and make them last longer.
What if we could hypnotise you into using your e-stuff longer? That would mission accomplished! Loooook into my eyes. Well when we mention “behaviour change” perhaps it sounds like we want to control your thoughts and actions.
But what we are most interested in is how to inspire mindfulness and give positive options to people.
All we really need to do is hint at the ills caused by over-consumption of electronics, both to others (at mining, assembly and disposal) and ourselves and our wallets.
And for us, it is not enough to prevent e-waste.
Instead we are keen to reinforce a sense of ownership, attachment (a positive one, Buddhists!) to the things we buy. We feel that Restart Parties – where people diagnose problems together and participate in the repair of their stuff – are just one way of reinforcing this empowered ownership of electronics. 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.