Defence of doctoral thesis in the field of design, Philip Hector
MA Philip Hector will defend the thesis "Design as continuous repair: Experimentation, negotiation, and expertise in DIY spaces" on 13 August 2021 at 12:00 in Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Department of Design.
Opponent: Prof. Joanna Saad-Sulonen, IT University of Copenhagen
Supervisor: Prof. Mikko Jalas, Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Department of Design
Thesis available for public display at: https://aaltodoc.aalto.fi/doc_public/eonly/riiputus/
Doctoral theses in the School of Arts, Design and Architecture: https://aaltodoc.aalto.fi/handle/123456789/54
In recent years the phenomenon of citizen engagement at alternative production and consumption sites, such as repair cafés or open workshops is proliferating. People experiment with making products or organising as a group, but by virtue of the ‘stuff’ they make, some also negotiate their sustainability concerns and expertise on material level. To better understand the individual, collective and institutional work behind this negotiation, the dissertation examined seven DIY spaces – spaces that provide free access to tools and knowledge around a ‘make, test and repair’ culture. Using ethnographic methods, this dissertation presents analysis from the perspectives of participatory design (PD) and science and technology studies (STS) and contributes to current debates on how citizens create and experiment with infrastructures for sustainable consumption.
By highlighting how the actors involved appropriate nearby resources, apply workarounds to overcome material limitations, and build alliances to match emerging needs and opportunities, the dissertation argues these to be forms of immediate design that resemble continuous repair. The results thus foreground the inventive repair work between individuals and organisations that is needed for others to engage in forms of production and consumption different to the status quo. Consequently, this thesis suggests that contemporary participatory design can take inspiration from such citizen engagement, their focus on the socio-material resources at hand and the seemingly trivial work that goes into their rearrangement.