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Author: Sonja van Kerkhoff
To: Bricolabs
Subject: Re: [Bricolabs] Research study on repair/reuse - recruiting participants in the UK
Reading about James and Lisa's projects reminded me of a project Sen + I did in new zealand as part of a 2 month artist residency.
We took in broken furniture and to turn it into other things which were then traded or given away. One of the these was a plank of oak from a church in the Netherlands which the elderly woman valued but didn't know what to do with it. So we built it into a throne like chair and gave it back to her. Here are are few photos of other things made.

From: Brico <brico-bounces@???> on behalf of James Wallbank <james@???>
Sent: 17 April 2020 12:22
To: brico@??? <brico@???>
Subject: Re: [Bricolabs] Research study on repair/reuse - recruiting participants in the UK

Hi Felipe,

Delighted to participate if we can. Repair and reuse is what me and my
wife Lisa do just about every day. One of our shop's core activities is
reusing or upcycling old things.

We purchase or acquire old things like antiques, and often they are
broken or simply out of fashion. We then assess how we can repair or
transform them in a way that makes value sense - so we spend as little
time as possible, but we also get a result as nice (and as high value!)
as possible. Lisa has a very successful line in junk art, and we also
make and repair lamps and decorative items. We also have customers bring
us stuff for repair or transformation.

(A couple of years ago a married couple brought us a stainless steel
frame, with screws and pins. It was used to hold their son's leg
together when he had a bad motorcycle accident. He had to wear it for
more than a year. After his leg was healed, his mother kept the parts.
We made it into a bedside lamp that she gave him as a gift!)

We've come to many provisional conclusions about the best items to
transform, what to transform them into, and how. A crucial issue is what
people will pay for. Now I know this doesn't sound very "Bricolabs" -
but I believe that it is. Only when we can understand how people value
(literally - value!) objects can we hope to influence mass behaviour.
Key appears to be the emotional attachment that people have to an item.
They're much more keen to pay to repair an item that, for example, they
inherited from a loved family member, than they will an item that they
simply bought.

At the same time, people acknowledge when they have no use for an item -
however nostalgic it is, if they can't actually make it work in their
lives, they're more keen to discard it. So there's a combination of
practicality and nostalgia, or story, that makes for the highest value,
and things people really want to repair and retain.

Hope this helps. Maybe get in touch off-list if you'd like to talk about
this more?

All the best,


On 16/04/2020 17:15, Felipe Schmidt Fonseca wrote:
> Hey all,
> In developing my research project here in Dundee, I will be conducting two studies, and would love if any of you could help me find suitable participants for either (or both). The only restriction is that they need to be adults and based in the UK. They are:
> - Repair Journey: participants will be asked to pick one object that is either broken, malfunctioning or inadequate, and spend two weeks working on a diary of that object as they try to repair, repurpose or make it valuable in any sense. It can be an object they currently have, or even an experience they had in the past. The main idea is to explore how value is assessed, what are the obstacles and discoveries, and how could cities help society make a better use of available materials. No experience required ;)
> - Ecosystem Mapping: I want to interview people actively engaged with different settings operating in the fields of reuse, repair, transformation of matter. Repair shops, tailors, waste collection, sorting of recyclables, makerspaces, hardware stores, and so on. Any suggestions are welcome.
> Thanks everyone for your time on that.
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