The Repair Workshops

The Repair Workshops


The Repair Workshops was a five-day collaborative exploration of the concept of ‘repair’. This interactive installation brought together 10 artists, engineers, and designers to provide repair sessions for the community and to ignite conversations about why we are losing the art of repair.

repair workshops 2011 by leyla acaroglu

The project was part of Melbourne’s State of Design Festival in July 2011, in the basement of the Historic Donkey Wheel House.. Inspired by the Repair Manifesto from Platform 21 in The Netherlands, over the collaborators embarked on a creative exploration of how broken items can be re-invented with sustainability in mind. The event collectively salvaged over 2.5 tons of waste going to landfill by partnering with charities The Brotherhood of St Lawrence and St Vincent De Paul Society.

The first three days of the Repair Workshops were a closed collaboration between the repairers, whereby they tinkered away with the mounds of stuff that had been collected. They then curated an exhibition of the works, had a big launch party, and auctioned off all the items to raise money for Environment Victoria.

the Repair manifesto redone for repair workshops 2100


After the closed collaborations, the public was invited, and over 500 people came through! Over 70 items were brought in for interactive repairing with the selected artists, scientists, and designers. 


kids getting repairs done at the repair workshops 2011

The objective of this project was to start a conversation around repair.  As a result, there was broad media coverage that included several radios interviews and magazine profiles that got people talking about repair. This also helped to inspire many new satellite projects to pop up, showcasing repair and continuing to work with the repair community.

repair workshops 2011
The repairers