The use of imperfect or incomplete tools draws on the imagination in developing the skills to repair and improvise.’ Richard Sennett
REPAIR IS BEAUTIFUL began with the idea of solving frustration. A broken object delivers frustration because it doesn’t achieve its functionality, but the same principle applies to a broken system that caused the financial crisis, which has affected our lives since 2008. In a time of uncertainty, taking things into our own hands and having the feeling of control back can be very therapeutic. Repair is Beautiful aims to give back this feeling of control – by scaling down a major society problem to a human size and projecting frustration upon broken objects that can be repaired through design and craftsmanship. The final outcome is a collection of intriguingly repaired objects imbued with new meaning and functionality. The once rejected objects reflect the environment that created them and call us to question our society as a whole.
Repaired Garden Chair
Repaired Director’s Chair
He found the broken chair in a bin close to home, with the backrest canvas missing and part of the wood on one side cracked. The previous owner tried to fix it with nails, making the problem even worse.
He had only fourteen days to repair it as the workshops at the university were going to close after that period.
Together with a metal frame on the base of the chair, he introduced the idea of suspension bridges and mast rigging into the repair.
After many changes, the final solution was the construction of a foldable lateral steel structure attached to the base of the chair for transferring the tension of the cables back into the chair, thus holding things in place. The repair was designed to return all the functionality of the original chair, including the folding action.
This Headphone was a good product with a similar emotional attachment background as the Anglepoise. The plastic support around the ear split and Paulo Goldstein tried, unsuccessfully, to repair it with superglue and masking tape. The sound was still perfect, as the break was simply structural.
The first challenge was reattaching the sound box to the neck support. He built a circular wooden frame on the sound box to replace the broken acoustic shell and generate a solid material to function as a base for connecting the sound box with the neck support.
Again, unintended consequences changed the course of the design. The piece became too heavy to be supported by the ear, making it extremely uncomfortable.
The solution came from observing a girl with a broken leg using crutches, so he decided to support the weight of the piece on the shoulder. Yet here the same need to expand the area of repair on the Anglepoise happened with the headphones and distancing the sound piece from the ear would affect its audio functionality. Instead, Goldstein built an extension for the sound to reach the ear, based on an old telephone design.