Opinion

Every town needs one of these …

Mark Phillips News, Opinion August 16, 2022 1 Comment

Bath Share and Repair

Whilst typical Repair Cafés make a major contribution and help many people, their low frequency can create barriers. The lack of a permanent location can also present challenges storing tools, materials and spare parts. The logical solution would be to have community repair operating several days a week in an established location. One that is also able to run repair events and provide more extensive repair services or share tools via a Library of Things.

Bath Share and Repair opened the doors to the Share and Repair Shop in the centre of Bath. The first location was on Broad Street and had an incredible response, raising awareness of sharing and repairing in Bath.  In August 2021 they moved to  3 York Buildings, George Street, which is now the new home for the Bath Library of Things and a place to run even bookable repair sessions.

Given all the empty shops in our high streets, this is an opportunity to create something that supports and builds the community. In doing so it also helps rescue waste and address some of the cost of living challenges. It is a win-win-win-win … so why are local councils and town centres not encouraging this??

Culture of Repair

Throughout this project, I have endeavoured to identify some of the key issues and potential solutions to address our waste. In discussions with many people, even those reasonably aware of environmental issues, there is a lack of knowledge about the real impact of our consumption and what we can all do about it. That is why unbroken.solutions focusses on solutions that others can adopt or adapt to suit their needs.

But ultimately, we need to create, or re-create, a culture of repair. One where design takes account of the need to rebuild, to reuse and to recycle, so waste is minimised. One where repair and its value is understood. One where repair resources are readily available and accessible. One where to repair, is to care.

So, it was great to connect with Vita at the Culture of Repair. Based in the Bay Area, California, their mission is simply: That Repair be an actionable and pervasive cultural value.

They focus on bringing repair to the classroom, to educate the next generation. Their efforts are currently looking to integrate Repair into maker programs in schools and educational non-profits, supporting community repair events, advocating for repair at the state and local levels, and, as always, promoting repair as a social value. 

The Culture of Repair Project works exclusively in The East Bay and is currently concentrating on initiatives in Oakland and Berkeley, CA. However, their site contains lots of ideas and resources, for educators, for repair groups and for the general public, everywhere.

For those interested check the link here: Resources and Worldwide Initiatives.

Resource lists are provided to help people new to thinking about Repair begin to find material meaningful to their lines of inquiry. The more we learn the more we can make an impact.

Report for Microsoft confirms the benefits of Repair

An independent report, commissioned by Microsoft confirms that repairing devices reduces waste and climate emissions.

The study compared replacement versus factory or authorised repair for different Microsoft products. The product included Surface Pros, Surface Book and Laptop Studio.

The study found that, compared to device replacement, all forms of repair offer significant greenhouse gas (GHG) emission and waste reduction benefits. (For the devices studied, repairing can yield up to a 92% reduction in potential waste and emissions.)

It also found that design has significant potential to reduce carbon and waste impacts. Design for repair helps repair and reduces harmful impacts.

Finally, it highlighted that transportation logistics can play in contributing to overall GHG emissions associated with repair services. “To further reduce waste and GHG emissions, Microsoft is advised to take steps to expand repair locations and capabilities across more devices and to promote mail-to repair services“. 

Manufacturers need to do more to enable repair.

Getting in to your device, to repair it

Breaking into some devices often requires specialist tools

Sometimes, when you want to repair something, it almost falls apart, and sometimes it is impossible to open it without destroying it. … And once you have it all apart, it can be quite tricky to reassemble everything because you forgot how everything fits together.” This short article by Stefan in Medium explains How to take things apart without breaking it too much. There are some useful tips in this article.

Understanding how to get into your device is often the first step to repair. You might simply need to clean it or or change the battery or replace a component.

For more information on ‘teardowns’ check out the iFixit website. And for those interested, a list of all the different types of screw drives used by manufacturers … (there are a lot): screw drives

If you are interested in repair, a useful way to learn (without destroying your precious devices) is to practice on old devices that are deemed beyond economic repair. Most repair technicians and students learn this way. Taking things apart and then (trying) to put them back together. Those skills once learned are with you forever, so do not look upon it as wasted time.

For more information and help about repair, check out the Resources page, with links to self-repair, community repair and more.

Repair is Essential

Jamie News, Opinion December 7, 2021 1 Comment

Exhibition – Tabernacle W11, London

After much deliberation, I eventually got around to putting together an exhibition of the Repair Project.  It was a collaborative effort with the Restart Project, RBKC council and Alex Horn at West Central London Fixers. The exhibition was held from 4 to 17 October in the Tabernacle W11, Notting Hill and designed to show the impact of our electronics

Read More