Thursday 20 June 2013

Recycling broken gadgets - savvy 'making-do'?

Restart parties could be the savvy way of ‘making do’ via a gadget repair, rather than auto-replacement of a useful tool or appliance.

Ugo Vallauri and Janet Gunter are the co-founders of The Restart Project, which aims to stop people throwing away broken gadgets and other electrical items and, instead, get them fixed by taking them along to a Restart party, as with a recent session in Camden Town Shed, in north London, but next time it could be a church hall, market stall or community centre near you.

The idea came out of work Mr Vallauri has done with Computer Aid, a charity that refurbishes old computers for use in developing nations. Using some basic repair skills of the volunteers that the parties bring together, gadget owners that have lost trust in commercial repairers can access the second or even third life of favourite items. More details of the MO and examples from the Camden Restart session here.

The real issue here is not the fact that some people have found a way of collaborating in a shared-repair experience, in the sophisticated West, but that ‘making do’ has been ‘ennobled’, in that people are  becoming more focused upon stretching existing resources, and talking about it, as a reaction to the pressures of austere times…

…and if even 10% of gadgets are repaired in this way, it effectively takes 10% out of the new gadget market….

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