Technologies inevitably break, degrade, and decline. In response, people mend and maintain what they already have: parts are replaced and software is updated. In this workshop, we explore the fundamental work of repair and its impact on the study of design and technology as important — yet undervalued — forms of innovation. Broadly speaking, we hold the work of repair as acts of sustaining, managing, and repurposing to cope with attrition and regressive change. In order to investigate such processes, this one-day workshop aims to bring together a range of scholars and practitioners from across the world to inform HCI’s views on design, development, and society.
Discussion 1: Repair and IT Design
How is repair activity viewed, encountered, and accounted for in HCI research? How does it get taken up in IT design? Conversely, how do HCI design methods surface in repair work? In what ways are digital media and IT maintained and repaired? What are examples of detailed engagements with, and documentation of repair activity in HCI and technology studies, more generally? How does the work of repair relate to established HCI design methods? How might designers support the work of repair and use insights from analyses of such work to better understand design, obsolescence, and innovation?
Discussion 2: Diagnostics, Knowledges, and Resources
What diagnostics and strategies develop around repair and how do they vary across different social worlds? How are repair knowledges produced and circulated? Under what conditions is repair activity desirable or necessary? What are the circumstances — economic, cultural, material, socio-political — that make possible specific forms of repair? What are the varied costs and advantages? What people, institutions, policies, etc. contribute to repair activities? What resources are necessary or relied upon?