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Repairing Society is a speculative design practice inviting us to imagine an alternative way of consumption and production that is opposed to our current Throw-away Society. Through three proposals in this project (Repair, Graft, Autotomy), we can keep a longer relationship with objects and revive our bonds with old things.

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The citizens born and living in this world are inevitably influenced by it while strongly supporting Green activities and realizing that changes are needed. If we could speculate a world that is opposite our Throw-away Society, it could help us imagine a way out of our current society. The Repairing Society is a parallel time and space in which GM doesn’t maintain the unit sales by frequently launching new models, light bulbs keep burning for 2,500 hours or more, and Apple provides repair-and-update services instead of encouraging buyers to replace a whole phone. How things are kept and evolving and how people perceive consumption in this imagined society are explored in my thesis work.

The differences between the Throw-away Society and the Repairing Society range from the perception of consumers, the business strategy of brands, product development and design, and many other aspects of our daily lives.

Manifesto: A ‘Brake Pad’ for the Throw-away Society

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Repaired Piggy Bank, Plate, and Cup (Kintsugi)

Repaired Dish (Resin)

Repaired Basket (3D Scanning and Printing)

Watering Cup #2 (Watering Neck + Cup)

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Watering Cup #1 (Tea Pot Neck + Watering Body)

Grafted Spoons (Old Spoon + New Spoon)

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Tea Mug (Teapot Handle + Mug)

Grafted Colander, Spatula, and Protractor

Autotomy Bowl ​

Autotomy Chopsticks

Autotomy Pencil

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IN THE END: Retaining Our Attachment

Repairing Society is an imagined world to our Throw-away Society. I treat it as a consumer education paradigm that advocates for ‘Repair not Replace.’ It is not only a guide for consumers on how to consume but also for designers, brands, and manufacturers on how to make it. I hope the proposal of the Repairing Society could plant a seed in people’s consciousness to encourage them to retain their bonds with things. The things help their owners to know themselves better and connect to others more deeply through their historical value and narrative value. My grandmother treasures a love token, a pen, given by my grandfather to remember his love. My parents keep my stamped footprint to celebrate their only child’s born. I collect all the gifts from my friends to cherish our friendship. These objects help us know ourselves. They confirm our values. If we continue detaching objects and randomly dumping things, we may lose ourselves one day. Keeping things is retaining our humanity.

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