Design's Role in Transitioning to Futures of Cultures of Repair

Abstract

This paper traces a historical and conceptual terrain of cultures of repair from a decolonial and ontological design perspective, i.e., through decolonial design. In the face of present and mounting future challenges, particularly Climate Change, consequent migration and global unsettlement, indiscriminately reaching all geographies, cultures of repair afford ecological, social, and technological exemplars of adaptation and resilience. Yet neither the complexity of the trace nor the imperative for appropriation is adequately reaching designers. To explore filling this gap, a relational map is presented here, that aims to aide designers understand four key threads implicated in the destruction of cultures of repair—concealment; newness; techne; care—and three key moves toward revaluing cultures of repair—transferrability, reclassification, amplification.

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