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past project

Platform21 = Repairing

Stop recycling, start repairing!

Platform21 = Repairing started with the idea that repair is underestimated as a creative, cultural and economic force. If we don’t consider repair a contemporary activity we will loose an incredibly rich body of knowledge – one that contributes to human independence and pleasure. The situation is especially puzzling when you consider current global interest in other ideas related to sustainability, such as recycling and the cradle-to-cradle philosophy.
With Platform21 = Repairing we aimed to raise awareness of a mentality, a culture and a practice that not so long ago was completely integrated into life and the way we designed it.

In the hope of spurring a reappraisal of repair, Platform21 wrote and published a manifesto describing the benefits of fixing things and calling upon designers and consumers to break the chain of throwaway thinking.
Throwaway thinking, a culture in itself almost, is designed to cater to short term needs of both industry, politics and society. But by being very successful at short term effects it has lost track of the innumerable and rich possibilities that lie ahead if durable notions of design in general, and repair especially, are reconsidered and implemented.

In the slipstream of the Repair Manifesto Platform21 organized workshops, an exhibition, lectures and repair evaluation clinics both with professional designers, students, amateurs, as well as the general public. It is in the richness of the pallet we wanted to present, from the mildly absurd positions of some of the participants involved, to the completely functional, logical and directly implementable techniques of others. Maybe the most important quality of repair is to give your products a longer life, but this is not the only quality. Repairing adds your personality to products, teaches us how things are made and how to take care of things. It gives a sense of accomplishment and control, and not least important, it is fun. So, STOP RECYCLING. START REPAIRING.

Repaired window by Helmut Smits, photography Leo VegerRepaired window by Helmut Smits, photography Leo Veger

Such an attempt to put repair on the agenda was never going to succeed in isolation. All across the world big and small initiatives are trying to come up with better ideas than the ones that have ruled this planet for the last century or so. Platform21 invited everybody and every institution who feels connected to the ideas expressed in the manifest and projects, or who has researched and expressed similar ideas, to contact us and participate on any level that is fit for restructuring the way we consider repair, and sustainable ideas for life.

Participants in Platform21 = Repairing amongst so many others: Jan Vormann, Cynthia Hathaway, Krijn Giezen, Yuri Suzuki, Rachel Griffin, Eran Nave, Guy Keulemans and Martijn Dijkhuizen, Nienke Sybrandy and Eva Heisterkamp, Ernesto Oraza, the Lloyd Hotel, Daan van den Berg, Nina Katchadourian, 5.5 designers, TXT department of the Gerrit Rietveld academy and Helmut Smits. Thank you for all the great things you added!

Download Platform21's Repair Manifesto in English or in Dutch.

Platform21 = Repairing took place from 13 March - 30 August 2009.

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    Designer Guy Keulemans executed a research into the aesthetics of repair live in Platform21. Check the results here!

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  • supporter

    DOEN Foundation

    DOEN Foundation supports the design project Platform 21 = Repairing with a contribution from the BankGiro Loterij, because in this…

  • presentation & discussion:Amsterdam, Platform21

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    From Dinky Toy to DAF Truck

    9 Apr 09...9 Apr 09

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  • on tour report

    Platform21 = City Hopping

    Joyriding and Repairing in London, Paris and Berlin

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  • Platform21's Repair Manifesto

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  • news

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  • material


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    During our research for Platform21 = Repairing we came across a new product for fixing things called Sugru. Sugru is a durable,…

  • movie

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    Lifestyle blog HalogenLife interviewed Jan Vormann about his global Dispatchwork

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    The Repair Road Show on tour

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    Slow Repair Dialogues

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  • link

    There, I Fixed It

    The people behind this website don't believe in aesthetic repairs. They prefer fixes that are practical, rough and done with duct tape.

  • link

    R is for Repairing

    TV station Planet Green also wrote about recycling and packed the article with good links!

  • television

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  • partner


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