Errors, omissions, and failures underlie almost everything we do. Our cell phones inevitably break, our software becomes outdated, and our appliances degrade. In response, we fix and maintain what we already have; we upgrade our software and replace broken parts, often in creative and imaginative ways. For example, the work of repairing mobile handsets may enable survival, sustenance, and social mobility, and the repair of alarm clocks and desk lamps may spur creative reinvention and reuse. Still, breakage and repair tend to be overlooked as important sources of technology design and innovation.
This workshop considers what the field can learn from, and contribute to an engagement with repair practices. Our investigation will advance and inform HCI design methods and approaches to studying, and developing tools to support repair activity. The workshop will also provide a forum for participants and organizers to develop a shared language around issues of breakdown, maintenance, and repair. We thus hope to acquire a deeper understanding of what repair activities make possible — both for sustainable design and creative invention.
We request that participants submit a one-page thought piece that describes their work in relation to repair and HCI. This could take the form of an argument, a portfolio, or an analytic intervention. Submissions will be accepted based on originality, quality, and how well they represent disciplinary and geographic range. Authors of accepted submissions will be asked to bring a broken technology to the workshop. Submissions from outside the HCI community will be particularly welcome (e.g., information studies, archaeology, anthropology, history, philosophy, or the arts).
Submit to: firstname.lastname@example.org (Deadline: January 11th 2013)