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Object therapy: critical design and methodologies of human research in transformative repair


Keulemans, G and Rubenis, N and Marks, A, Object therapy: critical design and methodologies of human research in transformative repair, Proceedings of the 2017 Product Lifetimes and the Environment Conference, 08-10 November 2017, Delft University of Technology, pp. 186-191. ISBN 9781614998198 (2017) [Refereed Conference Paper]


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This article is published online with Open Access by IOS Press and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial License.

DOI: doi:10.3233/978-1-61499-820-4-186


This paper outlines the framework, development, methodologies and objectives of 'Object Therapy', a collaborative human research project and participatory exhibition concerning the public perception of broken objects and their transformative repair, which we define as repair that changes an object's appearance, function or perception. he process by which owners of broken objects were interviewed and their possessions collected for distribution tov Australian and international, emerging and established artists, designers and other specialists, for response, is described. his methodology is framed as an approach of critical design that connects a community with another, mediated and traced by the researchers, for the purposes of 'constructing publics', a concept developed from John Dewey by Carl DiSalvo and new materialism theorist Jane Bennet. he critical design aspect in this regard corresponds to making public the problems and perception of broken objects - problems of ownership, obsolescence, and lack of options for conventional repair - within a public exhibition presenting alternative, experimental approaches to repair and reuse. he paper argues that the process of commissioning transformative repair processes thereby constructs a public and, via a new materialist approach, reframes human/non-human relations in ways that acknowledge the agency of materiality in social ecologies.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Conference Paper
Keywords:critical design, transformative repair, ethnographic research, publics, materiality, sustainability, waste
Research Division:Built Environment and Design
Research Group:Design
Research Field:Design history, theory and criticism
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Arts
Objective Field:Design
UTAS Author:Rubenis, N (Dr Niklavs Rubenis)
ID Code:152606
Year Published:2017
Deposited By:Art
Deposited On:2022-08-22
Last Modified:2022-09-15
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