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Citizen-Science-Project Repara/kul/tur – Cultures of Repair

Head of Research / Principle Investigator

Scientific Staff

Student Assistants

  • Anton Schaefer
  • Marco Vonnahme (from February 2018 until December 2018)

Funded by

Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, Förderrichtlinie Citizen Science


September 2017 – Dezember 2020

Project Partner

  • Institut für Sozialinnovation e.V. (ISInova)
  • Verbund Offener Werkstätten e.V. (VOW)
  • BUND Berlin
  • Stiftungsgemeinschaft anstiftung
  • HEi (Haus der Eigenarbeit)

Project Description

Around the world, diverse groups of people are repairing, making and fixing things together in community-based workshops. Equipped with versatile making and fixing technologies and tools, global networks of workshops, like Repair-Café and Makerspaces, provide facilities for experimenting with, for instance, putting circular economy into practice. These workshops are spreading rapidly. They are said to change people’s relationships with their products, which allow for autonomy from existing consumption and production systems. The workshops can also be seen as places of knowledge exchange and mutual learning regarding issues of sustainable design and consumption. Whether such changes actually materialise with the acquisition of repair and DIY practices, and how these practices can be successfully be integrated into people’s daily lives, is still little explored.

Making use of a co-design approach, partners from the ‘REPARA(KUL)TUR’ project, together with citizen scientists from the repair and DIY workshops, aim to research how repair and DIY practices can be successfully adopted and integrated into everyday life and how the relationship between people and their products might change over time. By more strongly integrating repair activities into people’s everyday lives, people potentially gain an awareness of today’s resource intensive production processes and create longer lasting and caring relationships with their products. At the same time, people acquire competences that make them more independent from current consumption patterns.

Current social science methods are of limited use to study everyday repair activities. This is why this project aims to further develop methods, collaboratively with the repair and DIY initiatives, which aid the process of making visible daily life experiences and knowledge related to repairing and making. Grounded on these findings and discussions, common strategies and future visions will be developed to examine how repair and making practices can be spread and strengthened within society.

The ZTG team will be coordinating the project, whilst at the same time co-designing a citizen science method. 



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