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If It’s Broke… Fix It!

The Repair Workshops, Eco Innovators’ latest initiative, calls for artists, designers, craftspeople, scientists and engineers to collaborate around the theme of repair and renewal.

If It’s Broke… Fix It!


December 20th, 2010

Eco Innovators, in collaboration with The Treasury, will run a series of collaborative workshops at Melbourne’s State of Design Festival in July 2011 where creatives and technicians will work together to repair and re-invent broken objects otherwise destined for landfill.

Entries are now open for creative-minded participants keen to explore new ways of repairing and repurposing broken objects.

“It’s about thinking beyond our throwaway society, and coming up with inspiring re-inventions that challenge our ideas of value and waste,” said Leyla Acaroglu, Director of Eco Innovators.


The idea was born from the ‘Repairing’ exhibition at the National Design Museum in Amsterdam in 2009, which called for designers and design students to submit ideas around the theme of repair.

Entries ranged from the most basic – such as a plastic bag hand-sewn back together and a Perspex cover allowing broken wicker seats to be re-used – to the more sophisticated, including a gramophone able to be reused by playing records through an iPod.


“It was very inspiring,” said Acaroglu.

“You had a very basic reinstallation of functionality, through an extreme exploration of repair. For an outsider engaging with the exhibition, it was a really thought-provoking experience.”

The 2011 Repair Workshops will run in collaboration with jewellery designer Emma Grace, who holds monthly sessions in her studio The Treasury helping people fix their broken jewellery and create new items from recycled pieces.

The first two days of workshops will be for closed collaboration between the chosen applicants, resulting in an exhibition of works for sale with all proceeds going to Environment Victoria for its continued work around sustainability in Victoria.

Members of the public will then be encouraged to bring in their own broken objects for repair or creative reimagining for reuse.


“We want to address the end-of-life of products. Fundamentally, and much more strongly, we want to address the fact that the products we are consuming in our daily lives have been designed to not last very long,” said Acaroglu.

“The concept of repair has been lost in society. As a serious approach to sustainability we need to be looking at longevity, value and quality, and be re-instilling those values that we have started to lose.”

Entries for creative-minded participants to join the Repair Workshops close 5pm 25 February 2011. Successful applicants will receive $1000 for their time and ideas.

Repair Workshops

Eco Innovators

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