International Programme & Network on Repair, Care & Maintenance

Repair Acts is an international and multidisciplinary network of people working on topics relating to repair, care and maintenance cultures.

Broadly these cultures focus on applied, artistic, scholarly and civic practices, which deal with the care, upkeep, maintenance and reuse of objects, materials, buildings, systems and processes.

We view repair, care and maintenance as the challenge to move away from the rhetorics of the ‘new’ as a means of progression and innovation.





Questioning the lexicon of the ‘smart’ and globally connected, repair, care and maintenance cultures addresses everyday consumption by revealing the geopolitical struggles, labour systems and consequences of our material lives on the environment and other species.

Instead we look towards how we attend, nourish and care for the everyday, with a focus on the disconnect and the discarded, what is in ruin and broken as a means through which to reimagine what we define as growth.



Rooted within the arts, humanities and social sciences, we are concerned with deepening the intersections between artistic, applied and scholarly knowledge on repair, care and maintenance cultures.

Drawing on Laderman Ukeles, “Manifesto for Maintenance Art 1969!, Jackson’s broken world thinking (2014) and Haraway‘s (2016) call to stay with the trouble, we also position our work within legislative measures that address planned obsolescence and policies such as the United Nations Global Sustainable Development Goals (2016) and various EU Directives (2008, 2012), which call for more circular and restorative approaches to manufacturing and production.





Established in 2018 our programme explores repair, care and maintenance cultures along the following axes:

Critical: relating to artistic and theoretical practices of repair

Essential: where the act of repair is a necessary, daily function of living, also includes policy and legalisation matters

Craft: relating to the fields of heritage and tradition, including practices of care, restoration and preservation

Economic: existing and new forms of economy, including changes to manufacturing and industry standards relating to repair, reuse and maintenance cultures

Programme and Projects

Established in 2018, to date the Repair Acts programme has included a number of public conversations, workshops and exhibitions.

In partnership with the British Library, we made our first steps towards establishing the Repair Web Archive, which will be developed further in the coming year.

In 2018 the programme has been presented at a number of national and international conferences, including Make City Festival, Berlin and re:publica, Accra.


We also begun to carry our research on the histories of repair businesses in Bristol between 1938-2018. As a result of this work, we have started to develop cross curriculum activities.

We will open 2019 with a symposium, exhibition and series of workshops, which will take place on 6-8th Feb 2019 in Bristol, UK.

Full details can be found in our programme listing below, with tickets for our free, public programme and exhibition on 7th Feb, 9.30-19.30 at CREATE, Smeaton Road, Spike Island, Bristol, BS1 6XN: Available via
Repair Acts 2019
(places limited: booking neceessary) 


  • Repair Acts, Exhibition, Bristol, 2019
  • RepairActs, International Network Meeting & Conversation, Bristol 2019
  • What Remains Workshop with Marloes de Valk
  • My Square Mile Pilot, History of Repair & Maintenance Business
  • Repair Curriculum, Bath Spa University
  • Public Conversations, re:publica Accra, 2018
  • Workshop, British Library 2018
  • Exhibition, Penryn 2018
  • Public Conversations, Penryn 2018
  • Workshop, Penryn 2018
  • Public conversations, Make City Festival, Berlin 2018
  • Public Conversations, Delhi 2018
  • Workshop, Delhi 2018
  • Public Conversations, Bristol 2018
  • Workshop, Bristol 2018

International Network

The Repair Acts network includes artists, scholars, designers, engineers, social, economic and political scientists, policy makers, educators, environmental organisations, enterprises, governmental bodies and concerned creatures who work on the topics of repair, care and maintenance cultures.

Selected publications and projects from network participants include: Working the break point: Maintenance, repair and failure in art, Dillon (2017); Curated Decay, Hertiage beyond Saving, DeSilvey, (2017); Visible Mending in the South West, Bond, DeSilvey and Ryan (2013).

  • Alison Harper, Artist, UK
  • Alma Clavin, Urban Geographer, Bath Spa Uni
  • Amanortey Kisseih, Artist, Accra/Vienna
  • Anita Ahuja, Founder Conserve, New Delhi
  • Anjia Barbieri, Researcher, Exeter Uni
  • Anna Bohlin, Researcher, Uni of Gothenburg
  • Anna Mills, BA Graphic Design, UWE
  • Arthur Buxton, Uni of the West of England
  • Benjamin Gaulon, Artist, France
  • Caitlin DeSilvey, Cultural Geographer, Uni of Exeter
  • Carmela Pietrangelo, Independent Researcher and Producer, UK
  • Chloe Meineck, Designer, Studio Meineck, UK
  • Christoph Woiwode, Human Geographer, Bath Spa Uni
  • Clare Saunders, Environmental Politics, Uni of Exeter
  • David A Paton, Sculptor, Falmouth Uni
  • Elena Blanco, Environmental Lawyer, Uni of the West of England
  • Francisco Martínez, Researcher, Uni of Helsinki
  • Gigi Scaria, Artist, India
  • Jane Stephenson, Founder Resource Futures, Bristol
  • Janet Gunter, Restart
  • Jasmine Creusson, Artist & Chef
  • Jess Young, Designer, Conway and Young, UK
  • Jo Barnfield, Textile Artist, University of the West of England
  • Kate Rich, Artist & Feral Economist, UK
  • Kathy Hinde, Artist, UK
  • Kaveri Gill, Political Economist, Shiv Nadar Uni, New Delhi
  • Kim Trogal, Architect, Uni of the Creative Arts, UK
  • Lara Houston, Independent Sociologist, UK
  • Linda Brothwell, Artist, UK
  • Marloes de Valk, Artist and Writer, Netherlands
  • Nick Hand, Letterpress Collective
  • Oliver Boachie, Government Advisor, Ghana
  • Penny Evans, Assistant Director, Knowle West Media Centre, Bristol
  • Peter Halswell, Renewable Energy Research Group, Uni of Exeter
  • Prajeeth Sitherasenan, Manager, Kabadiwalla Connect, India
  • Ravi Agarwal, Artist & Director Toxics Link, India
  • Robert Leadbeater, Sound Engineer & Vintage Amp Repairer, UK
  • Rosario Talevi, Architect, Berlin
  • Sarah Chave, Research Fellow, Uni of Exeter
  • Sharmila Samant, Artist, Shiv Nadar Uni, New Delhi
  • Shibani Ghosh, Environmental Lawyer, Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi
  • Siddharth Hande, Kabadiwalla Connect, India
  • Singh Intrachooto, Kasetsart University, Bangkok
  • Sophie Zajicek, PhD Researcher, Uni of the West of England
  • Staffan Appelgren, Researcher, Uni of Gothenburg
  • Steve Bond, Farion Studio & Falmouth Uni
  • Teresa Dillon, Artist & Researcher, Uni of the West of England
  • Theo Reeves-Evison, Birmingham School of Art
  • Vimlendu Jha, Social and Environmental Activist, India
  • Zarya Moskovits, Textile Artist, University of the West of England
  • Zoe Banks Gross, Independent Community Sustainability Organiser, Bristol


Repair Acts is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), UK under the Network grant scheme.

The programme is led by artist and Professor of City Futures Teresa Dillon (Principle Investigator) from the School of Art and Design and DCRC at the University of the West of England, and Associate Professor of Cultural Geography Caitlin DeSilvey (Co-Investigator) from the Environment and Sustainability Institute at the University of Exeter.

Our partners in the project include the environmental organisations Toxics Link, Delhi and Resource Futures, Bristol. Supporting the delivery of the programme is DCRC, University of the West of England and Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter. For the 2019 symposium our venue partners are  CREATE, Centre for Sustainability Bristol. 

The ‘My Square Mile’ pilot, which focuses on repair business practices in Bristol (1938-2018) is led by Teresa Dillon with support from Carmela Pietrangelo (research assistant) and Arthur Buxton (print). The British Library workshops were led by Helena Byrne, Curator of Web Archives and Stella Wisdom, Digital Curator, Contemporary British Collections. ‘My Square Mile’ and British Library workshops have been supported by the University of the West of England Collaboration Fund.

Dr. Alma Clavin and Dr. Christoph Woiwode, Bath Spa University supported the development of the programme’s first cross curriculum activities.