Repair Acts International Symposium, Bristol
07.02.2019 - 08.02.2019

Repair Acts started life as a series events, workshops, meetings and activities over 2018-2019 that brought together a number of people working on topics relating to repair, care, maintenance and reuse cultures. This cumulated in a month long exhibition and one-day symposium that was held and opened on the 7th Feb, 2019 at CREATE, Bristol. 


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

Questioning the rhetoric of the ‘new’ as a means of progression and innovation, our work addresses everyday material relations with a focus on tools, devices and the built environment. Examining the implications of current consumption and production patterns, and the broader consequences of our material lives on the environment and other species, we explore issues relating to, for example: planned obsolescence and circular design; labour systems, manufacturing processes, resource limitations and waste; craft practices, qualities and standards; our right to repair; failure and breakdown; and, the care necessary to attend to and maintain systems. Over 2018-2019 these topics were explored through a range of public conversations, workshops and events, which have taken place in Bristol, London, New Delhi, Penryn, Berlin and Accra.

On 7th Feb 2019 cumulating in a one-day event that brought together artists, scholars, policy makers, designers, engineers, architects and social entrepreneurs to discuss a series an interrelated questions relating to topics of repair, care and maintenance. Accompanying this meeting was an month-long exhibition held at CREATE, Bristol, as well as site branching meetings with colleagues on developing repair curricula.

Summary details below:

Thursday 7th Feb 2019
Free/Open Public Programme
Location: CREATE, Smeaton Road, Spike Island, Bristol, BS1 6XN
Registration necessary via EventBrite: Repair Acts 2019

9.30-10.00: Register and refreshments at CREATE.
10.00-10.15: Welcome: Teresa Dillon, UWE and Caitlin DeSilvey, Uni of Exeter, Jane Stephenson, Resource Futures and Michelle Scoplin, CREATE
10.15-10.30: The Parasitic Reading Room: Repair Acts readings led by Rosario Talevi, Architect, Soft Agency

10.30-11.15: Conversation 1: CRAFT with Linda Brothwell, David Paton and Staffan Appelgren. Moderator, Caitlin DeSilvey.
11.15-11.30: Break

11.30-12.15: Conversation 2: CRITICAL with Kim Trogel, Uni of the Creative Arts; Theo Reeves-Evison, Birmingham School of Art and Francisco Martínez, Uni of Helsinki. Moderator, Anna Bohlin
12.15-13.00: Selected presentation: Lara Houston, Sociologist. Moderator, Teresa Dillon
13.00-13.45: Lunch

13.45-14.00: Short walk (around CREATE)
14.00-14.15: Overview of local bridge repair/Ashton Ave Swing Bridge
14.15-15.00: Group Activity (with refreshments)
15.00-15.30: Report back on activity

15.30-16.15: Conversation 3: ECONOMIC with Siddhartha Hande, Kabadiwalla Connect and Jane Stephenson, Resource Futures. Moderator, Alma Clavin

16.15-17.00: Conversation 4: ESSENTIAL with Ravi Agarwal, Artist and and Director of Toxic Links,  and Janet Gunter, Co-Founder Restart. Moderator Teresa Dillon
17.00-17.30: Summary/close and thanks: Teresa Dillon and Cailtin DeSilvey

Thur 7th Feb 2019: Repair Acts, Exhibition 

17.30-18.00: Drinks reception and exhibition opening with Ravi Agarwal, Teresa Dillon , Carmela Pietrangelo, Arthur Buxton, Steve Bond, Caitlin De Silvey, Robert Leadbeater, Nick Hand and Ben Gaulon
19.30: Close

Team and funders: 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.

Additional Credit: Repair Acts, registration key ring was created using discarded materials donated by Mulberry Design Office and made in collaboration with colleagues from Fashion/Textiles at UWE, Jo Barnfield and Zarya Moskovits.