Have you ever noticed that your electrical appliances have a habit of breaking just outside of warranty? Imagine, though, if buying new was not the only option – maybe you can fix what you already have?
The Restart Project is a community of fixers who are on a mission to get people mending and they’re coming back to Maker Faire UK in 2014!
Restart was founded in London by Ugo Vallauri and Janet Gunter to combat the fears and misconceptions many people have regarding their ‘broken’ electronics. Ugo explains, “We don’t like it when we see things that end up in a skip, or even recycled by our councils, when they could have a second or third life if only we use some basic repair skills.”
With manufacturers building obsolescence into their products routinely it can seem as though the cycle of consumption is inevitable – we worry that professional repairers will leave us feeling bamboozled with jargon, or even worse, swindled. Restart believes that the best way to quell such fears is to get people involved directly in the repair process.
They do this by hosting regular ‘Restart Parties.’ Members of the public come with their damaged items and then work alongside a volunteer fixer to find solutions. An initial ‘triage’ stage aims to diagnose by describing the problem, but more often than not, the best way to learn and progress is to disassemble. As fixer Francis Dove puts it: “the best technicians are nosy.”
The demystifying process is empowering and there’s no reason why anyone can’t be involved.
Nearly a quarter of all electrical waste in recycling centres is repairable, Ugo suggests. If you’ve got a flat-lining phone or a troublesome toaster, why don’t you bring it along to Maker Faire UK? A Restart Party will take place on Saturday 26 April from 2-5pm in the Welcome Room on the Life Science Centre’s mezzanine floor.