Object Therapy – Australian Design Centre

Object Therapy is the latest project in Hotel Hotel’s Fix and Make program. It has culminated in 30 broken objects that have undergone therapy – treated and ‘creatively’ repaired by a designer or artist. Object Therapy encourages us to re-think our consumption patterns and re-evaluate the broken objects that surround us. It explores the role of repair in our society and its possibilities. The project, developed by Fix and Make Program Director Andy Marks in collaboration with Dr Guy Keulemans (UNSW) and Niklavs Rubenis (ANU), is an investigation into the culture of ‘transformative’ repair as practiced by local, interstate and international artists and designers.

In May 2016 members of the public were invited to submit broken or damaged objects for possible repair. From 70 submissions, 30 objects were selected including furniture, ceramics, household appliances, textiles, sentimental objects and, unexpectedly, one human. At the drop-off, object owners were interviewed so as to better understand their relationship with the object and their perceptions of waste and repair. The broken objects were then handed over to a designer or artist for creative repair.

The Object Therapy repairers are diverse in discipline and come from all around the world, including São Paulo, Amsterdam, Japan and Australia. Object Therapy is a practical study of repair and its possibilities – building a new body of knowledge around repair, the design process, objects and their meaning. Often repaired objects are perceived as being of less value. Object Therapy seeks to challenge this preconception, celebrating repair as a creative process that can add value.