News & video on transformative repair & design, halfway through 2017

by guy keulemans on June 27, 2017

Object Therapy, my transformative repair research project with ANU and Hotel Hotel has completed its first stop of its Australian tour at the Australian Design Centre (ADC). Its now packed away and on route to Noosa Regional Gallery for exhibition in December.

While it was at the ADC, I was on a panel with designers and Object Therapy repairers Henry Wilson, Naomi Taplin, the jeweller Bridget Kennedy and ABC’s Simon Marnie. We had a lively discussion with the audience including contributions from Kasi Albert – a conservator whose paper on historical ceramic repair using metal staples and rivets I had recently re-read in preparation for a collaborative repair work with Trent Jansen and Kyoko Hashimoto, now exhibited at Nishi Gallery in Canberra. This was one of Trent’s Jugaad plates that broke en route from India to Australia – Kyoko and I repaired it with sterling silver rivets we sourced from a old Georgian serving spoon. I’m going to write more about this project in another post, but here is a preview of it at Nishi Gallery.

Kyoko and I also did a panel talk with ADC director Lisa Cahill at the City of Sydney’s Surry Hills library. Though we had some technical problems with slides and video, it was great to obtain feedback from the Surry Hills locals. I think many were expecting a more traditional repair workshop talk, and were surprised at some of the artistic depth and human research put into Object Therapy.

Design journalist and critic Penny Craswell has written about my and Kyoko’s other recent repair collaboration for Object Therapy, Elizabeth’s Knitting Needle, in which I discuss some of the theoretical aspects of transformative repair and its potential for improving sustainability. With co-authors Nik Rubenis and Andy Marks, I’m currently preparing a paper on this for the Product Lifetimes And The Environment Conference later this year in Deflt, NL.

UNSW’s Media Room also did a feature on the Knitting Needle transformation, which also links to the video explainer I did with UNSW and Fairfax. This was my first time using a teleprompter – a bit weird. The video features works from Object Therapy, some of my own transformative repair works, plus an interesting bowl I purchased in Taiwan, repaired with metal rivets by Lai Ji-Xian of Old Jiu Fen Street, probably Taiwan’s only ceramic rivet repair practitioner.

And just recently, UNSW external relations have released some promo videos with me, my colleagues and students discussing design at UNSW Art & Design. The videos do quite well to explain the particular kind of conceptual x craft focus we provide at our Paddington campus.

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