Second edition of the project, R for Repair: London x Singapore opens at Victoria & Albert Museum in London from 17 September, part of the palimpsense of the London Design Festival 2022, where it will remain on display until mid-October, to put the spotlight on ' hyper-consumerism.
In a concrete as well as poetic way, it shows how, with a little of ingenuity and a lot of passion, to broken objects it can be given both a new meaning but also a new lease on life.
The particularity of this initiative
Ten love objects will (really) be repaired by ten designers. R for Repair is therefore a cultural project aimed at sustainability and collective responsibility , but at the same time it is an emotional project composed of individual stories full of memories , such as those released by a chipped wooden penguin or by a grandmother's camera that no longer works.
The relationship, functional and affective, with things
The original exhibition premiered in January 2021 at the National Design Center in Singapore. Curated by Hans Tan Studio and commissioned by DesignSingapore Council, the project inserts into a series of initiatives aimed at encouraging a genuine culture of reparation.
While we face the global production of waste and the need to rethink the relationship with objects, R for Repair embraces the affective attachment to things and explore how creative reparation can preserve their value but also new life to our possessions.
Ten objects repaired by ten designers
For the first edition of R for Repair people were asked to bring broken objects and share the stories that gave them meaning objects. The designers then took care of the creative repair, with the task of giving a new shape or functionality to the artifacts, respecting the relationship that binds them to the owners.
For this new edition the concept does not change but is enriched by a intercultural exchange between the United Kingdom and Singapore. The exhibition, which will include ten objects repaired by ten different designers from both countries - Singapore designers will repair UK objects and British designers Singapore ones -, will be exhibited in the V & amp; A Design 1900 - Now section, with an installation designed by Nice Projects. Everything on display will then be returned to the owners.
Repurposing repair through design
“Though repair used to be the first response when something breaks down, current day hyper-consumption has diminished the transformative role of repair. It is important to reframe repair in the contemporary context through design, which I believe when done well, comes with a good value system for how we could consider ownership” explains the curator Hans Tan.
“What interests me with this project is how we can create a richer understanding of repair culture. It celebrates the possibilities of repair as a creative process, something that adds new layers to an object’s identity and meaning - addressing the emotional as well as the functional” adds co-curator Jane Withers.
The stories behind the objects
The fascination of R for Repair lies in the stories behind the old and damaged artifacts and in the sincere affectionate relationships of the owners with objects of different types, both decorative (a wooden penguin, for example) that of daily use (a green glass bottle or a dog's ball).
Even a simple tool can tell an epic story. This is the case of the tea saucer which was sneaked away from the famous Parisian restaurant Maxim's by actress Jane Birkin in the 70s and now it will be rethought by the designers of Studio Dam .
Memories of things and connections with loved ones
The various objects on display are full of stories and memories related to loved ones. Like a grandmother's camera that no longer works and will be repaired by Singapore experimental designer Syafiq Jubri or a shattered wedding glass that will be redesigned from London-based multidisciplinary artist Attua Aparicio Torinos.
Add a new layer of memories
The owners have preserved these objects despite having lost their usefulness or original form , highlighting an invisible element - an emotional connection - with the object. By entrusting these precious broken objects to the designers, the owners are taking a leap of faith , demonstrating their belief in the value of creative repair, not just to preserve, but to add a new layer of memories.