RepairED is a research study that tries to understand how everyday people creatively repair their broken objects in order to inform interaction design. We see repair as a creative phenomenon that encompasses acts of resourcefulness and the adaptation of objects. Our study comprised of a 3-question survey disseminated via email, asking participants how they repair broken objects in their homes. Based on the submission of over 120+ objects, we have found that repairs not only lead to restoration, but also to the creative repurposing of objects. Moreover, it's been found that the majority objects repaired are those non-digital in nature. Given these observations, this research aims to answer the following questions:
- How do people repair their broken objects; what are their techniques and strategies?
- What are the various attributes of digital objects that make them difficult for everyday people (non-experts) to repair?
- What can we learn from non-digital objects (like mugs, shoes, ceramics, etc.) that can help inform the design of more repairable, reusable, and repurpose-able interactive technologies?
As an outcome of this research, we aim to develop a theoretical framework of everyday repair that highlights patterns around the repair techniques of non-experts and physical material attributes of artifacts that facilitate repair techniques. Such a framework can serve as a tool for designers for anticipating a technologyâ€™s adaptation and resourcing as a result of repair.