Design as continuous repair - Experimentation, negotiation, and expertise in DIY spaces

dc.contributorAalto Universityen
dc.contributor.advisorKohtala, Cindy, Aalto University, Finland
dc.contributor.authorHector, Philip
dc.contributor.departmentMuotoilun laitosfi
dc.contributor.departmentDepartment of Designen
dc.contributor.labNODUS Sustainable Design Research Groupen
dc.contributor.schoolTaiteiden ja suunnittelun korkeakoulufi
dc.contributor.schoolSchool of Arts, Design and Architectureen
dc.contributor.supervisorJalas, Mikko, Prof., Aalto University, Department of Design, Finland
dc.descriptionDefense is held on 13.8.2021 12:00 – 14:00 Via remote technology:
dc.description.abstractWith the phenomenon of citizen engagement at alternative production and consumption spaces proliferating, this dissertation presents analysis from the perspectives of participatory design (PD) and science and technology studies (STS) to investigate how these spaces are established and sustained as infrastructures for a 'make, test, and repair' culture. Employing semi-structured interviews and participant observation with seven 'DIY spaces' this study asks 'what forms of design are enacted, and how do they support reproduction of the space and circulation of socio-material resources?' and 'how do these resources affect the negotiation of relevance and expertise at participant, collective, and institution level?' The dissertation highlights the spaces' nature as emergent and relational infrastructures providing access to workshop equipment, knowledge, social meeting places, and ways of materially pursuing utopian ideals. The material engagements span a broad range, from products' adaptation for local settings to, for more invested practitioners, means of collective organising such as negotiation of decision-making tools and responsibilities. While most are far from radical, the engagements are shown to be demonstrations that things might be otherwise – a form of ongoing, immediate future-making. Be they products, guidelines, or visualisations, these demonstrations further matter for stabilising experimental sites that, being in 'constant beta mode', mirror on organisation level the DIY ethos present at the level of the individual. Accordingly, they also constitute continuous repair. In particular, the inventive work of invested actors often is evidenced in adjustment to local settings that require maintenance and repair. The research elucidated two key mechanisms whereby others gain room to engage in DIY practices: organisers apply workarounds (repurposing of material settings, including spaces, objects, and official forms) and engage in infrastructuring alliances, whereby emerging needs and opportunities of several actors get aligned. Simultaneously, the institutional and other actors involved employ workarounds as a part of informal institutional work, demonstrating that institutions too are sites of active change. The research highlights that the repairs are not a return to any fixed, static state but ongoing, even generative processes that, in turn, influence the actors. In line with STS analyses of expertise as reliant on audiences, the dissertation argues that the DIY spaces must display relevance to those institutions and intermediaries able to grant them resources such as space, tools, and knowledge of bureaucratic procedure. With mutual relevance established, institutional actors can gain access to relevant local networks and environmental or production-related expertise. Some DIY spaces engage with similar initiatives, thereby increasing in local relevance, or even operate under an intermediary institution that provides further resources such as third-party insurance. The socio-material resources and material demonstrations therefore are a crucial element of the negotiation of expertise and actors' intertwined relations. The dissertation highlights the inventive work whereby citizens and administrative officials negotiate and produce knowledge and infrastructure around a 'make, test, and repair' culture. Consequently, it articulates a PD practice that, inspired by repairing of socio-material surroundings, foregrounds both the resources to hand and the (often invisible and seemingly trivial) important work/workers vital for the circulation and rearrangement of those resources.en
dc.format.extent137 + app. 61
dc.identifier.isbn978-952-64-0422-6 (electronic)
dc.identifier.isbn978-952-64-0421-9 (printed)
dc.identifier.issn1799-4942 (electronic)
dc.identifier.issn1799-4934 (printed)
dc.identifier.issn1799-4934 (ISSN-L)
dc.opnSaad-Sulonen, Joanna, Assoc. Prof., IT University Copenhagen, Denmark
dc.publisherAalto Universityen
dc.relation.haspart[Publication 1]: Hector, Philip. 2018. ‘Making and repairing places for making and repairing.’ Strategic Design Research Journal 11 (2): 115–24. Full text in Acris/Aaltodoc: DOI: 10.4013/sdrj.2018.112.07
dc.relation.haspart[Publication 2]: Hector, Philip and Mikko Jalas. 2019. ‘What matters when turning utopias into material.’ NORDES (8).
dc.relation.haspart[Publication 3]: Hector, Philip and Cindy Kohtala. 2021. ‘Experimenting with sustainability education: The case of a student-driven campus initiative in Finland.’ Local Environment (February). Full text in Acris/Aaltodoc: DOI: 10.1080/13549839.2021.1891033
dc.relation.haspart[Publication 4]: Hector, Philip and Andrea Botero. 2021. ‘Generative repair: Everyday infrastructuring between DIY citizen initiatives and institutional arrangements.’ CoDesign, April, 1–17. Full text in Acris/Aaltodoc: DOI: 10.1080/15710882.2021.1912778
dc.relation.ispartofseriesAalto University publication series DOCTORAL DISSERTATIONSen
dc.revSaad-Sulonen, Joanna, Assoc. Prof., IT University Copenhagen, Denmark
dc.revHielscher, Sabine, Dr., University of Sussex, UK, and TU Berlin, Germany
dc.subject.keywordDIY spacesen
dc.titleDesign as continuous repair - Experimentation, negotiation, and expertise in DIY spacesen
dc.typeG5 Artikkeliväitöskirjafi
dc.type.ontasotDoctoral dissertation (article-based)en
dc.type.ontasotVäitöskirja (artikkeli)fi
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