Is repair repairing architecture?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientificpeer-review


Repair is the first of the four loops in circular economy in the already famous Ellen MacArthur butterfly diagram and the closest one to user; but is the concept of repair currently embedded in architecture thinking or practice? How easy is it to repair architectural buildings or to even design for repair? How is repair changing our perception of materials, construction methods and the built space? The first part of this essay will investigate some of the current circular economy gestures that promote repair and transform architectural design towards friendlier environmental practices: from the notion of design for disassembly where repair is a central value, all the way to perceiving materials as service, to creating material ids or to even advocating the materials' rights.
What these late trends ultimately do is question the notions of authorship as well as ownership: they renegotiate the architects' contribution to the design process towards a more human version of what design means: architects are not just authors of form but those who exercise their creativity to bring architecture processes to their most beneficial fruition. It is for this reason that the second part will focus on the impact of the changes circular economy and repair in particular, brings to the profile of the architect; has repair impaired the architects' profession by breaking down the myth of the sole modernist genius? Or is circular economy reweaving the architect's connections to the world and repair is actually repairing architecture?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRepair: Sustainable Design Futures
Subtitle of host publicationBroken Systems, Alternative Ways
EditorsKate Irvin, Markus Berger
PublisherRoutledge - Taylor & Francis Group
ISBN (Print)9781032154077
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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