Repair: Art, Craft, and Knowledge in Fixing Broken Electronics

HCI literature is often centered on the moments of design, and use. However, digital technologies often cease to function, and they require repairing. Under the consumerist culture of USA and many other countries in the Global West, the practice of repairing is not very wide-spread, but repairing is a part of cultural tradition in many countries in the Global South. A range of reasons, from economic constraints to post-humanistic bond with objects, people feel the urge to fix a broken object. Through fixing, people try to preserve and hold the time that has gone past them. However, the act of repairing has not got attention in mainstream HCI literature until recently.


We conducted a long-term ethnography in 10 main electronic repair sites in Dhaka to understand the nuances of this culture. During this period of time, I completed a course on mobile phone repair under an expert of repairers, e-waste collectors, customers, and many other stake holders of repair business. I also built a mobile phone application to study the privacy implication in repairrepairer, and worked in a repair shop for Three weeks. I also conducted interviews .


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