This project involves smartphone repairers from Genk in a participatory design trajectory exploring practices with technology that take place in the semi-public realm of the city, but often are overlooked in the discourse on 'the maker movement' or ’smart cities'. Three encounters – a phone teardown, a workshop tour and a co-design session on 3D printing – form the basis of a process of mutual learning between artistic researchers and phone repairers. In this way, we aim to learn about the complex network of tools, materials, skills, labour and people involved in phone repair and speculate on new practices of hacking and making that could take place in the realm of the phone repair shop. These reflections will be captured in a video-documentary and in 3D printed designs, to be presented at a public event at the end of the project. The project will be carried out in close collaboration with designer Jesse Howard and anthropologist Janine Patricia Santos, and involves a team of advisors to discuss the progress and outcomes of the project at set intervals.

Research unit: Inter-Actions

Duration: 2020 - 2021


Teis de Greve