activism design technology

The Self-Repair Manifesto

Here’s the manifesto of, the ‘repair revolution’. I like it. Being able to repair things, as well as being very satisfying, keeps things out of landfill and saves money. I’m a bit rubbish at fixing things, although I’ve had a go at taps and bits and pieces, and I’ve fixed a dead Xbox 360 last year after following video instructions on Youtube.

I would like to be better at it, and in the future we will all need to be. The throwaway culture can’t go on forever, and there will come a time when we will need to value our possessions more highly.

The Self Repair Manifesto also reminds me of what is still probably my favourite book of the year, Matthew Crawford’s The case for working with your hands.


  1. I love the aprt about “if you can’t fix it, you don’t own it”. Very philosophical and rather far reaching, if you think about it. Ultimately:we cannot own own another human being, we cannot own our pet. We cannot own nature or any living aspect of nature, ultimately not even a potted plant – because we cannot fix it.

  2. I think it’s really important that people learn to deal with their own problems again. I think it will teach us to value our possessions more highly, as you say. It’s pretty annoying when you take something into a shop and either (a) they just give you a new one, which is completely wasteful, or (b) it takes them 30 seconds to fix it.
    Another excellent post though, keep it up.

    1. @Jonno: True. Oftentimes the problem merely is a loose cable or plug. But then again: when I opened my old tube TV, I understood and could identify every part. When I open my new HD Flat Screen, all I see are encapsulated integrated circuits. But I did feel empowered by really studying a self repair book about my car – I noticed that many of them repair people really tend to take you for a fool – which oftentimes I was. But as soon as you start talking jargon, the stiuation changes :-).

      Anyway – I come from a family of craftsmen, and usually fixing things yourself (on every level) is the normal way of doing things. This might also be a cultural difference between “country people” and “city people”.

  3. Agreed. I like fixing things. Am just so good at it. Whenever I let someone else do it, I never get that satisfaction. A good philosophy to go by.

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