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A Right to Repair: Practices and Policies Workshop

14 October 2022
11.00am – 1.00pm AEDT
Michael Crouch Innovation Centre, Hilmer Building (E10), Ground Floor, UNSW Kensington, NSW 2052
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Right to Repair UNSW Allens Hub

Join the UNSW Allens Hub for Technology, Law and Innovation, Michael Crouch Innovation Centre (MCIC), UNSW Environment and Society Group and the UNSW Science and Society Research group on Friday 14 October, from 11am - 1pm at the Michael Crouch Innovation Centre for an exciting free repair workshop as part of International Repair Day 2022!

This workshop will combine a panel discussion and audience Q&A with practical demonstrations of repairing bicycles, textiles and personal electronics by guest contributors:

1. Guido Verbist, Revolve Recycling

2. Annette Mayne, The Reconnect Project

3. Kate Wake, Unwaste

More about the Right to Repair:

Over the last ten years, a curious coalition of tech entrepreneurs, farmers, repair enthusiasts, motor vehicle owners, designers and environmentalists have formed a global Right to Repair movement.

In the face of numerous barriers – commercial strategies that limit the availability of spare parts, proprietary tools and fittings alongside often confusing consumer warranty conditions and the increasing sophistication of everyday consumer projects – this movement has made important strides in advocating that a right to tinker is essential to contemporary material culture.

Repair is also increasingly being recognised as an urgent response to toxic legacies of contemporary consumer culture; one way of increasing the lifecycle of consumer goods and addressing the global concentrations of waste. In this context, the right to repair could be considered as one element of constructing more regenerative cultures of consumption, adding a social dimension to the growing interest in circular economy initiatives that are pushing the boundaries of physical production cycles in more regenerative directions.

In recent months, policy makers have begun to consider how a right to repair might be incorporated into intellectual property and consumer law. In December, the Australian Productivity Commission released the results of a major economy-wide inquiry into consumers’ rights to repair everything from agricultural machinery to domestic appliances. Finding that “there are significant and unnecessary barriers to repair” the Commission recommended a range of measures designed to ensure independent repairers have access the spare parts and tools they need, improvements to product labelling and warranty conditions and amendments to product stewardship schemes to address the growth in e-waste. At the same right to repair advocates suggested that the Commission report didn’t go far enough, in providing a policy context for the DIY and third-party repair sectors.

This session will be hosted by Professor Matt Kearnes, Stream Leader of Right to Repair at the UNSW Allens Hub for Technology, Law and Innovation and current convenor of the Environment and Society group, the Environmental Humanities programme and the Geographical Studies programme, based in the School of Humanities and Languages, UNSW. Matt is also the current president of the Geographical Society of NSW.


Image credit: Photo by Kilian Seiler on Unsplash