“Repair” is not one thing. It’s not just one mission, one organization, or even one law. Repair is the idea that things that once worked should work again, that things should work until they absolutely cannot, and that human beings can and should be able to fix the things that human beings make. There are a lot of ways to make that happen.
This year, we’ve been given three notable new books, looking to change the world’s view of repair. Each of them, we think, deserves your attention, and could make for a great gift for the right kind of brain. We interviewed the authors of all three of these books in two discussions, ranging from real nitty-gritty stuff (the wiring in lamps) to big-picture topics (80% of the environmental impact of a device is determined by its design).
The authors and their books:
- Sandra Goldmark, Fixation: How to Have Stuff Without Breaking the Planet (Local bookstore, Amazon)
- John Wackman & Elizabeth Knight, Repair Revolution: How Fixers Are Transforming Our Throw-Away Culture (Bookstores, Amazon)
- Lee Vinsel and Andrew L. Russell, The Innovation Delusion: How Our Obsessions with the New has Disrupted the Work that Matters Most (Bookstores, Amazon)
In a session with iFixit CEO Kyle Wiens, Goldmark, Wackman, and Vinsel talk about the hands-on realities of fixing. Kyle asks the authors about their most recent fixes, why grandparents seemed to be able to fix more than we can, fixing things without parts, and why lamps are maybe the most repair-friendly device around.
In a discussion on broader topics, Nathan Proctor of U.S. PIRG talks with Goldmark, Wackman, and Russell about how we change society’s views on repair, through their writing and other means. It’s a polarized political era, but can repair cut through the endless rancor? What attitudes and policies need to change? What can any one person do to contribute toward a more efficient use of the stuff we make?
Any or all of their books are worth a read, or perhaps a gift order. For more videos on fixing, both nitty-gritty and big-picture, subscribe to our YouTube channel.