Repair and Design Futures
Repair is the creative destruction of brokenness.
-Elizabeth V. Spelman, Repair: The Impulse to Restore in a Fragile World
Repair, a humble act born of necessity, expresses resistance to the unmaking of our world and the environment. This exhibition and programming series, Repair and Design Futures, investigates mending as material intervention, metaphor, and call to action. Spanning the globe and more than three centuries, these objects reveal darns, patches, and stabilized areas that act as springboards to considering socially engaged design thinking today. Repair invites renewed forms of social exchange and offers alternative, holistic ways of facing environmental and social breakdown.
On display in this multiuse gallery space are costume and textile objects from the collections of the RISD Museum and Brown University’s Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology. In Café Pearl (at the Benefit Street entrance) and the Donghia Costume and Textile Gallery and Study Center (sixth floor), related exhibitions investigate additional approaches to repair. Through this informal, expansive format, we hope to encourage engagement across a broad spectrum of perspectives.
Curator, Costume and Textiles Department
Projects & Publications
The Back Side Story is a textile book/zine that, with cute and brightly-colored patchwork and embroidery, documents the civilians daily life, sufferings, and resilience under the Chinese government's zero-Covid policy.
Amy Lee Sanford, a Cambodian-American artist, evokes individual, social, and cultural repair in this powerful performance.