Re-pairing: care and the performance of repair

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This paper proposes that repurposing places is an act of care that starts from the body and, especially, the hand. It explores how engagement of the body with materials provides a possible configuration for reconnecting people and spaces.
Gestures of care range across many areas of practice, from surgery to bookkeeping to theatre, whilst in the context of building reuse provide a useful metaphor for social repair and transformative interactions. If, as Scott(2007) suggests, reuse always entails some aspect of breaking, then repair is an act of care and restoration. Hands, especially, embody ways in which spaces are inhabited and repairs are made, both materially and in forming communities.
The writing draws from the experience of a number of educational projects and material/making experiments that explore building reuse through the handling of materials and the performance of repair. The discussion is framed through theory and precedent to explore ways in which things are put (back) together through making and mending.
The reuse of buildings calls for a reappraisal of the way broken spaces and communities can be brought together in a ‘re-pairing’, or what Sennett (2012) refers to as ‘dynamic repair’, to provide a productive orientation for reimagining spaces and places in a careless society.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the International Conference Repurposing Places for Social and Environmental Resilience
EditorsAnastasia Karandinou
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781739268107
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2023
EventRepurposing Places for Social and Environmental Resilience: International Conference 2023 -
Duration: 23 Mar 202324 Mar 2023


ConferenceRepurposing Places for Social and Environmental Resilience: International Conference 2023

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