University Of Tasmania

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Object Therapy: an investigation into the public perception of broken objects and their transformative repair

conference contribution
posted on 2023-05-23, 15:31 authored by Keulemans, G, Niklavs RubenisNiklavs Rubenis, Marks, A
This paper outlines the framework, development, methodologies and objectives of ‘Object Therapy’, a collaborative human research project and participatory exhibition concerning the public perception of broken objects and their transformative repair, which redefines repair that changes an object’s appearance, function or perception. The process by which owners of broken objects were interviewed and their possessions collected for distribution to Australian and international, emerging and established artists, designers and other specialists, for response, is described. This methodology is framed as an approach of critical and participatory design that connects a community with another, mediated and traced by the researchers, for the purposes of ‘constructing publics’, a concept developed from John Dewey by Carl DiSalvo and new materialism theorist Jane Bennet.The critical design aspect corresponds to making public problems of obsolescence and the lack of options for repair. The participatory aspect concerns the collation of broken consumer objects and their public perceptions, for consideration and creative response in a public exhibition. The paper argues that the process of commissioning transformative repair processes constructs a public and informs aconcept of transient materiality, reframing human/non-­human relations and acknowledging the agency of materiality in social ecologies.


Publication title

Proceedings of 2016 AAANZ the Work of ART




1 piece- abstract


School of Creative Arts and Media


Australian National University

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Event title

AAANZ the Work of ART

Event Venue


Date of Event (Start Date)


Date of Event (End Date)


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  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Design; The creative arts; Expanding knowledge in human society

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