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FIX-IT: Proposal for the EME3 Architecture Festival 2012

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In our high-tech society it has become commonplace to throw things away when they do not work. The skill of repairing things, fixing them, is getting lost. A new chair, a new toaster, a new table, they have become so cheap through mass production, that we have stopped asking
ourselves whether the new item is beautiful and
of good quality.

Even when things do work, we throw them away. Stimulated by advertisement, we feel we need to change our apartment around every year, to reflect the latest trends. We have
stopped asking ourselves whether we actually want our apartment changed around, whether we like the latest trend. It is what we do. It is what we have become.

A positive aspect of the recent economic crisis has been the fact that once again people have started to look at the items other people throw away, and when something breaks, we think twice before throwing it away. We just cannot afford to have everything new anymore. And we are starting to realize that by taking old broken things, we can make new, special things, not only by fixing them up, but by adding our own
special touch to them. And in the process we become owners of our own surroundings again.

But what if we have no tools? What if we have no space to do it? What if we don’t exactly know how to execute that great idea we had? Someone else may know. Someone else may
help us. And we may be able to help them in return. And by doing so, we all feel better. We make things that are no longer broken. Things that are better. Things that are special.



FIX-IT is a small open-air workshop, where neighbours can come and repair their broken things, or build something new from stuff that someone else has thrown away.

It is run by an unemployed voluntary worker from the neighbourhood, who gets rewarded for his time and effort with the small fee we pay for using a workplace. In order to use a workplace we have to hand in our ID, as a security
and pay a few euros for a morning or afternoon. The attendant then hands us a key with which we unlock a workplace.

Each workplace, when unlocked, folds out as a workbench. In the storage space that now becomes accessible, we find a set of simple tools, such as hammers, screw drivers,
saw, spanner etc. We can get power tools from the voluntary attendant, which plug into the wall socket at our workspace. When we finish, we fold up our workbench again and lock it.

The FIX-IT is built of prefab steel profiles, marine plywood and finished with recycled materials, for a budget of less than € 1800. The tools will be sponsored by tool manufacturers and / or donated. Volunteers will organize workshops to demonstrate specific techniques and the users can upload photos of their results to a website.

FIX-IT was our proposal for a call for projects for the voids in the city of Barcelona. Although it was not executed at the time, we have received much acclaim and are currently seeking sponsors to help us execute it.

View of unit with closed tables

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Section A

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Plan with open tables

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