Date of Award

Spring 6-1-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Industrial Design


Industrial Design

First Advisor

Ayako Takase

Second Advisor

Markus Berger

Third Advisor

Lindsay French


This book is an index of nine exchanges with strangers whom I met online through email Listservs or by word of mouth. In these transactions, I offered to repair broken things for a trade-in-kind payment. Through the brief relationship between owner and designer, each interaction suggests that an object is almost never entirely obsolete despite its perceived obsolescence.

At the core of these trades is a grassroots protest of the landfill and a critique of our global capitalist commerce system. The apparent desire for and nature of these trades demonstrates that stories make our objects meaningful. Each interplay studies peoples’ mercurial understandings of value. Each repair celebrates the scars that become evident when an object lives a long life. Each decision is rooted in the belief that small (inter)actions cause large ripples.

The nuance of a considered repair is never invisible but always beautiful. By leaving the scars of one’s process, an object’s history is memorialized. This reparative act breathes new life into our things, adding tangible and intangible energy to something deemed broken or devoid of value. In a world desperate and anxious for adaptation, stewardship, and care, our desire to buy something new must change.



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