Values in Repair

Houston, Lara; Jackson, Steven J.; Rosner, Daniela K.; Ahmed, Syed Ishtiaque; Young, Meg and Kang, Laewoo. 2016. 'Values in Repair'. In: Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. San Jose, United States 7 - 12 May 2016. [Conference or Workshop Item]


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Abstract or Description

This paper examines the question of “values in repair” – the distinct forms of meaning and care that may be built into human-technology interactions through individual and collective acts of repair. Our work draws on research in HCI and the social sciences and findings from ethnographic studies in four sites — two amateur “fixers’ collectives” in Brooklyn and Seattle, USA and two mobile phone repair communities in Uganda and Bangladesh — to advance two arguments. First, studies of repair account for new sites and processes of value that differ from those appearing at HCI’s better-studied moments of design and use. Second, repair may embed modes of human interaction with technology and with each other in ways that surface values as contingent and ongoing accomplishments, suggesting ongoing processes of valuation that can never be fully fixed or commoditized. These insights help HCI account for human relationships to technology built into the world through repair.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Identification Number (DOI):


Repair; maintenance; design; values; ethnography

Departments, Centres and Research Units:



May 2016Published
12 December 2015Accepted

Event Location:

San Jose, United States

Date range:

7 - 12 May 2016

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

15 Sep 2016 10:25

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:20


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