October 5, 2018 - RISD Museum - Repair and Design Futures
October 5, 2018

RISD Museum

Left to right: Japanese, Noragi (workcoat), mid-1800s. Elizabeth T. and Dorothy N. Casey Fund. dosa, Travel Coat, 2014. Edgar J. Lownes Fund. B. Earley, Lace Blouse (Top 100 Recycled Shirts Project), 2008. Helen M. Danforth Acquisition Fund. G-Star RAW, Jeans, ca. 2005. Proposed: Gift of Anne Marika Verploegh Chassé. Ghanaian, Fugu (man’s robe), mid-1900s. Museum purchase: Museum Works of Art Fund, by exchange.

Repair and Design Futures
An exhibition, multidisciplinary programming initiative, and journal issue
October 5, 2018

RISD Museum
20 North Main Street
Providence, Rhode Island
United States

T +1 401 454 6500

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Repair, a humble act born of necessity, expresses resistance to the unmaking of our world and the environment. This exhibition investigates mending as material intervention, metaphor, and call to action. Spanning the globe and more than three centuries, objects in the exhibition reveal darns, patches, and stabilized areas that act as springboards to considering socially engaged design thinking today. Through an informal, expansive format of related exhibitions, we hope to encourage engagement across a broad spectrum of perspectives. Works on display include costume and textile objects from the collections of the RISD Museum and Brown University’s Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology.

Select programs:

Alison J. Clarke, "Victor Papanek: Design, Ecology, and Global Activism"
October 4, 6pm

Alison J. Clarke, “Design for the Real World Today: A Discussion of Victor Papanek’s Design Manifesto and its Legacy.”
October 5, 1:30pm

WARP Collective, “Repair: Work as a Re-visioning Process”
October 6 & 7, 1–4pm

Becci Davis, "A Counter-Monument F.U.B.U."
October 11, 17 & 18, 10am–5pm

Paola Antonelli on Broken Nature
October 17, 6:15pm

SORRY, A Live Listening Party
October 18, 7–8pm

International Repair Day with Fashion Revolution
October 20, 11am–4pm

Amy Lee Sanford, Break Pot:Benefit St. performance
November 8, 1:30pm

For complete program descriptions, visit risdmuseum.org.

Manual Issue 11: Repair

Can we find in the detail, in the stitch and the weave, an ecology of care, a model for activating new forms of life, ones that might reject or reimagine an economic and cultural order based on novelty, disposability, and the monadic self? Can they help us learn to live together in a broken world?
—Brian Goldberg and Kate Irvin, from the preface to issue 11

Introduction: Barry Schwabsky on painting and repair

From the Files: Linda Catano on the conservation of a 700-year-old Gwaneum painting; Anna Rose Keefe on loss, grief, and a hairwork collar

Double Takes: Thomas Denenberg and Markus Berger describe nostalgia and reuse in a spinning-wheel chair; Lisa Z. Morgan and Liliane Wong parse damage and darns to Kate Kittredge’s stockings; Steven Lubar and Sharma Shields consider the life of a stapled ceramic platter

Artists on Art: Visible Vehicle Repairs by Daniel Eatock; Ramiro Gomez’s On Tenth Avenue; Olivia Laing on Larry Krone’s Then and Now

Portfolio: A gathering of patches, mends, & darns

Object Lessons: Kate Irvin explores repair in an unworn travel coat; Maureen C. O’Brien presents a cautionary tale about reviving Andromache; Brian Goldberg offers four portraits in two boots; Gina Borromeo documents the restoration—and de-restoration—of Hermes; Roberto Lugo offers a note on mattering

How To: Decide whether to repair a repair, with Jessica Urick

Subscribe to Manual now and get an extra issue free. Visit risdmuseum.org.


Repair and Design Futures is made possible by a generous grant from the Coby Foundation and programming support from the RISD Museum Associates. It is also made possible by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in support of Assemblages, a Brown-RISD collaboration focused on object-based teaching and research. The RISD Museum is supported by a grant from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, through an appropriation by the Rhode Island General Assembly and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and with the generous partnership of the Rhode Island School of Design, its Board of Trustees, and the RISD Museum Board of Governors. Additional generous support for this issue of Manual is provided by the RISD Museum Associates and Sotheby’s.

About the RISD Museum
The RISD Museum was founded on the belief that art, artists, and the institutions that support them play pivotal roles in promoting broad civic engagement and creating more open societies.

Established in 1877 as part of a vibrant creative community, the RISD Museum stewards works of art representing cultures from ancient times to the present from around the globe. Interpreting our collection with the focus on the maker, we deeply engage with art and artists to present ideas and perspectives that can be inspiring and complex. We aspire to create an inclusive environment that builds meaningful relationships across communities. We believe art is for everyone.

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