The refreshing, reworking and upcycling of commodities and textiles has been very popular for years, as these practices help to prolong the life cycle, conserve resources and avoid waste. In contrast to repair, we do no deal with broken items, but with artefacts that have become aesthetically outdated, worn out or simply boring over time. But what today seems to make sense primarily for ecological reasons or expresses protest against the "throwaway society" was a natural practice in the former scarcity societies, which today can again serve as a source of inspiration. Designers and artists play an important role here: in their own studios, in repair cafés or at workshops, they adapt handicraft techniques or develop new approaches for the creative-artistic reworking and refurbishing, which leads to a reinterpretation and upgrading of the used. In this module the students research in small groups traditional and newer procedures and practices of refreshing, reusing and upcycling. On the basis of case studies, they deal with these approaches, analyse and evaluate them and define criteria for their own project work. In addition, manifestos from the repair movement and secondary literature provide a deeper insight into the motives and contexts of these practices. The aim is to develop an independent creative or artistic project work: the spectrum of possible approaches ranges from the development of aesthetically sophisticated transformations, to masterfully invisible reworking or the creation of instructions and tutorials, to performative and/or participative approaches. The project works are realized in an artistically adequate form (model, drawing, painting, installation, video, performance, etc.). They will be presented to the public, documented and reflected upon.
Learning Objectives The students critically and creatively deal with the cultural practice of refreshing and converting goods in order to extend their useful life. They know the different historical contexts and motives of this practice, which can be observed in scarce societies as well as in the repair movement that is currently emerging. They practice methods of analysis and interpretation on the basis of historical and contemporary artefacts, in which different techniques of refreshing and conversion were applied. Within the given framework of content, they can research independently, develop various project ideas, make a well-founded selection decision and develop a creative-artistic concept. They acquire the necessary technical and design skills for the implementation. They create a documentation in which the starting point, their own research, the design process and the result are described. The students work in interdisciplinary and bilingual teams. They know how to bring their specific professional skills into the group and at the same time understand the thinking and procedures of other disciplines.
Dagmar Steffen, Guy Markowitsch, Anina Schenker, Stijn Ossevoort