Object Therapy is the latest project in Hotel Hotel’s Fix and Make program. It culminates in an exhibition of 30 broken objects that have undergone therapy – treated and ‘creatively’ repaired by a designer or artist. The aim of the project is to help us rethink our consumption patterns and re-evaluate the broken objects that surround us. It is an investigation into the culture of ‘transformative’ repair as practiced by local, interstate and international artists and designers.

In May this year, members of the public submitted broken or damaged objects for possible repair. From the 70 submissions, 30 objects were selected including furniture, ceramics, household appliances, textiles, sentimental objects and, unexpectedly, one human.

The broken objects were then handed over to a designer or artist for creative repair. The team of Object Therapy repairers are diverse in discipline and come from all around the world including Australia, Japan, Europe and South America. They include the Senior Curator at the National Gallery of Australia Franchesca Cubillo; Adelaide designers Daniel and Emma; independent curator and designer Dale Hardiman; paper engineer Benja Harney; design anthropologist Trent Jansen; Alice Springs collective Elbwrkshp; music-based artist Dylan Martorell; Japanese master craftsman Yutaka Ohtaki and Sydney designer, Henry Wilson.

The project has been developed in collaboration with Dr. Guy Keulemans of the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and Niklavs Rubenis of the Australian National University (ANU) and is underpinned by research. At the point of drop off object owners were interviewed so as to better understand their relationship with the object and their perceptions of waste and repair. They were interviewed again when reunited with the object.

Object Therapy is a practical study of repair and its possibilities – building a new body of knowledge around repair, the design process, objects and their meaning.


Object Therapy runs from 14- 30 October at the Grand stair at Hotel Hotel, Canberra.


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[Photography by Lee Grant.]


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