You’ve probably heard the stories: a garment factory collapses, killing over 800 people. Before that, a factory fire kills 112. Elsewhere, garment workers report abuse when they fail to meet impossible quotas for the day. The stories come from countries like Bangladesh and India—places that seem a world away. They come to us in sound bites and horrific images. They seem removed from our daily life. But in reality, these stories are closer than you think—maybe as close as the shirt on your back.
One of the best examples of adaptation and creative repair is jugaad. The term refers to the process of engineering or repairing through frugal means. For fans of the jugaad approach, this outside-the-box method of problem solving isn’t just for repairing a pothole or a phone—it’s an innovative business model for large or small corporations. But many argue that jugaad repair is a short term solution that’s riddled with limitations. What do you think?
Take an inside look at what Todd McLellan calls “fifty design classics,” ranging from the everyday (mechanical pencil) to the forgotten (push lawnmower). McLellan painstakingly photographs an orderly mess of internal components—each piece arranged and displayed like some form of object archeology. Add five essays on repair and disassembly from various voices in the repair world, and you have a book that finds a unique way to advocate for the importance of disassembly, investigation, and reuse.
Slim electronics might look great, but there’s a major problem with their design: battery accessibility. The growing trend in electronics is a seamless device that keeps the owner from replacing the battery. Instead, owners are forced to buy new products—when their old device is still running smoothly. If you own the product, the battery should be yours to change.
Monday morning. The iFixit teardown room is tense and silent. The scent of citrus hangs in the air. And the Orange is preparing to meet its fate—an iFixit teardown to determine its repairability. What’s behind the peel? Is there adhesive? Will it be repairable? Can we even get it open without breaking the device? Join us for our most challenging teardown yet.
Ever wonder what it’s like to perform a teardown? It goes something like this: All teardowns are fueled by coffee and music, and this one isn’t any different — the coffee is freshly brewed as the Ace of Base Pandora station is providing a steady stream of 90s hits. Brittany snaps some photos. Andrew and Miro blast the Microsoft Surface Pro with the heat gun. And Jake writes up the guides. Read more behind-the-scene tidbits at iFixit.org.
Our dedication to DIY repair extends way beyond iMacs and Nintendos. The average microwave could cost anywhere from $300-$680 to replace. And larger appliances? The average refrigerator can cost upwards of $2000 to replace. With numbers like those, fixing your own household appliances is worth a shot. We need more household appliance repair guides, and we need you to help write them!
Every year, Americans spend $78 billion on furniture. The average household replaces that furniture every 5 to 7 years; some of it inevitably finds its way into the dump. We need to rethink our frequent interactions with objects that are designed to fall apart quickly. This goes for our electronics, but it also goes for everyday items like our furniture. The advantages to investing in well-made furniture are critical when it comes to sustainability and repairability.
While the more complicated fixes on guitars—like neck issues—might require an expert eye, odds are most guitar problems can be fixed with a few tools and basic research. “These are often very simple fixes,” says musician Whalen Thompson. “All you need is a screwdriver or a wrench—whatever it takes to get these things done.” Use Internet communities like iFixit and YouTube to become a Guitar (Repair) Hero.