“Mobile Repair Cultures” is a research project at the Geneva School of Art and Design (HEAD – Genève) into repair practices, ethnography and product/interaction design. Funded by the Swiss National Research Fund, it investigates informal repair cultures by looking at mobile phones and smartphones repair places, and hypothesise that they play an important, yet unrecognized, role in ecosystems of innovation.

Using an ethnographic approach focused on Swiss unlicensed stores and hackerspaces, we want to (a) understand of the forms of repair and transformation of these technical objects, (b) investigate how these practices are constructed and deployed considering that such technologies are often closed or quite opaque, (c) grasp the role and the innovative character of these practices in the context of product or interaction design.