Capitalist modernity, with its emphasis on innovation, growth, and progress, its economic system based on consumerism, wasteful use, and profligacy, has led to a ruthless exploitation of humans and nature. Architecture has played no small part in this, as the statistics on greenhouse gas emissions and construction and demolition waste prove. As a counterstrategy to capitalism’s creative destruction, The Great Repair advocates a focus on repair, in which nurturing, maintenance and repair become the key strategies for action. The project aims to reorient the foundations of our systems of thought and economy toward economies of repair and care, in order for the economy to be re-embedded in society, and the latter for its part in the natural environment.
The issue The Great Repair: Politics for a Society of Repair serves as a theoretical introduction to the project which is being developed by ARCH+ gGmbH in cooperation with the Akademie der Künste, Berlin, the University of Luxembourg’s Department of Geography and Spatial Planning, and the Department of Architecture at ETH Zurich. The issue is now published first in German and in English translation later in 2023. It will be followed in autumn 2023 by an exhibition and event programme at the Akademie der Künste and a second edition published as an exhibition catalogue. The project is funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation and the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media as well as by the Wüstenrot Foundation, the Federal Agency for Civic Education (bpb) and the Hans Sauer Foundation.