Dreaming Zero-Waste: The art of fixing electronics in Europe and Africa | The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

On Friday 15 April, Research Fellow Dr Daniel Ploeger will lead a public workshop at the Victoria and Albert Museum combining digital art, hands-on electronics repair, and a live-video exchange with an active electronics repair community in Kenya. 

The event is part of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Connected Communities Festival 2016 and Digital Futures, a monthly meetup and open platform for displaying and discussing of work by researchers, artists, designers, companies and other professionals working with art, technology, design, science and beyond. 

Phones, tablets, and other consumer technologies are discarded at an ever-increasing pace. In 2016, 45 million metric tons of e-waste will be generated worldwide, and in the coming years this amount is expected to grow at a rate of 5-10% per year, making it one of the fastest growing global waste streams. This troubling development is spurred on by rapid product obsolescence, the increasing difficulty in replacing broken parts, and a general lack of familiarity with repair possibilities.

'Dreaming Zero-Waste' is a half-day workshop event encouraging participants to rethink their everyday interactions with technology and electronic waste, and to start fixing their own electronic devices instead of throwing them away. 

Free and open to the public, the event offers a presentation of digital artworks created around the theme of technology, longevity and waste, and there will be an opportunity to interact via video live-stream with an active e-waste repair community in Nairobi, Kenya. These elements will be the setting for a repair workshop where visitors will get hands-on guidance in basic electronics repair skills provided by London-based social enterprise The Restart Project.

As part of the event, artist Dani Ploeger will be traveling to Nairobi to meet local repairers. By facilitating a dialogue with this community, the event seeks to propose the inventive approaches to electronics repair that are widespread in Kenya as an inspiring example to counter the technology throw-away culture that is prevalent in the UK and other European countries.

Visitors are invited to:

Bring their own broken electronic devices to repair

Learn tricks of the trade from inventive repair experts in Nairobi and London

Discover exciting artwork that rethinks everyday technology, waste and repair

Engage in discussion around electronic waste and the lifespan of everyday technologies


‘Dreaming Zero Waste’ is organized by Dani Ploeger and Central, in collaboration with the Victoria and Albert Museum Digital Futures programme, with the participation of The Restart Project. The event was awarded a grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and forms part of the AHRC Connected Communities Festival programme.

Tickets are free but must be reserved in advance.