Before Repairing: Pausing and Knotting Discomfort

Main Article Content

Tania Pérez-Bustos
Andrea Botero


In this work, we reflect on a speculative pedagogical exercise in which we recorded, and invited others to record, through and with knots, situations of our daily lives related to forms of containment and entrapment. Accompanying this creative and collaborative work allowed us to materialize situations of vulnerability and unease (as knots), as well as the difficulty of registering these discomforts (through knots). We are interested in presenting this exercise as an embodied design practice. We also want to highlight how the staging of vulnerability and unease―made through material practices― generates contemplative pauses that have the power to make the fragility of life visible, and thus anticipate the need for repair. We argue here that repair, as a practice linked to design, is a making that deserves to be propitiated by contemplation and catharsis, in the face of damage and fragility in capitalist contexts.

Article Details

How to Cite
Pérez-Bustos, T., & Botero, A. (2023). Before Repairing: Pausing and Knotting Discomfort. Diseña, (23), Article.1.
Original articles
Author Biographies

Tania Pérez-Bustos, Universidad Nacional de Colombia

Ph.D. in Education, Universidad Pedagó­gica Nacional de Colombia. After graduating as an Anthropologist from Universidad Nacional de Colombia and as a Social Commu­nicator from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, she obtained an MA in Development Studies from the Erasmus University Rotter­dam. She works as an associate professor at the School of Gender Studies of Universidad Nacional de Colombia. As a feminist researcher, she works on technologies and dialogues of knowled­ge, focusing her research interests on artisanal textile makings as technologies of knowledge and care. She is interested in transdis­ciplinary work, exploring methodologies that enable transfor­mative research and pedagogies. Her latest publications include ‘Blankets’ (in Proof of Stake: Technological Claims; Lenz, 2023) and ‘Haceres textiles para inventarse la vida en medio del con­flicto armado colombiano’ (with I. Gonzáles Arango, O. Jaramillo Gómez, and D. Palacio Londoño; Estudios Atacameños, Vol. 68).

Andrea Botero, Aalto University

Ph.D. in Arts and New Media, Aalto University. After graduating as a Designer at Universidad Nacional de Colombia, she obtained an MA in Strategic and Product Design at Aalto University. Designer, researcher, and associate professor at the School of Arts, Design, and Architecture at Aalto University; and adjunct professor of the Faculty of Architecture and Design at Universidad de los Andes, Colombia. She is interested in the possibilities and contradictions inherent in participating in the design of tools, services, and media that allow more relational and affective interactions between people and between them and their environments. Her latest publications include ‘Scalar Tra­jectories in Design: The Case of DIY Cloth Face Masks during the COVID-19 Pandemic’ (with J. Saad-Sulonen; Artifact: Journal of Design Practice, Vol. 9, Issue 1-2) and ‘Open Forest: Walking with Forests, Stories, Data, and Other Creatures’ (with M. Dolejšová, J. H. Jeong Choi, and C. Ampatzidou; Interactions, Vol. 29, Issue 1).


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