Co-designing Resilience: Practical and Social Skilling through Place-based Repair

Main Article Content

Eleni Kalantidou
Tammy Brennan


The environmental and social injustices stemming from consumer culture have made evident the necessity to rediscover repair, as a means against growing precarity. This article presents such effort through a pilot program that took place in regional Queensland, aiming to re-engage at-risk youth by exposing them to practices of creative repair. The program provided opportunities for the youth participants to repair preloved items and reuse materials while collaborating with mentors, creatives, and peers. The stakeholders’ lived experience was documented via a co-design workshop, which was based on findings derived from interviews and visual data. According to its outcomes, practical and social skilling can enact self-confidence, communities of repair, and resource preservation. These, along with the program’s blueprint, were included in a toolkit to support other regional communities facing similar challenges. To conclude, the program’s learnings demonstrated repair as a place-based approach responding to a global condition, pragmatically addressing environmental and social emergencies.


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How to Cite
Kalantidou, E., & Brennan, T. (2024). Co-designing Resilience: Practical and Social Skilling through Place-based Repair. Diseña, (24), Article.5. (Original work published January 31, 2024)
Original articles
Author Biographies

Eleni Kalantidou, Griffith University

Senior lecturer at Queensland College of Art and Design, Griffith University. Ph.D. in Architecture, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the same University. Design psychologist, her research activities focus on design psychology, sustainable and social design, social impact, and social innovation. Through her research projects, she investigates alternative models of behavioral change, repair, and community transitions within conditions of climate change. She has collaborated as a researcher and consultant with a number of international, national, and local NGOs, the Queensland Government, and the Brisbane City Council. She is co-editor of Design/Repair: Place, Practice & Community (Palgrave, 2023); and co-author of ‘Community Resilience by Repair: Skilling At-risk Youth for Social Impact and Environmental Sustainability’ (with T. Brennan; in Design/Repair: Place, Practice & Community, Palgrave, 2023) and ‘Community in a Changing Climate: Shaping Urban and Regional Futures’ (with N. Hay; In The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Urban and Regional Futures, Palgrave, 2022).

Tammy Brennan, Testimony Arts

MA in Music Business Management, University of Westminster. She studied Arts at the University of Sydney and holds a Graduate Certificate in Social Care from Griffith University. She is a cultural strategist, a multidisciplinary arts practitioner, and a community-engaged changemaker. Her practice is centered on collaborative and scalable arts-led interventions, and initiatives involving researchers, artists, activists, and diverse communities. She is the Founder and Managing Director of Testimony Arts, a regional for-purpose organization developing place-based change approaches for at-risk youth. She is co-author of ‘Community Resilience by Repair: Skilling At-risk Youth for Social Impact and Environmental Sustainability’ (with E. Kalantidou; in Design/Repair: Place, Practice & Community, Palgrave, 2023).


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