Anticipatory Repair: Reframing Breakage through a Futures Agenda. Interview with Minna Ruckenstein and Sarah Pink

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Minna Ruckenstein
Sarah Pink
Melisa Duque
Blanca Callén


In this interview, we wanted to explore the notion of repair beyond the usual materialities and temporalities of the present. Therefore, we proposed a conversation between Minna Ruckenstein and Sarah Pink, in order to rethink repair in the digital realm of algorithms, AI, and robotics; as well as to speculate on future breakages, and thus anticipate the kind of repair we might need. The following pages represent our dialogical reflections about the promises of completeness that underpin technological and innovative design, which are nevertheless continually broken through everyday and organizational practice. We delve into algorithmic and robotic breakages and repairs, and their implications for how we understand the relationship between humans and machines. This leads to critical questions about how STS might contribute to a futures-focused research agenda, and specifically, how it might beneficially account for optimistic and hopeful futures. To advance these questions, Minna and Sarah draw on their extensive trajectories of empirical and conceptual research.

Interview conducted by Melisa Duque and Blanca Callén



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How to Cite
Ruckenstein, M. ., Pink, S., Duque, M., & Callén, B. (2024). Anticipatory Repair: Reframing Breakage through a Futures Agenda. Interview with Minna Ruckenstein and Sarah Pink. Diseña, (24), Interview.1.
Author Biographies

Minna Ruckenstein, University of Helsinki

Professor of Emerging Technologies in Society at the Consumer Society Research Centre at the University of Helsinki, where she directs the Datafied Life Collaboratory. Her current work focuses on human aspects of algorithmic systems, and on the emotional, social, political, and economic realms of emerging technologies. Minna connects anthropology of technology, STS, and media and communication research in her work. She is the author of The Feel of Algorithms (University of California Press, 2023); and together with S. Pink, M. Berg, and D. Lupton, a co-editor of Everyday Automation: Experiencing and Anticipating Emerging Technologies (Routledge, 2022). Currently, and until 2025, she directs a research project entitled ‘REPAIR: Valuable Breakages: Repair and Renewal of Algorithmic Systems’. Together with S. Pink, M. Duque, and R. Willim, they also published ‘Broken Data: Conceptualising Data in an Emerging World’ (Big Data & Society, Vol. 5, Issue 1).

Sarah Pink, Monash University

Professor and Director of the Emerging Technologies Research Lab at Monash University. She is globally recognized as a futures and design anthropologist, and as a methodological innovator. Her most recent works include Design Ethnography: Research, Responsibilities, and Futures (co-authored with V. Fors, D. Lanzeni, M. Duque, S. Sumartojo, and Y. Strengers; Routledge, 2022); the monograph ‘Emerging Technologies / Life at the Edge of the Future’ (Routledge, 2023); and the award-winning design anthropological documentary films Smart Homes for Seniors (2021) and Digital Energy Futures (2022). In 2023, Sarah was awarded an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellowship, to investigate the impact of future human values and practices on digital and net zero transitions.


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