Down to Earth
Jürgen Krauss, Norbert Boenigk, Klaus-Peter Handke, Eric Schulz
The Repair Café is the place to go for repairs to small electrical devices. Visitors bring along their borken items and then get them going again with the help of professional “repairers”.
- 3 h
- In German
Norbert Boenigk is a trained technician and for several years now has been working at three Berlin repair cafés, where he repairs everything: flat screens, vacuum cleaners, laptops, fully automatic coffee machines, refrigerators, PCs, printers. He is also interested in showing consumers that we need to rethink our consumption habits: to quit our marketing and advertising mentality and move towards a functioning resource cycle. Boenigk has therefore converted a former market stall into a mobile workshop to participate in repair cafés.
Klaus-Peter Handke, a trained mechanical engineer, knows the problems involved in low-cost production – he has gained considerable expertise in the maintenance of equipment. For 25 years now, he has repaired machines and other equipment and built constructions and electrical controls according to customer requirements. Since 2014, Handke has been working for “Murks? Nein Danke!”, an association that creates meeting places by and for people who want to help shape the recycling industry, for example in so-called repair cafés. There, Handke analyses faults in electrical and mechanical equipment and then repairs it together with the visitors.
Jürgen Krauss works as a system administrator at the Institute of Chemistry at the TU Berlin. Since his childhood, he has loved to do handicrafts and, over the last few years, has been engaged as a “repairer” in various repair cafés. As a former sales manager in the IT industry, he particularly appreciates using alternative operating systems such as Linux to get older PCs or smartphones “going again”. In doing so, he often helps these devices to a second life so that users can do without resource-consuming new devices. He also develops sound objects from recycled parts and free software, which were presented at the Gallery for Sustainable Art in Berlin. Krauss was a participant in the 2018 Utopia Conference at the Leuphana University of Lüneburg and in the “Bits & Trees” Conference in Berlin. As a member of the Sustainability Council of the TU Berlin, he also advocates for sustainable development at the university.
Trained mechanic and IT electrician Eric Schulz has been involved in repair cafés since 2014: first in Berlin-Kreuzberg and now in Berlin-Mitte. The motto: “Don’t throw it away, repair it” is one he has followed since childhood. In doing so he not only wants to contribute to reducing waste and protecting the environment, he also takes pleasure in sharing successful repairs with visitors to the repair cafés.