Last year I spent two weeks as a designer in residence in Doha, hosted by the MFA in Design program at VCUQatar. The focus of the residency was working with the idea of a "repair culture" that first occurred to me while talking to members of the Bricolabs network during Pixelache Festival 2013, in Helsinki. Of course, repairing broken things is nothing new. But it seems to become less fashionable everyday in many parts of the world. Lots of economic as well as cultural issues contribute to that, at the same time as there are significant experiences resisting the disappearing of repair.

One specific concern I had was the way people are adopting the so-called "maker culture". Back in 2009, some of us were excited with the renewed interest in making and the promises of defying industrial capitalism - proposing alternatives to its heavy environmental impact, logistic costs and the fundamental drive to alienate people from the inner workings of the products they buy and discard. Currently, though, digital fabrication technologies seem to be increasingly turning into mere tools for new sorts of commercial entrepreneurship that can instead give new breath to the industrial age.

Qatar was a meaningful context to expand those thoughts. The country's economic development in high speed exacerbates the worst implications brought about by practices of contemporary post-industrial capitalism. Most people there are able to buy things and shortly throw them away. And being a country in which recycling is hardly viable, "away" may as well mean "somewhere in the desert". Or "somewhere abroad where we can't see".

During my days as a resident we visited craftsmen and repairmen whose individual futures are currently threatened by overproduction and throwaway behavior. We set out to visit a graveyard of discarded tires and a place where broken cars are sent. In order to engage with problematic aspects of consumerist culture, we organized a two-day repair cafe - Salleh Lab - in the university's premises. People were urged to bring over broken objects and we would try to fix or else repurpose them. Some of the paths we took can be seen in the next pages.

It was a remarkable experience to work with such a fantastic composition as VCU. Not only did I find an open-minded partner in Thomas Modeen, coordinator of the MFA program, but other members of the staff were also eager to exchange and collaborate. Professor Marco Bruno and a group of ten bright MFA students - Ozi, Malaz, Sultana, Noha, Yasmeen, Faisal, Barbara, Hawa, Hadeer and Sameer - made an amazing team to help turning ideas into concrete experiments. I hope we can work together again in the future.

I want also to thank (again) Thomas Modeen and Marco Bruno, as well as VCUQ and QMA for the invitation, welcoming attitude and infrastructure. And John Thackara for performing the old art of connecting people who have similar interests.

This book is an attempt to document those days in and around Doha. Enjoy it!