John Naughton had a smart post about planned obsolesence, which is far from a new idea, but is something that Apple seem to be very good at (reducing the support, compatability for older but perfectly workable versions of products in order to encourage people to buy the latest one).
In response to my tweeting of the link, Olivier pointed me at Fixperts, a rather lovely idea that seeks to help people, and support the understanding of design, through fixing: "People that are good at thinking and making (designers) are invited to meet and help someone they don’t know with a day-to-day problem that has been frustrating or difficult for them to overcome".
As a boy, I remember being enthralled by the horde of small boxes and jars that surrounded my Grandfather's workbench, each of which contained a multitude of strange looking metal fixings, screws, bolts, clips and the like that he had collected over time. He never threw anything away that one day might be useful in mending something. So when stuff broke, as it would sometimes, you could be sure that my Grandfather would have just the thing to fix it. It was quite a treasure trove.
In this age of consumption where replacement cycles seem to get ever shorter, my sense is that we are slowly losing the art of fixing stuff. And that's a shame. So projects such as this, that remind us of the value of restoration, renovation and repair, are welcome.