May 26, 2023 Read 3 min.

Harold's supports the German Pavilion at the Biennale 2023

The starting point for the extraordinary decision to support the German Pavilion at the Biennale 2023 was the publication of the Archplus issue in January this year with the title "The Great Repair". Archplus is an architecture and urban planning magazine, but it always deals with social and political issues. Consequently, the topic of sustainability has also been a recurring focus for several years. In the aforementioned issue from January of this year, "The Great Repair", Archplus presents a comprehensive concept on sustainability for the first time. The starting point is the so-called "Earth Overshoot Day". It determines the point in time within a year when the resources that the earth provides year after year are used up. After that, humanity lives at the expense of the future. Currently, that date falls on July 28! The articles presented in the magazine do not seek salvation in the development of new technologies alone, but focus on the concept of sufficiency - but not exclusively. In order to implement the concept, a change in values is needed, one that values the measurement of what exists over what is new. The process of this change is analyzed in economic and especially social terms, but also in accounting terms. The overvaluing of the new can be easily seen in the fact that the depreciation of automobiles is highest in the first year. Reversing the Earth Overshoot Day movement therefore requires a way of thinking that focuses on what already exists and how to deal with it. In this respect, maintenance, repair and restoration move to the center of the evaluation - and consequently also a cyclical process in terms of reparability, change as well as innovation through repair. In extension, this flows into the design of new productions, with the systematic goal of extending life. Archplus (together with Summacumfemmer and Büro Juliane Greb) was subsequently commissioned to curate the German Pavilion at the 2023 Biennale. The concept will be presented under the title OPEN FOR MAINTENANCE - OPEN DUE TO RECONSTRUCTIONat the Biennale.



It is a way of working that we have introduced at Harold's since 2011. At that time, we decided to accept and make every repair, regardless of any statutory warranty. As part of that process, we examined every repair, documented key findings and incorporated them into the reproduction of inventory products as well as the design of new products. Moving forward, we have become more concerned with repairability - including by the customer themselves - in recent years. A lot of this is about prognosis, what can happen through wear and tear, use, but also through non-sustainable production. The ultimate goal is to redeem our brand concept and, above all, to develop it further:

 Companions for a Lifetime

Bags are certainly the smallest side issue among the big issues. But "The Great Repair" issue and this year's theme in the German Pavilion show what surprising parallels there are to the much larger and more important area of the built environment. It confirms our journey so far, that our understanding and approach since 2011 has made a small contribution to reversing Earth Overshoot Day. But it also shows us that we cannot rest on this status. The publications so far motivate us and give us new ideas on how to develop this path further. We hope that the exhibition will be a great engine for us and for the world.

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