Due to the corona guidelines, we are currently closed. Please check our social media channels for updates.
What is a Repair Café?
The event format of the Repair Café was first written and published by the Dutch publicist Martine Postma in 2009. Starting from the beginning, the basic idea of the execution and organization of a Repair Café was to counteract the general market scheme of competition – with cooperation and mutual communication. According to Postma, this concept builds on the logic of commons. More precisely, this means that knowledge of organization, advertising, execution, just like the learned and taught, including the used brandings, creates an entity. This entity forms a “product” created, maintained, and used together, which is supposed to be documented and sustainably preserved. Since products are created be people, they are pointless, if we do not use and protect them ourselves. The commons are made up of several basic components. On the one hand, each commons is based on natural resources – these can be objects from nature, bicycles or discoveries. On the other hand, each commons is a commons of knowledge – these resources have to be preserved, documented and cared for. Lastly, each commons is viewed as a social process, which has to impose its own rules for self-organization. A structured commons is unthinkable without people acting concretely according to rules.
Over the years the interest in Repair Cafés has increased strongly because of the social development, so good networking is required. So, currently, the „Anstiftung“ coordinates the network for repair-initiatives in Germany – currently there are 1000 of them here. Others are in the start-up phase.
The Repair Café at the RUB
Repair Cafés generally see themselves as places of craft, learning and ecological education. It is important to note that these events are always non-commercial and mostly there for preserving the environment by avoiding waste. This saving of resources is an important step towards applied sustainability. The purpose does not only consist of professionally guided repair of (usually) electronic devices in a pleasant atmosphere. It is also about doing this collectively in the sense of sharing knowledge and life-long learning. Besides electronic devices we are concerned with mechanical household appliances, bicycles, (wooden) toys, clothes, computers, smartphones, and general consumer electronics. Next to repair, a Repair Café’s job is to point at the issues and dangers of a throwaway society, marked by short-lived consumption (see “planned obsolescence”), in a social environment. Additionally the visitors‘ knowledge of repair is supposed to be improved in order to strengthen circular economy. To convey this knowledge, it is essential that it is bundled – as many experts as possible have to be gathered for events in their respective fields. It is important to note that we work with unsalaried volunteers, who organize and arrange Repair Cafés in their free time, following the principle “help for self-help”. These volunteers do not accept that valuable human and natural resources are wasted. They become involved in the extension of the lifespan of consumer goods in order to encourage people to a more conscious and sustainable consumer behavior.
The AStA RuBo Repair Café was founded in 2020 and aims to repair technical and electronic devices and make them usable again. The central point is that it is a self-help workshop: Here, people repair together and are trained in resource sufficiency and repair knowledge. The AStA RuBo Repair Café also tries to increase recycling rates in order to make its contribution to a more sustainable and green society.
In corona times, we cannot organize big Repair Cafés, unfortunately. However, we offer you the opportunity of visiting us by yourself with your products that need repairing. For instance, you can come over with your mechanical household Appliances, (wooden) Toys, computers and laptops/Macbooks, smartphones and general consumer Electronics for individual consultation and help. You just have to book an appointment at the bottom of the page. For bicycle repairs there is a separate workshop.
Opening hours: Mondays and Wednesdays: 11am-1pm and 2pm-6pm
*Because of Corona: Please only visit us with a registed appointment*
For questions or material donations message us at the end of this site.
- fixed appointment booking (booking system see end of page)
- competent and friendly initial consultation by a pool of experts
- assistance and instructions for repair
- special tools
- professional disposal
- common spare parts
- data backup, data recovery and data destruction
- the offer for you to volunteer on site
What can you come by with?
- computers, laptops, Mac(books) and printers
- cell phones, smart phones and tablets
- household appliances (blenders, coffee makers, kettles, etc.)
- consumer electronics (TVs, drones, etc.)
- other small electronic devices
- bicycles (booking: www.asta-bochum.de/fahrradwerkstatt)
What can you drop off?
- donations of all kinds (tools, soldering material, computers, cables, etc.)
- electronic waste for professional disposal
- old cell phones
- old bicycles (booking: www.asta-bochum.de/fahrradwerkstatt)
Primarily, the offer is directed to students and employees* of the campus; In case of high occupancy, they will be treated preferentially. In general, however, our doors are open to all those in need and interested.
- german https://www.asta-bochum.de/repair-cafe/
We are still looking for volunteers to help in the Repair Café, write us!
Opening Hours: mondays & wednesdays 11-13h and 14-18h
***Due to Corona, please stop by only with prior appointment booking***
For those who want too check out our digital content:
Instagram for exclusive content:
YouTube for extensive content
Facebook for the oldfashioned:
The AStA RuBo Repair Café was also lucky enough to appear in the ZDF format “Zoom” in the documentary “Kampf dem Elektroschrott”. Furthermore the WDR reported about the homeschooling project, which the Repair Café started together with the Digitalfabrik Bochum, in the “Lokalzeit Ruhr”. If you missed the reports you can watch them here (in german unfortunately):
For other questions and/or to drop off in-kind donations, please use our contact form at the bottom of the webpage.
Our premises are located in the “Glaskasten” near the main university library, between STA Travel and the Spardabank. In order to get there, you leave the U35 at the station “Ruhr-Universität” and enter the campus using the U35-bridge. Then you walk straight ahead towards the library and on the right-hand side you already see the “Glaskasten”. Here’s a map:
show larger map