Repair in a broken world: Decarbonising energy infrastructure

A photograph of electrical powerlines.

Japanese Room, Level 4,
Faculty of Architecture, Building, and Planning
Glyn Davis Building


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  • Research seminar

It is no longer suspect to point out that ecological destruction is inextricably linked to the infrastructural systems that organise modern life. What this reality confers is a setting in which the maintenance of systems dependent on the constant consumption of fossil fuels for operation is the production of crisis: the surpassing planetary ‘tipping points’ and cementing the ‘baked in’ effects of resource extraction. And yet, these systems are not abstract conditions, they are the heating of homes, the cooking of food, and the watching of tv. Energy is lived and makes liveable. While the infrastructural system is ‘broken,’ in the precise sense that it is breaking the world, it also offers forms of joy. A new mode of relating to joy and energy is thus required, one that entails a suspension of affinities between ‘good lives’ and ‘high consumption.’ Repair is a productive tool here, capable bridging two domains and recuperating the good in each. In this research seminar, we explore the reality of decarbonising energy infrastructure as a function of repair, holding off the future of apocalypse and the past as extractive in order to reimagine the role each has to play in composing another present.


  • Dr Lucy Benjamin, University of Melbourne
  • Professor Hélène Frichot, University of Melbourne
  • Dr Rebecca Pearse, Australian National University
  • Dr Simon Batterbury, University of Melbourne