It's broken. Oh great. Now what? I want to get it fixed, but who fixes things anymore? It's often hard to find a resource to repair our broken things in our all too quick to throw away society. How nice would it be to take your broken stuff to a creative group of problem solvers in your neighborhood? Not only would they fix it. They would teach you to fix things as well. The Fixers Collective in Brooklyn is made up of just such a group of problem solvers. Although they come together from varied vocations and experience, they are designers by definition; creating solutions to everyday problems. Not only are they keeping a lot of broken stuff out of landfills, they are inspiring people to learn the lost art of fixing things. More often than not, a simple set of tools and materials will do the job. Once a week on Thursday nights, the Fixers gather at Proteus Gowanus, a local Brooklyn Interdisciplinary Gallery and Reading Room, to work, socialize and collaborate. I love the spirit of their design approach conveyed in their mission statement below: "The Fixers’ Collective is a social experiment in improvisational fixing and mending. Our goal is to increase material literacy in our community by fostering an ethic of creative caring toward the objects in our lives. The Fixers’ Collective seeks to displace cultural patterns that alienate us from our things, by collectively learning the skills and patience necessary to care for them. Intentionally aligning itself with forces generated in reaction to the current economic crisis, the Fixers’ Collective promotes a counter-ethos that values functionality, simplicity, and ingenuity and that respects age, persistence and adequacy. The Collective also encourages participants to take liberties with designated forms and purposes, resulting in mended objects that may exist both as art and within a more limited, utilitarian context.