Susannah's Fan

Repaired by Susannah Bourke

Susannah recently attempted to take apart the broken fan as she wanted to use the internal motor for something else. In the process she discovered the fan had a burnt out resistor and went online to see if there was a fix. Susannah discovered the fan had been recalled in 1992 after causing more than 50 house fires. The company that manufactured the fan took action after two children died. Susannah located the original recall and coroner’s notices which read “under no circumstances should there be an attempt to check or modify the fans; they should be immediately destroyed.” Susannah Bourke removed the ability of the fan to cause fires by making it hand cranked. As the crank runs the fan, it has a dual function as a paper shredder. Bourke has set it up to shed the history of the object. Evidence of fires, recalls, design awards and inquests all disappear as it runs. Susannah, a talented design student, was selected to repair her own broken object.

Design Repairer: Susannah Bourke

Susannah is an interdisciplinary designer working across a diversity of mediums. Her practice is research led, looking to the edges of material culture to work with assumptions about undesirable places. These investigations take a critical approach to the ways which value, production and history are perpetuated. The results become functional objects, books, mud and occasionally performances.

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Susannah's Fan. Repaired by Susannah Bourke. Photos by Lee Grant. Image copyright Hotel Hotel.