Teena's Washing Trolley

Repaired by Trent Jansen

The washing trolley has been in Teena’s life for 40 years or more. After losing one wheel, then another, Teena found a second use for it as a stationary hose reel. To this day, it raises her spirits when she catches a glimpse of it in the back garden. She is fond of its sculptural lines and associates the object with her mother. She reminisces about sleepy mornings as a child where she would be woken by the sound and sight of her mother moving the washing to the back line outside her bedroom window in a clothes trolley of similar form. Despite pressure from her children to clear out old objects Teena won’t. For her, objects hold personal memories and she can’t turn them over readily.

Design anthropologist and the assigned repairer, Trent Jansen also felt a nostalgic connection to the object describing it as a "beacon of the Australian dream". In the 1970s Australian families aspired to (and often did) own a backyard big enough to warrant a trolley just for transporting clothes from the laundry to the clothesline! Jansen transformed the trolley into a collection of pegs, archetypal to that period – a period before plastic and injection moulding became the norm for pegs, and before washing machines were squeezed in next to baths or dishwashers. As we relinquish the dream of quarter acre blocks, Hills Hoists and washing trolleys, the pegs are a reminder of bygone days and that Australia is a culture in flux – just like all other cultures at all times in human history.

Design Repairer: Trent Jansen

Trent is based in Thirroul, Australia. He holds a Bachelor of Design from the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales in Sydney (UNSW Art & Design), spending a portion of his degree in the Department of Art and Design at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. After a period working under Marcel Wanders in Amsterdam, Trent returned to Australia to set up a conceptual design studio in Sydney, before moving his practice to Thirroul on the New South Wales South Coast. Trent Jansen applies his conceptual method to the design of products and furniture for manufacturers including Moooi, DesignByThem and Tait Outdoor. This conceptual approach is also applied to the design of limited edition and one-off pieces for clients including the Molonglo Group and design galleries Broached Commissions and Gallery All.

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Teena's Washing Trolley. Repaired by Trent Jansen. Photos by Lee Grant. Image copyright Hotel Hotel.