Garage moderne – Modern garage
Le Garage Moderne has been one of the first solidarity-based garages in France. From 1990 to 2010 motorists have spent between 4500 and 5500 euros per year. Higher gas prices and car running costs have led people to buy car parts online to save money. These socio-economical circumstances saw the creation of the first cooperative garages where people can come and repair their own vehicles with personalized instruction available for a price including the renting of space and material, a subscription and/or lower hourly rates than in traditional garages. There are different types of cooperative garages in France:
Le Garage moderne is also an exhibition space and party venue, an associative bar and a mechanic school.
Le Garage Moderne has 27 employees (administration and mechanics), 10 volunteers and 400 members/mechanics apprentices.
Role of design
If the project initiators do not explicitly refer to design as such, the do-it-yourself spirit of their approach is highly valued by designers who want to promote user’s autonomy (see Enzo Mari’s utoprogettazione project). For David Gauntlett (Making is connecting: the social meaning of creativity, from DIY and knitting to You tube and Web 2.0, polity Press, 2011), making things create connections not only in the creative process but also among people who can relate around it. For him, DIY goes along with DIWO (Do it with others). Through the act of creation and a participative approach, individuals can find a place in society which value diversity and contribution to the common good.