oil painting » Painting techniques » Bricolage


Bricolage from the French-language verb bricoler, meaning "to tinker" or "to fiddle" is that language's equivalent of the English phrase "do-it-yourself". Bricolage is also often contrasted to engineering: building by trial and error rather than based on theory.A person who engages in bricolage is a bricoleur. A bricoleur is a person who creates things from scratch, is creative and resourceful: a person who collects information and things and then puts them together in a way that they were not originally designed to do.


In art, bricolage is a technique where works are constructed from various materials available or on hand, and is seen as a characteristic of postmodern works.These materials may be mass-produced or "junk".


In biology the biologist Francois Jacob uses the term bricolage to describe the apparently cobbled-together character of much biological structure, and views it as a consequence of the evolutionary history of the organism. (Molino 2000, p.169).

Bricolage painting      Bricolage painting-1 Bricolage painting-2


In cultural studies bricolage is used to mean the processes by which people acquire objects from across social divisions to create new cultural identities. In particular, it is a feature of subcultures such as, for example, the punk movement. Here, objects that possess one meaning (or no meaning) in the dominant culture are acquired and given a new, often subversive meaning. For example, the safety pin became a form of decoration in punk culture.

Information systems

In information systems, bricolage is used by Claudio Ciborra to describe the way in which Strategic Information Systems (SIS) can be built in order to maintain successful competitive advantage over a longer period of time than standard SIS. By valuing tinkering and allowing SIS to evolve from the bottom-up, rather than implementing it from the top-down, the firm will end up with something that is deeply rooted in the organisational culture that is specific to that firm and is much less easily imitated.

Content management

In information technology, Bricolage is an open-source content management system. http://www.bricolage.cc