Appropriate Technologies are decentralized, grassroots solutions that provide needed goods and services within their own community. Decentralized local solutions create jobs, grow economic exchange, and enable personal relationships with service providers, strengthening social fabric & community resiliency. Powered by engineering volunteers and staff, ATC contributes to international research and development of appropriate technologies while directly benefiting users, who help design, test and iterate technologies in the field.
Appropriate technology is designed for and by the user to meet basic needs. Engineers, creatives and technology users put their heads together to design solutions to common development problems. Designs use local skills and materials available to replicate and repair the technology. The solution is designed so that basic skills are sufficient to use and maintain the technology.
Decentralized systems avoid expensive infrastructure and energy inefficiencies associated with transporting goods & services from central locations. Modern industrialized society depends on centralized systems to provide for most of our basic needs including gas, electricity, water, sanitation, food production, job creation, etc. These systems are prone to costly breakdowns due to technology failure, climate change, and political or economic instability.
Appropriate Technology requires little capital investment by using naturally abundant, recycled and low-cost materials. Appropriate Technology favors labor-intensive over capital-intensive solutions to create jobs and grow resilient, local economies.
Appropriate Technologies rely on renewable energy like solar, water or wind power. Energy, water and waste products are reused and recycled in closed-loop systems that sustain ecosystems.
Welcome to the Appropriate Technology Design Library