Low-tech: what is it?

Low tech what is it

Low-tech are technologies designed to be useful, sustainable and accessible to everyone. They obey several definitions which we will try to cover.

Useful. Sustainable. Accessible. Such must be the low-tech according to the Low-tech Lab. This set of technologies, services and know-how meet essential needs, such asenergy, food, access to water, habitat or health, although this aspect does not meet with unanimity within the community, some refusing that the low-techs are reduced to “the essential “.

On the other hand, a consensus seems to be established on the quality of these technologies : robust and repairable. A low-tech that should be thrown away if it breaks … isn’t. Therefore, the low-tech are included in the fight againstplanned obsolescence.

In addition, the cost and technical complexity of low-tech are low enough to be accessible to all. Designed to have the most positive ecological and social impact possible, from production to the end of life, low-techs are also the standard of a current of thought or of a movement.

Often, low-tech designers seek to invent or reinvent know-how so that everyone can manufacture the objects they need, in a way. energy efficient, and respectful of the environment. In a sense, this philosophy approaches the Do It Yourself.

A presentation of the concept of low-tech as well as several of them by the Low-tech Lab. © Low-tech Lab, YouTube

Technological emancipation

As Christelle Gilabert raises for Usbek & Rica, ” low-tech is often considered, wrongly, as a retrograde movement implying a form of regression and the fact of cutting oneself off from any form of comfort When the followers of this movement want to question our relationship to technologies, our uses, their place in our society as well as our dependence on objects whose conception escapes us.

In this, the low-tech are opposed to high-tech because they want to simplify manufacturing processes and try to do better with less complexity, less materials. However, for the majority of supporters of low-tech, there is no question of pushing back high-tech. But to develop an alternative, to offer the possibility of choosing. The Low-tech Lab also provides many tutorials to design its own technologies.

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