Demotech - design for self reliance: More Joy Per Person


Following last week’s post on Design For The World we continue our search for social design activists this week by bringing you the wonder that is Demotech. I am sure there are many people out there who have great ideas about how to improve daily life through design, using appropriate technologies and sustainable materials. I am also sure that many of these well meaning people, myself included, for one reason or another never quite get round to implementing these ideas. Then every once in a blue moon there is that one person who actually does what they say they are going to do. In this case the one man band is a Dutchman called Reinder Van Tijen. For 30 years or more, with a skeletal network of voluntary support, he has been working to improve the daily lives of those living in small communities. He has made innovations and improvements to hundreds of designs for appropriate technologies. He works on developing new making techniques, using locally available materials, in the simplest and most economic way possible. Demotech has produced Rope Pumps using flip flops, bicycles made of tin, night lights from dead batteries, kitchens from bamboo, and currently is reinventing the wheel – no kidding! The ultimate aim of these projects is to increase self-reliance in communities, demonstrating that through innovative design, people can support themselves with what they have around them. The resulting self-empowerment hopefully brings economic gain and most importantly ‘more joy per person’. ::Demotech [by Leonora & Petz]