Demotech, design for self reliance

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Here you can find information about Demotech publications and of publications of others that are interesting to our approach.

Copyright & Open Source

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

Please refer to our work and provide us with usefull feedback and comments on our design initiatives.

Liability clause

We cannot be held accountable for injuries incurred during construction or usage of our designs and construction manuals.

Publications by Demotech

What do we try to achieve?
Some of the writings of Demotech have been published. When made accessible together, this may help to clarify the targets and the strategy of Demotech. Best is when each paper overlaps an other one as little as possible and if the total is reduced to a minimum. All should be clearly listed with a summary.

About our publications
When the need occurs for a new paper, earlier writings are critically examined and compared to recent findings. An old version of the paper should then be updated, the new one, which covers a different topic, has to realte to it. The Demotech publications together should form a unity.

Our publications

Technology for Ten Billion People

This article centres on the question of how a designer can contribute to reduction of poverty and to design for sustainable products and production. What are the guidelines?
Poverty is culture, between the ears, easy to change technically speaking. The trick is to make change attractive for all, rich as well as poor. Make this change as attractive as having Nikes or drinking Coca Cola or smoking some widely advertized brand cigarette. A matter of marketing, not of being possible. A guy who tried to do so was Mahatma Gandhi. But he failed. Someone may try to do better.

1986, Rope Pumps, a Review of Ten Years Experience

Demotech published on the history of her design for the rope pump on behalf of Agromisa, a periodical on Appropriate Technology.
In 1986 we worked in a project, first on Bandung/Java, later on the island of Ceram.
The journey to Ceram was about constructing wells. Our visit to Bandung was to see what had come out of the introduction of the rope pump in Indonesia back in 1979.
Demotech's team member Valentina Julien travelled over East Java and asked around if people knew about the "Pompa Tali". She found in small villages a hundred rope pumps, made pictures and notes on its performance, retraced when and why its was built and on who's inititative.
Of her findings we made a report, fascinating, because of the very many different ways in which the introduction of the rope pump worked out.
This well documented report on an autonomous spread of a new technology in a short period deserves to be published. Some day we hope to find time for it. However the conclusions and a summary of this report are part of the following paper.

Missing tools for U.N. Rights, Duties and Responsibilities, Article 9 part c

The document "Rights, Duties and Responsibilities for the Third Millennium" is not very realistic in its expectations of how to achieve its targets. More attention for the reality of the economy would help to support human rights.

Entrepeneurship after 9/11

"Entrepreneurship after 11/9" got shape as a challenge for the people of Syntens, an agency sponsored by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, dedicated to promoting innovation and the use of ICT for small and middle scale enterprises. For this reason Demotech meets at Syntens a genuine interest in Demotech's approach towards "Open Source".
This paper shows an alternative approach for the structuring of interest among the partners who cooperate during development, production and distribution, based on "Open Source", networking and internet.
An experimental project for development, production and distribution of a reading light for educational matter, should help to find out the best way for application of this new approach. More at List of Design Initiatives / NightReader

Open Source

Demotech is dedicated to OPEN SOURCE development and user rights on knowledge. Knowledge is only a description of facts that always have been there, that no one can own.
Demotech has the strong impression that general welfare, reduction of poverty and sustainability can be reached by research and implementation of results under conditions of OPEN SOURCE and/or COPYLEFT as described in the GNU General Public Licence

Appropriate for Women

What makes a technology appropriate?
No Technology can be called "appropriate", unless it is Appropriate for Women. How designing a rope water pump relates to women's empowerment: looking back at this report written in 1986, we regard the field experience as described here, still fully relevant. We indicated the conceptual and cultural stumbling blocks, and ways to circumvent them.

The basics of Demotech Design Initiatives

The difference between the approach of Demotech and what is regarded as "Appropriate Technology" regards:

  • A vision on what to adapt in Technology
  • How to get people behind a new technical concept
  • How to inform local people about new technical options
  • Western technology as an expression of its own culture

  • Tin Bicycle, the design contest motivation

    In 1972 Demotech took part in a Japanese design contest. It was about bicycles, anything bicycle-like for personal transport was welcome to be admitted.

    On behalf of this design contest, sustainable design criteria were formulated. Such as being applicable in an economic environment where capital would be extremely scarce and craftsmanship would be readily available. As purchasing power of potential buyers in non-industrialized countries would be low, the production of the bicycle should be highly efficient. As the need for personal transport is high the product should match at least the existing expectations.

    The Tin Bicycle should also be an example of how decentralized and sustainable production of high quality could be realized also in industrialized countries.

    Demotech and the one man behind it all...

    In the student magazine 'Eloquent' of the faculty of General Studies of the Maastrcht University an article has been published by Joel Roszmann. Joel started his collaboration with Demotech by interviewing Reinder van Tijen, founder of Demotech.

    (NL) 11/9 tussen Mahatma Gandhi en Pim Fortuyn

    O2, bestede in augustus en september aandacht aan ontwikkelingsvraagstukken in verband met de grote conferentie in Johannesburg over Armoede en Duurzaamheid. Voor Demotech valt dat samen met de start van het NightReader project in Open Source verband. Deze column licht het verband toe tussen het icoon 11/9 en de noodzaak om via andere manier van ontwerpen te werken aan Armoede en Milieu.

    What other people say...

    If you like you can add your own comment

    by bamboe - Thu Dec 03 (2009)
    Vandaag hoorde ik van Arnoud Six uitgever van "Cadeau"dat Reinder van Tijen een marktkraam van bamboe heeft ontworpen of uitgevoerd.Graag wil ik daar meer van horen.Zelf ben ik voor Slow food Limburg iets dergelijks aan het onderzoeken.Indien mogelijk het mailadres van Reinder van Tijen. Alvast dank, Martia Tersteeg

    If you like you can add your own comment

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