Wikipedia defines Appropriate Technology as follows:
Appropriate technology (AT) is technology that is designed with special consideration to the environmental, ethical, cultural, social and economical aspects of the community it is intended for. With these goals in mind, AT typically requires fewer resources, is easier to maintain, has a lower overall cost and less of an impact on the environment.
Proponents use the term to describe technologies which they consider to be suitable for use in developing nations or underdeveloped rural areas of industrialized nations, which they feel cannot operate and maintain high technology. Appropriate Technology usually prefers labor-intensive solutions over capital-intensive ones, although labor-saving devices are also used where this does not mean high capital or maintenance cost.
In practice, it is often something that might be described as using the simplest level of technology that can effectively achieve the intended purpose in a particular location. However, the terminology is not very precise.
Come visit our Appropriate Technology Design group to discuss and develop Appropriate Technology Solutions. Discussion of what is appropriate technology, where it can be used, and how to build it is the focus of this group.