Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Spring 2011

Abstract

This guide is written for a group of people who possess a unique skill-set: engineering students. These people are well-qualified to help solve some of the world’s most pressing issues, particularly through the development of technology. The idea of appropriate technology is to develop products that are perfectly tailored to a specific context in order to enable a positive change in a user’s life. This can be as difficult a problem as the hardest technical task. It is impossible to evaluate these products in the abstract, without accounting for their roles in larger systems of interaction, behavior, and culture. Creating a product that fits into these more nebulous systems is much harder than simply making a part fit into another part correctly – it requires developing a deep understanding of a shifting, human context, filled with all of the good and bad that make us who we are.

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Engineering Commons

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