By definition, appropriate technology is designed and implemented to interact in a positive way with the surrounding natural environment and society. Therefore, holistic integration of all technologies and systems is critical for their evaluation and use.
A critical part of designing appropriate technology is the holistic integration of the specific technology with the system, environment, and society within which it will be used. This is very different from the “one size fits all” design of products that often occurs in the current society where profitability is the main design parameter. The systems we develop within Kadagaya will be designed and integrated in a holistic manner, where every process will be viewed as a part of a whole closed system. These symbiotic relationships between processes are valuable for increasing the efficiency, and reducing waste and costs. While the specifications of the technology we develop and trial on the campus will be optimized for our specific conditions, the methods and processes for selecting the most important design criteria will be widely transferable. As an easily visualized example, the holistic integration of a household is shown in the diagram below. The aquaponics system is a good example of a closed loop to describe this integration. The nutrients from the fish farm feed the plants, which are then consumed by the family. Then, the household scraps are then fed to worms which in turn are fed to the fish.
In a wider sense, we are also considering the holistic integration of the research centre in the natural environment and within the existing community. Throughout all stages of the project we will be critically analysing the progress and achievements. In addition, we are also making observations of the natural environment and our interactions with the surrounding community in order to understand our effect on our location.