Begun in 1966 as the Intermediate Technology Development Group, the group now known as Practical Action is using both design and technology to help relieve impoverished communities around the world, aiming to create conditions for an acceptable means of daily living and working. Keeping with ideals of sustainability and “small is beautiful,” the projects this group addresses involves shelter, energy, transportation, food and agriculture, as well as disaster mitigation. The group works all around the world currently, but has concentrated efforts in eastern and southern Africa, south central Asia, and parts of Latin America.
In lines of architecture and building, Practical Action has made a big focus on improving the local building standards of indigenous methods and materials, particularly with earth construction standards. Brick making, rammed-earth construction, and compressed earth block have all been introduced into different programs primarily based in Africa. Earthquake resistant developments for southern Peru have been another successful program.
“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.” >>Dr. E. F. Schumacher, Founder of Practical Action
[Image provided by practicalaction.org]
CRISIS > a condition of instability or danger, as in social, economic, environmental, political, or international affairs, leading to a decisive change