No stage, strobe or crazy guitarist. The Concarneau festival (Finistère), which starts on Saturday 25 June and runs until 3 July, promises to be different. Instead, solar dehydrators, cargo bikes and black soldier flies (useful composting aids and sources of protein) will be in the spotlight. Lo-Tech Lab, the organization that organizes this “ Low tech festival », hoping to take advantage of the event to take the approach out of the inner circle. Concept: Quiet innovation is not a business for show “ A bunch of crazy people »but a pivot around which the whole society can organize itself.
“ This is the first time we have organized such a big event. », explained Quentin Mateus, in charge of investigating the low-tech lab. So far, its policies “ Low technology » – i.e. processes that conserve resources and energy, vice versa “ High technology » – were mainly debated in the context of relatively confidential conversations. Opened to the general public: Nomad des Mars, the catamaran that crossed the seas for six years in search of the best system “ Low technology », will return to port on June 25. The party organized for the return of the charismatic crew will allow everyone to familiarize themselves with the process and discover other players in the movement.
- A cultivation kit for mushrooms (oyster mushroom). Low tech lab tutorial
In the program of the festival: construction workshops, conferences, visits “ small house » Developed by autonomous low-tech labs, demonstrations of boiler stoves and solar ovens… and also concerts and films, projected on large screens by calf. For consistency, the festival will only work thanks to soft technology. Trailers built for the event will be used to transport materials required for construction “ the city »which will be self-sufficient in power thanks to batteries and recycled solar panels.
“ More and more people are interested because of the energy and food crisis »
For event signs, associations, “ End of a cycle ». After documenting and testing the benefits of transparent technologies on their own scale, its members now want to promote them on a larger scale to businesses from local communities. “ We must demystify the concept and allow everyone to appropriate it, to change their view of it », thinks Quentin Mateus. The stakes are high: the method has long suffered from a counterintuitive image and distrusted citizens and public authorities. “ If we do a street survey to find out whether people want to live in a city Low technologyOr worse, take a plane Low technologyI’m not sure there will be much positive feedback »said Philippe Bihouix, engineer and author The Low-Tech Era — Towards a Technologically Sustainable Civilization (Threshold, 2014).
- A plastic pyrolyzer converts plastic waste into fuel. Low tech lab
However, things began to change: “ With epidemics, energy and food shortages, the war in Ukraine, it interests more and more people », observed co-founder of the low-tech lab Clément Chabot. Associations have never been so much in demand, especially by political and institutional players. “ An indicator for us is the number of local communities who want to stay with a process Low technology. In 2018, there were one or twoQuentin Mateus says. Today there are fifteen. » In a report published in January, the Social and Solidarity Ecology Lab, created in partnership with the town halls of Bordeaux, Lille, Lyon, Paris, Poitiers and Strasbourg, advocates the emergence of cities and metropolises. Low technologyAnd in detail, a “ Practical guide » Measures to achieve this.
- Clement Chabot for more than a year and a half” small house » Filled with low technology: solar water heater, mass oven, windowed pantry… © Romain Salas / Reporter
“ We are starting to see institutional recognition »
Government institutions have also started looking into the matter, which is now seen as credible. In March, the Environment and Energy Management Agency (Edem) devoted a fifty-page study to this. He believes that quiet technology is a “ Interesting tool for environmental change »and calls on government authorities to remove many of the cultural, regulatory and financial barriers that prevent their large-scale deployment. “ We are beginning to see institutional recognition of interests Low technologyand how they can contribute to the resilience of regions and the development of local employment »Philippe Bihawix (Deputy Director General of Arep) analyzes.
Although the concept has not yet fully entered everyday language, the engineer sees an encouraging signal in this expression of interest. “ Humans are more imitators than innovators. There are always people who pick things up faster than others. When it works for one, others imitate it. » This may contribute to this week of quiet tech festivities. One day, perhaps, soft technology will no longer be limited “ the city » A festival, but all the cities of France will prove themselves.
• Every day during the week of June 27, Reporter Tell you about the innovations and ideas of the Lo-Tech Festival.