Cet ingénieur français a vécu 4 mois sur un radeau de bambou en autonomie totale

La maitrise des technologies « low-tech » peut générer de belles aventures. À contre-courant des technologies énergivores, polluantes et onéreuses, l’ingénieur Corentin de Chatelperron essaye de populariser ces low-tech (en opposition aux high-tech) dans l’espoir de donner à chacun la possibilité de reprendre le contrôle sur sa propre vie. Nous sommes allés à sa rencontre.


Depuis bientôt trois ans, Corentin de Chatelperron fait le tour du monde à la recherche des low-tech les plus ingénieuses et utiles. Son objectif ? Rendre ces technologies « alternatives » accessibles à tous afin d’améliorer les conditions de vie de celles et ceux qui n’ont pas accès à l’eau, la nourriture ou l’énergie, mais aussi montrer qu’il est possible de se passer du superflu et de revenir à des dispositifs plus sobres« Il y a beaucoup de moyens mis en œuvre pour l’innovation high-tech, mais très peu pour l’innovation low-tech, alors que le potentiel et les besoins sont gigantesques ! », explique le Breton de 35 ans qui espère qu’il soit encore possible d’inverser la tendance.


Crédit image : lowtechlab.org

Des technologies utiles, accessibles et durables

Souvent issues du recyclage ou de matériaux disponibles dans la nature, les « low-tech » partagent également la caractéristique d’être facilement réparables, y compris par des personnes non spécialisées. On limite ainsi le recours aux ressources rares et/ou polluantes, comme le pétrole ou les certains métaux. L’individu qui utilise l’outil gagne non seulement en contrôle, mais également en autonomie, puisqu’il n’est plus dépendant de tiers dans la maîtrise des objets qu’il utilise. Corentin de Chatelperron y voit surtout un tremplin pour améliorer concrètement la vie des individus, mais aussi « créer des économies locales et répondre à des problèmes comme la déforestation, la pollution, la malnutrition, etc. »


Il y a 5 ans, Corentin de Chatelperron lance le Low-tech lab, « pour trouver partout dans le monde des innovations low-tech pour le documenter et le diffuser et permettre à chacun de les répliquer ». En 2016, il part faire le tour du monde avec son équipage à bord du « voilier laboratoire » Nomade des Mers« dans le but de trouver les meilleures innovations low-tech et les diffuser en open source au plus grand nombre ». « Ceux qui vivent sous contrainte font preuve d’une ingéniosité remarquable, et font naître de nombreuses innovations utiles », observe l’ingénieur, qui a travaillé plusieurs années au Bangladesh. Avec son équipe, il a fait escale dans 11 pays et a documenté plus de 40 low-tech « locaux ». Entre temps, il a passé quatre mois installé sur une plateforme flottante en bambou, au large d’une île déserte en Thaïlande. Là-bas, il a vécu en autonomie pendant 4 mois avec les 30 meilleures low-tech découvertes auparavant.


Crédit image : lowtechlab.org

Vivre mieux avec moins


Si la diffusion des low-tech s’impose dans de nombreux pays traversés par Corentin de Chatelperron pour améliorer le quotidien des individus et développer les économies locales, ces technologies peuvent également permettre de bousculer les idées en France. Tout d’abord, parce « qu’il y a pleins de low-tech qui peuvent être appliqués en France, comme les lombricompost »,mais aussi parce que « la philosophie du low-tech rejoint celle du zéro-déchets ou des mouvements minimalistes, selon lesquels on peut faire mieux avec moins ». Si bien que le low-tech, dont de nombreux mouvements de la transition se sont d’ailleurs saisis, est également un appel à repenser la gestion des ressources et à limiter les pollutions à toutes les échelles.


Actuellement en Thaïlande, le Nomade des mers et son équipage s’apprêtent à lever l’ancre pour le canal de Panama, voyage pendant lequel une 15 d’innovations sera testées et documentées sur le Low Tech Lab.  « Internet se développe tellement vite que l’on peut diffuser des idées low-tech autour du monde gratuitement et une recherche collaborative est possible », s’enthousiasme l’ingénieur. Certains y verront d’ailleurs un paradoxe. Mais pour Corentin de Chatelperron, il faut « compter sur la complémentarité high-tech/low tech, ce qui implique notamment de cesser les recherches inutiles, mais aussi de trouver un équilibre entre les deux démarches ».

Afin de pouvoir poursuivre l’aventure et financer la médiatisation de ces projets, une campagne de financement participatif est en cours sur Ulule.

Crédit image : lowtechlab.org



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