We often get questions from customers about the tools that our Amish craftsmen employ for furniture building. It’s hard for most of us to understand how beautiful pieces of custom furniture are designed and built without the use of electricity and modern technology.
What we have come to understand, however, is that even though our artisans truly live “off the grid”—i.e. without using public utility sources—they are not without technology. Our Amish craftsmen are unique in that they adapt technology to meet their needs, but they don’t get caught up in letting the technology define those needs. At the recent conference “Amish America: Plain Technology in a Cyber World,” Kevin Kelly, co-founder of Wired Magazine, agreed.
Our Amish builders convert manufacturing tools, lighting and appliances to be powered by air pressure, batteries or natural gas. Many use stripped down computers that are created specifically for their needs—with word processing, accounting and design capabilities, but no Internet ports, games or social media. Kelly points out that, “They are using minimal technology rather than maximum technology,” and that the Amish are incredibly selective in how and which devices they select for both their business and personal lives.
Amongst our 70+ Amish partners we do see some differences in the use of technology, but what remains consistent is that each community is firm in their belief structure; within these boundaries, our artisans innovate existing devices to meet their needs.
Interested in learning more? Check out Chapter 11: Lessons of Amish Hackers, in Kelly’s book, What Technology Wants or What Amish Hackers Could Teach Tech-Frenzied American Consumers
From our home to yours,