DSP006 - Ariane Krause on appropriate technology, compost toilets, and bridging practice, research and policy

For this edition we spoke to Ariane Krause, engineer, researcher, and founding member of KAnTe (Kollektiv für Angepasste Technik – in English, “Collective for Appropriate Technology”) about their work around sustainable technologies, circular economy, and appropriate technology in Germany. Focusing primarily composting, charcoal and favourite topic, compost toilets, they host workshops and produce educational materials as well as coordinating larger projects. We take a deep dive into their ongoing efforts to bring practitioners, small companies, and researchers together for collaborative research to lay the groundwork for a campaign to change the legal framework around waste processing in Germany that blocks widespread use of compost toilets.

Graphic from the 2017 debut of the interdisciplinary Scheißkongress (“shit conference”)

Along the way we hear how, as an independent grassroots organisation, KAnTe finds itself acting as a crystallisation point for different players to come together – scientists, economists, policy-makers, authorities, activists, NGOs,companies… – able to operate in a way that traditional institutions can’t. For Ariane, having one foot inside academia (she holds a 50% postdoc position) and one in a civil society organisation enables her to bring both worlds together, opening up new possibilities without getting stuck in the bubble of either world. However, navigating these different structures and cultures, all within a funding system that isn’t built to support their kind of work, can be very challenging. So it’s also key that, as a collective, KAnTe’s operating principles of solidarity create a shared culture of care and mutual support fundamental to the work they do.


  • Kante Workshops: We’re a little later than intended publishing this edition and a few of the events Ariane spoke about have already taken place. For upcoming activities take a look at www.kante.info and, better yet, subscribe to their newsletter (in German).
  • Research: Connect with Ariane on ResearchGate – as she said in the interview she’s open to supervise interested bachelor/masters students through her academic position. We think this would be AMAZING!
  • shefixtutorials on Instagram – Ariane is also part of she*fix, a feminist group increasing visibility of women* in tech tutorials.

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The DIY Science Podcast by Lucy Patterson and Joram Schwartzmann is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at diysciencepodcast.org.