Cal Poly Appropriate Technology Classes:

Since 2008, Pete Schwartz and Cal Poly students have explored the causes of poverty (UNIV-391) and innovated prototypes to address technical needs (UNIV-392) through a series of project-based classes, while reflecting on our own lives and need to change at home. The classes are lead by an interdisciplinary team of faculty and guest instructors, and are open to students across all majors. Inspired by MIT’s D-Lab, the UNIV classes give a broad overview of international development and appropriate design for sustainability. Theory is applied as students choose real-life challenges, both local and international, to address in project groups over the course of the quarter.

Current Class:

Check out what's going on this quarter!
Coming: Design Winter 2016
Development, Fall 2015

What kind of projects have we worked on in the past?

Each group has a webpage documenting the process they went through designing their project. Follow any of the links below to see what we've worked on:

Past Appropriate Technology Classes:

Design, Winter 2015

Development, Fall 2014

Appropriate Technology For The World's People: Design, Winter 2014

Appropriate Technology for the World's People: Design: Winter 2013

Appropriate Technology for the World's People: Development - F2012

Appropriate Technology for the World's People: Design - W2012

Appropriate Technology for the World's People: Develop - F2011

Appropriate Technology for the World's People: Design - W2011

Energy Classes:

The energy projects from spring, 2013:

The energy projects from spring, 2011:

What are the requirements to enroll in appropriate technology classes?

In order to enroll in either of these UNIV classes, you must have Junior standing. In addition, there are other requirements that are class specific.

UNIV 391: Completion of GE Area A, two courses from GE D1 - D5, and consent of instructor.
UNIV 392: Completion of GE Area B, or graduate standing. Recommended: UNIV 392, GE Area D2, and GE Area D3.

However, if you don't meet these requirements, but are still interested in joining the class, please send an email to

Come Visit!

Get an inside look at the appropriate technology design process and types of projects we are working on. We gladly welcome visitors! Before coming to visit, please give us a heads up by emailing Pete,