You are here

72 hour design course modules - 5 weekends format

Modules by weekend

Note that these modules are the same as those listed under the "10 day intensive format"

 "Modular" dates available on a weekend by weekend basis. See available dates.

Close this window

Weekend 1 – Introduction to Design

Introductions – personal (geographical), course outline, ground rules
The Parable of the chicken
Lessons from the chicken – what is a system?
- inputs and outputs – work and pollution – cycling
– polycultures – design cycle O A D I

Observation walk and debrief
Ethics of Permaculture
Characteristics of natural systems
Permaculture defined
How the course participants will be organised allocation of tasks, issues, questions

Recap – ethics and action through design
- the parable of the chicken and the introduction to systems
– monoculture to polycultures and the importance of gardening
Design cycle (O-A-D-I)
Analysis and placement, work and materials flow
Site analysis - classic homestead pattern  – zoning
Our creation story – the basic elements of life, the universe (and everything)

Water, Carbon and the basics of life
– hydrocarbons and carbohydrates - combustion and respiration
- storage and release of solar energy in Nature
Basic ecology- trophic levels – succession
Life in soil
Agriculture, horticulture and soil
Soil building in nature
Course organisation – review

Weekend 2 – Soils and water - life's essentials

Recap + Soil introduction
Nutrients in soil
Systems and Design  – elements(1) / relationships (2) /functions (3)
Design cycle – BREDIM
Design tools – Relative Permanence

Observation and Pattern – observation walk/exercise
Site analysis – sector analysis
Design – design cycle (O-A-D-I) - permaculture design defined part 1
Soil structure (1)
Soil as a growing medium
Soil  classification and soil testing
Soil structure (2)
Soil structure and edge
The nitrogen cycle in soils
Soil as a building material

Permaculture design defined part 2
Design cycle – BREDIM
Design tools – Relative Permanence
Polycultures, plant guilds, interaction matrix
Life in soils – pulsing, ethylene, ferrous/ferric switch
Soil building in zones 1 and 2 (composts, fertilisers and mulches)
Design and systems – yields, elements, functions and events
Polycultures in zones 1 and 2
Water is essential for life
– open structure – pH – dissolved salts – salting
– dissolved gasses – buffering – acid rain
Permaculture design defined part 3 – material and conceptual components
Observation exercise - Spirals
Pattern - spirals
Polycultures in Zone 3 – Rangelands, Holistic Management
Polycultures in Zone 3  - Cereal growing

Weekend 3  - Climate and Landscape

Recap – dresign directives – one function served by many elements
Design – risks and events
Water for energy and tranportation – density effects
- "living water" – Schauberger and implosion power
Systems and energy – open and closed systems
– the efficiency of natural processes - “exergy” and “lethargy”
Design objectives and directives
Limiting factors in design
Climate – world climate zones and climate patterns – weather systems

Water in the Landscape – swales, dam sites,  keyline planning
- sandpit demonstration (include demonstrations of patterns of entropy and critical state)
The water cycle and Kravcik's work
Classic landscape profile – choosing sites for construction and buildings
Uses of water – sources, sinks and stores
Swales and water harvesting
Salting in drylands
Natural wastewater treatment


Design as a system
Design – random assembly
Design methods -summary
Working at scale

Cultivating in climate zones, creating microclimate
Systems – emergence, growth and feedback loops – purpose and function
Ponds and lakes
Aquaculture 1 – systems, chinampas, ecological aquaculture
A sense of place – bioregions and social zoning

Weekend 4  Forests, aquaculture and social change

Aquaculture 2 - fish farming and aquaponics
Trees and forests – energy transactions
Branching patterns
Forest gardens
Patterns: succession and stacking
Woodland management and composting Jean Pain, Hugel mounds
Edge and how to use it – using niche
Teamwork observed

Patterns of Association

The client and the brief – how to get more done
Design project – project selection and brief -  summary of design methods
Settlement scales and sizes
Village life – patterns of a settled society
- basic needs -  providing for community needs
- questions of scale
“Wealth” and Right Livelihood
- what is wealth?  - right livelihood
- hints and tips "from the front line"
- creating linkages, beneficial relationship
Communal organisation – “patterns of governance”
- tribal societies - civilisation and the city
- complex societies - cultural evolutions - alternative nations
Useful patterns of organisation and business

Weekend 5  Design and transformation


Design presentations

“Community trading” and “community money”
Community economics and firms
Systems: Non-linearity in nature and society – “expect the unexpected”
Designing aid programmes effectively

Non-linearity in Nature and Society

Patterns of patterns – a summary of the different types of patterns in nature
- a general model?

What's next?  Diploma programmes – participants' projects - local and global networks



Close this window


Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer