“Are not rules telling us what to do, they are guidelines to tell us what to think about when we are deciding what to do” - Earth Charter
When we build a house, the first thing that goes in is the foundation to help make it beautiful and strong. The foundation of permaculture being grounded in ethics firmly in place (asking ourselves should we do something rather than can we do something), next we need to start working on the framework that will hold our house together – The Design Principles.
Below are 2 of the many different versions of the Permaculture Principles written by Bill Mollison (the Father of Permaculture) and David Holmgren (the co-creator of Permaculture).
The Principles of Permaculture from Bill Mollison and Reny Mia Slay (Introduction to Permaculture) are:
1. Relative Location
2. Each Element performs many functions
3. Each Important function is supported by many elements
4. Efficient energy planning
5. Using biological resources
6. Energy cycling
7. Small scale intensive systems
8. Accelerate succession and evolution
10. Edge Effects
11. Attitudinal principles
The Twelve Principles of Permaculture from David Holmgren (Principles and Pathways above and beyond sustainability) are:
1. Observe and interact
2. Catch and store energy
3. Obtain a yield
4. Apply self-regulation and respond to feedback
5. Use and value renewable resources and services
6. Produce no waste
7. Design from pattern to details
8. Integrate rather than segregate
9. Use small and slow solutions
10. Use and value diversity
11. Use the edges and value the marginal
12. Creatively use and respond to change
Like the Ethics, the Design Principles have and are continuing to go through their own evolution as we come to learn and understand more not only of our landscapes and its needs but of ourselves. I particularly like the Earth Charter’s definition of what principles are as they are precisely that – not rules telling us to what to do, but a guide telling us what to think about when we are deciding what to do, a design and decision-making matrix. I once saw a list that Darren Doherty put together for the opening chapter of his new book ‘The Regrarians Handbook’ where he lists 14 different regenerative design and living principles that others have worked from.
As David Holmgren talks about, the design principles are no substitute for experience or potentially technical knowledge it does give you a robust framework to work from as thinking tools when you are deciding what to do.
“Knowledge must be earned, not simply learned” - Unknown.
Below is a PDF from Patrica Allison for another perspective - an enjoyable read
Join us for our 2019 annual one day a week over a 4-month Permaculture Design Course
We need to create a vision. We need to change the climate of our minds. We need to rebuild our inner landscapes. We need a positive, solution-focused way of thinking. We need to be inspired, and we have to act. We need to heal ourselves, our landscapes, our relationship with nature and our culture & communities. We need to learn how to reconnect with nature so we can mimic it in the design of our present and our future.
The Savour Soil Permaculture Design Course is committed to turning you into a better designer. The learning outcomes for this course have been built around the design framework to achieve this goal.
Cost: Early Bird: $700, Full Price: $1000
During this course you will:
• Take part in presentations, slideshows, site tours, exercises, games, facilitated group discussions and other learning strategies.
• See permaculture in action.
• Build skills with hands-on classes, practical activities and implementations.
• Learn from professionals - designers, community organisers who are living the design process, not just teaching about it. We live in the systems we create, continually receiving insights and feedback to deepen our understanding of natural and designed systems.
• Learn about and use an ecological design process, which has you create a vision, learn to comprehend the landscape and use the scale of permanence to catalogue data and develop a design. This process will give you a step by step approach to applying the design principles of permaculture. You will gain confidence to tackle your designs with this process.
• Get the attention you need. More time for questions, conversations, and personal attention from the educators, to dive deeper into a subject or discuss personal projects you are working on
• Design from day one and all through the course rather than just an end exercise.
• Connect with others and build community.• Devote four months to study and live permaculture. We like to take our time going over the course material, with plenty of time for hands-on activities, group process and design, building community and fun.
• Receive continued support after the course.
• Receive discounts on future courses and the possibility of earning credit by referring future permaculture design course students.
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