Article on Generative Transformation in Permaculture Design Magazine (e31)

That’s right, the February 2020 issue of Permaculture Design Magazine features an article by my good self on the topic of generative transformation (and the below chart). Adapted from a series of past posts here on Making Permaculture Stronger, editor Rhonda Baird invited a contribution and this topic felt like a natural fit with the episode’s focus on emergent design. I can’t wait to get my hands on the whole issue and if you feel the same way go order a copy here or subscribe and support their great service to the permaculture community.

As a prelude to this project picking itself back up again after an unexpectedly long summer hibernation (on the surface at least!), I share both a PDF of the article as it appeared in the mag and I’ve recorded a podcast episode where I read the article out for your listening pleasure.

I also include Rhonda Baird’s excellent opening comments from the issue’s editorial:

Emergent design was one of the leading takeaways for me from our issue exploring Design Process (Permaculture Design #108). Most teachers, according to my understanding, approach the design process as a static, linear one which requires the designer to see and know all things from original principles—implementing them with flawless perfection. The resulting imprint of our imagination onto reality might make Plato proud, but it probably doesn’t happen very often in reality.

Recognizing and valuing the fluid, responsive, and messy reality of design and implementation is crucially important. Perhaps it is so important because it requires us to be humble and question our assumptions. But recognizing this messy reality also helps students and clients proceed by accepting there will be valuable mo- ments for feedback and by making adjustments along the way. Adaptability and imaginative response are wonderful foundations for survival and sustainability.

More to the point, emergent design allows us to find the growing edge of complex systems and respond ap- propriately. We talk about the concept of “the edge is where the action is.” Permaculturists know the capacity to identify and engage that edge in our rapidly changing world is essential to our success in pushing systems in a positive, life-affirming direction.

The more experience we have in design and implementation, the more intuitive our processes become so that design takes less time and realizes more success. How can we work together to ensure others recognize the value of this work?

Rhonda Baird – opening words of editorial for issue #115 of the Permaculture Design Magazine

Enjoy and catch you very soon with much sharing about the emerging intentions this project will be generatively transforming itself toward in the coming months :-).

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