On the Relation between Designing and Implementing in Permaculture – Part 17

Greetings all and welcome back to yet another (currently weekly) instalment here at Making Permaculture Stronger ;-).

The last post shared an example of completing only a rough concept-level design before commencing implementation. I know, I know, dangerously radical stuff, eh?

Now in the language we’ve been developing during this inquiry, this was a hybrid approach:

In the above diagram the hybrid approach is sandwiched between fabricating and generating. In the hybrid approach you start by fabricating a concept design, before generating the details in the process of implementation.

If these words are sounding downright weird, by the way, forgive me, and please see this previous post for a proper explanation.

Now I’m sure everyone knows what I mean by winging it, when you forgo any designing and do shit randomly whilst hoping for the best. As for fabricating, pretty much any book on permaculture design will give you an example of that (completing a detailed design before implementing it).

And now we have a clear example of a hybrid approach up our sleeve.

But what about generating? What does that look and feel like in practice? Is it even possible?

Besides, why should we care?

Well, for one thing, generating is the approach Christopher Alexander reckons has the best chance of creating life-filled systems. Systems highly adapted to their contexts and hence relatively mistake free. If that doesn’t sound like a bit of all right as far as permaculture is concerned, I don’t know what does.

In this post, therefore, I’ll introduce a design and development example that has and is being consciously conducted as an exercise in generating.

Introducing the Mayberry Woodend Project

The Mayberry Woodend project involves two families living in two houses on one ten-acre property in Woodend, Victoria, Australia.

Introducing the People

Here are the two families (minus one kid called Ren) with a face you may already be familiar with. From left to right we have Menno, Tom, Rhys, a familiar face, Anna, and LJ.

Introducing the Property

Here is an aerial photo of the property (taken December 2015):

Here are a few photos of the place as it was in the beginning. The larger of two existing (and notably low in water) dams…

…the smaller… 

…here I’m strolling around under big skies with my friend Adam Grubb…

Right, that’s it for now

In the next post I’ll summarise the processes of tuning into people and place.

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