Cross stitch permaculture

| Courses + Workshops, Permaculture, Permaculture Design, Urban Permaculture | 6 comments | Author :

Our current permaculture design course in Sydney is producing a heap of exciting, creative and actually doable urban design, but not as you might know it. 40 urban folks have taken up paper and software, and also cross-stitch and dioramas to help them re-imagine home.

I love watching people design. Especially people who are thinking holistically, thanks to good information. Every time we run a permaculture design course, no matter where it is, we see the results of a group of switched-on folks who have re-designed their known spaces with permaculture principles in mind…

Cross-stitch permaculture design for small urban block, with interactive fold-out roof!

While I’m sure this is not a unique phenomenon to our courses (feel free to pipe up here, permaculture teachers out there), I love seeing it, every time. It’s always as if a group of adults are finally in the supportive environment they’re been waiting for to re-design their futures, and they take the opportunity with both hands.

These images are from our students individual design projects, as part of their Permaculture Design Certificate. The brief for these designs is to re-design a space you’re familiar with. It’s an exercise we first experienced with Rosemary Morrow.

Some people choose to re-design their homes, or their bush block, or their school, or their local park. The great thing about this exercise is that, because you’re familiar with the space, you can hit the ground running with the design process, although you will still need to check some parameters.

This exercise is as much about the process as it is about the result, but still the designs that result are frequently awesome and implementable. I think because of the student’s intimacy with the spaces, and because this design process and results are for them, not for anyone else, creativity goes wild.

Knowing your sun angles can make all the difference to successful plantings and energy efficiency
Contour mapping can re-define known spaces
Designing happens in different ways for different people. Dioramas of your design are not only fun to make, they help you re-think the space in a different way to paper or screen-based design…

Explaining the design to a group of peers is a great way to get feedback and helpful suggestions in a comfortable environment
Planning the water of your site is an essential layer of the design

Overlays of plantings and the space they occupy

Hooray for people re-designing their futures to be more efficient, abundant and downright interesting.

Our upcoming Permaculture Design Certificates at Milkwood and inner-city Sydney are here. Or if you’re interested but too far away, get in touch and we might be able to recommend a permaculture teaching facility closer to you.

Many thanks to all our Sydney Winter PDC students for your dedication and efforts on these individual designs.

Big thanks also to contributing teachers Cam Wilson and David Holmgren for their knowledge and input into this course. Nick Ritar isn’t doing too badly as lead teacher either. Lastly thanks to Adam Kennedy for keeping things shipshape throughout.

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  • A very interesting way to take a new look at permaculture design. Not sure if I’d have the patience to do it myself, but there are quite a few budding crafters in those pieces. 🙂

  • I love looking at other people’s designs, and getting ideas for my own. I could read a whole book of just designs, plans, layouts, etc! Actually, that’d probably make a nice coffee table book…

  • love that cross stitch solution!

    makes me think about how that hyperbolic crochet project was a way of demonstrating very complex three dimensional forms – in a way that humans can understand.

    not just a means of representing, but extra-plus embodied like!

    • Thanks luca i’d forgotten about the hyperbolic crochet! adds fuel to the fire…

  • Howdy from Florida, USA! Would love to come to your farm for a visit, taking in all your workshops have to offer, but I’m afraid we’re a bit far. Any advice on permaculture workshops in our area or any videos you suggest in getting started. We have a small, urban farm (20 chickens, 1 Jersey cow and a garden) on 1/8th of an acre, but are looking to move (God knows where) to persue this dream of grass-based, Salatin-like agriculture. 🙂