Midway review

What’s going well?

  • Trying out different design tools.
  • Inspiration to find out more about nature.
  • Flexibility of the design process resulting in creative approaches and results.
  • Support from permaculture tutors.
  • The integration of seasonal cycles and their impulses into the design.

What’s challenging?

  • Reviewing and clarifying the design process and tools was a long process.
  • Using a design frameworks and tools originating in the business world.
  • Working a lot on the computer.
  • Pulling it all together into a design.
  • Applying a long list of principles to the design.
  • Being explicit about design decisions – narrating the story.
  • Implementing all aspects of the design.
  • Really engaging with all the observations, analysis and inspirations.

Vision for the diploma

  • To become skilled and quicker in designing.
  • To connect more with nature.
  • Embed the knowledge in my life and work – be the change.

Next steps

  • Put this design on the website.
  • Pull together the other designs from last year and put them online.
  • Create overviews and implementation plan for this coming year’s projects.
  • Review the ongoing projects.



The next five projects

Where am I now…

I feel I now have a greater understanding of the design process and a lot of experience in project management.
The ongoing projects have taken a back seat to the design and implementation of the first five.
I am still aiming to complete the diploma fairly swiftly. The original intention of finishing in two years seems too fast.
I am finding it tough sometimes working in the community and in groups, however I am still inspired and motivated to explore best practice.
The ‘year one’ projects have at least two year implementation plans and will continue to need input.

Aims for the second year

Keep reviewing the existing aims and outcomes of the first year projects, in particular the Diploma Pathway.
Extend the finish line to the new year with accreditation soon after.
Really engage with the ongoing projects as they are the foundation for embedding permaculture in my life and work.
Be more efficient with the design process.
Have a couple of small scale designs, real life and with short implementations or possibly not implemented.

The second year projects: design rationale

The Diploma Pathway remains the key guiding vision and the second five projects are linked with and will be evaluated by my aims for the diploma as a whole. The aim is to realise the vision for the diploma with smaller scale projects. I will link the second five projects with the first five in order to strengthen the beneficial connections between all projects and build on and develop the work already done.

Ongoing projects

I aim to make small designs for the ongoing projects to make sure they are integrated into the diploma work.

Transition pathway

Transition embeds permaculture design in community life. Having been involved in the first year of Transition Town Lewes, I aim to reconnect with the Transition Movement. That first experience was inspiring and led me to do a permaculture design course. I gained great experience in working in groups and social change. The awareness of peak oil and climate change was overwhelming, but the vision and practical solutions of Transition and permaculture were inspiring. Recently I had been to the Reconomy event in London and had organised a Transition Training event, Effective Groups, at Hoathly Hill, which several Forest Row transitioners attended. I also want to connect with the Schumacher College. The aim is to reconnect with Transition with small manageable initiatives. This has the potential to connect with my community life pathway, the teaching pathway, the right livelihood pathway and the future pathway.

Herb garden pathway

The herb garden pathway moves on from the garden pathway to working on a larger scale. The aim is to design a small-scale herb garden based on the Herb Garden space at Hoathly Hill. This is a real-life design, in that I will survey a piece of land, visit herb gardens for inspiration, make studies of herbs (also part of the garden pathway) and design for that specific piece of land. The design will not be implemented because this particular piece of land is already being worked.

The community initiative pathway

This pathway is a continuation of the community life pathway. Again it is real-life in that I am working with the community to develop initiative proposals, however they may not be implemented. There are two possible avenues to explore at the moment: a project proposal for a community building and a project proposal for community land.

Right livelihood pathway

This project connects with the teaching and learning pathway in developing a design for becoming a permaculture teacher as well as developing and integrating my other skills into a right livelihood design. The implementation will be designed and realised over several years.

Future pathway

This design will focus on the short-term closing of the diploma, ie the accreditation, the designer’s CV, celebration and dissemination, and a design for maintaining permaculture learning in my life.