What is Permaculture Design?

An approach to meeting human needs in ways that care for people, place and planet.

A design practice grounded in ethics and principles which involves learning from the living world and indigenous wisdoms. Permaculture Design uses creative processes and techniques to grow healthy, adaptable and resilient communities that support mutual flourishing for all beings. 

Permaculture designers use a practical toolkit, which they employ alongside whole-systems thinking and awareness of patterns in the living world, to design landscapes, businesses, communities, gardens and many other things. 

Permaculture design offers a set of frameworks and decision-making processes which enable appreciation, deep observation, intention setting, incremental action and reflection. Each design responds appropriately to the context in which it is created, in that way it is site-specific.

The Principles are a demonstration of how the living world lives and ground our actions in ways of doing and being that are earth-conscious and foster interdependent relationships, giving rise to expression of the ethics in our designs in a holistic way.

The Ethics, Earth-care, People-care and Fair Share are the foundational pillars which guide our action towards caring for the earth, caring for people, growing reciprocity and limiting consumption in order to meet our human needs equitably, acknowledging the wealth and abundance available to us on the planet, which is our home.

Permaculture Design practice

To read more about Sally’s Permaculture Design practice, see her portfolio of designs completed as part of her Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design, accredited by the Permaculture Association UK.

Learn more

The Permaculture Association host a Knowledgebase, a resource which outlines the origins of permaculture, as well as useful info about the ethics, principles, and design tools. You can also find out more about permaculture in action at 52 Climate Actions.