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David Braden
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Golden, CO, United States
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Chapter 15

Posted by David Braden over 8 years ago

We are all engaged in a design project . . . managing the interactions that make up our lives . . . The design science of permaculture offers effective tools for that project.

For some time now we have been talking to people about offering a Permaculture Design Course through the Applewood Permaculture Institute. I don't feel like I can teach the course because I don't have any certifications, I respect the importance of maintaining the integrity of the certification process, and, I am much more interested in the experimental work we are doing. I would not want to offer a course unless it was able to deliver the kind of transformational experience that comes from this better way of understanding system process.


We are talking to our new friend, Jessica True, who does have her PDC and a teaching certificate. Jessica has worked in instructional design and curriculum development for corporate training. Jessica and I are talking about a cycling series of courses, appropriate to the seasons, that encompass the sections of the PDC, that would be available to students as they have the time and resources. In that way we could open the PDC to a broader audience and we could seek out the most knowledgeable person we can find to teach each section. As a lawyer, who has spent a great deal of time with alternative currency advocates, and as the one who conceived of community sufficiency technologies, I am the most knowledgeable person I know to teach invisible structures. I am not the most knowledgeable person I know to teach rain water harvesting or plant guilds, for example.


The other thing we have discussed is the “design project” that has become a requirement of PDCs. It occurred to me that I have been working on a design project since 1980 when my wife and I built our house on this acre that hosts the Applewood Permaculture Institute. Even more accurately, we are all engaged in a design project . . . managing the interactions that make up our lives . . . and the design science of permaculture offers effective tools for that project. I am thinking that the design project for each of our students could be based on the set of interactions in which they find themselves. It could be a project in which each student consciously sets out to develop new interactions with the living things around them in a process designed to lead toward the kind of world they want to live in. If we could then engage the permaculture community in assisting those students in developing their design skills, by practitioners teaching those courses in which they are most knowledgeable, it would be transformative for our culture and our ecosystem, as well as for the student.

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