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Whole Systems Design
Whole Systems Design
Last updated:
Vermont, US
Climate zone:
Cold Temperate

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Whole Systems Design

Project Type

Rural, Residential, Commercial, Community, Demonstration, Educational

Project Summary

Whole Systems Design, LLC is a design-build company known for pioneering work in the research and development of resilient and regenerative home and farm systems. Whole Systems Research Farm (WSRF) is our main land-use proving ground and houses the WSD studio. We have recently began development of second larger site of 175 acres where we are scaling up the systems we've began at the original site starting in 2002. Our educational opportunities, including permaculture design courses are delivered through Whole Systems Health (non-profit 501c-3), are based at WSRF and our new farm, and utilize the resources of the WSD studio.

Project Description

Whole Systems Design, LLC (WSD)

We develop human habitats - landscape and building systems - that yield perennial abundance and enduring value. These are adaptive, resilient and secure places in a future of peak oil, climate instability, and deepening economic insolvency.

We design and implement regenerative food, fuel, and shelter systems that operate on current solar energy.  These are homesteads, farms and schools fit for a challenging future of peak oil, climate change and economic transition.  Developing this solar infrastructure requires a multi-disciplinary approach integrating ecology, agriculture, architecture, and construction. 

Our process and results are scalable from residential properties to neighborhoods to regions.  Using our network of professionals we work across all project phases from visioning and goals articulation to site selection, site planning and development, construction management, project communications, and research/education.  

Whole Systems Research Farm (WSRF)

This diversfied hillside farm in the Mad River Valley houses the WSD studio/shop and hosts interns, permaculture courses, and visiting client teams. 

The farm is headquarters for our ongoing research and development into low/no input perennial farm systems development and represents one site among a growing handful of properties in our network where ecosystem agriculture projects are maintained, harvested from, and observed, recorded and shared.

The farm offers the on-the-ground, primary source material for an ever evolving design approach practiced in the studio. Through a working relationship with the ever-changing land system surrounding the studio our design practice derives a source of inspiration and learning. Interaction with this landscape is our primary teacher and reference, and makes pie-in-the-sky impractical planning approaches, stagnation and disconnection with the life-after the design process (maintenance!) unlikely. We are grateful for the opporunity to be with and learn from land.

WSD headquarters at the Whole Systems Research Farm is housed in a dual purpose design-build space that manifests the best in sustainable ecological design and construction. As in the farm landscape, life and work in a space of our own design allows the constant testing of the design approaches and materials used.?

Whole Systems Skills (WSS)

Whole Systems Skills provides training in the tools and techniques necessary to trancend systems failure by cultivating resilience at the home and community scale. Our workshops harness the innovative design practice of Whole Systems Design, LLC (WSD) and their testing grounds in central Vermont. Join us in developing new solutions to unprecedented challenges.

Whole Systems Skills are attended by hands-on individuals activating livelihood solutions in their own homes, farms, schools, and neighborhoods. Participants in these trainings are pursuing high performance home and community resource systems that will be more resilient in the face of problems posed by peak oil, climate change, environmental toxicity, and the inability of existing economic and social systems to deal with such challenges.

are organized into three workshop categories: Food; Fuel, Tools, & Sheter; and Design.  These trainings are set within actual working landscapes - integrated building and landscape systems that are designed and developed to function as evolving examples of highly resilient, low-input, solar-powered, durable human habitat experiences; not concept and information-based academic studies. Participants leave these courses equipped with the hard skills needed to use an array of emerging (and centuries-old) tools and techniques.


2014 Permaculture Design Courses Announced

Our fourth annual PDC: July 4th To July13th And August 22nd To August 31st Course looks like it will fill for a 4th straight year, so register early if you'd like to attend.

Posted over 10 years ago (1 comments)

Whole Systems Permaculture Design Course

Whole Systems is offering its first permaculture course this summer.

Posted over 13 years ago (0 comments)
Courses Taught Here!
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