Introduction Permaculture Design Process

Section 0 – Introduction to the Permaculture Design Process


What is a Design Process?

The Permaculture Design Process as outlined in Permaculture: A Designer’s Manual is what we will be learning to follow. The Permaculture Design Process helps the Permaculutist to have a set of guidelines and steps to assure that all the aspects of the Permaculture Design Science are captured and then represented in the Permaculture Design Master Plan.

Introduction Permaculture Design Process

Phase One of the Permaculture Design Process

Feasibility Study

In Permaculture the Feasibility Study is used to give and an objective view to the many different available options that we have for the development of our properties. The Feasibility Study can include such items as: findings, analysis, and conclusions. Their are many different exercises that can be preformed that help to give clarity to our research, these may include visioning and scoping exercises for a given site or inner-city area.

The Feasibility Study will help to indicates if the chosen site is suitable for the intended function. In Permaculture we will always review and consider the financial, social, and environmental aspects of each Permaculture Design Plan.

To make a truly comprehensive Permaculture Master Plan you will need to start with a Feasibility Study. The Study will help you to understand such site conditions as: the site’s geography, environmental aspects, and other aspects such as the historic nature of the area.

The Feasibility Study Process helps to collect information through research ad then allows the Permaculture Designer the opportunity to do detailed analysis which will be refereed to in the scoping phase.

Permaculture is an open Design Science and is said to cross many discipline, in Permaculture we can use any style of reporting and create reports that we deem necessary to give our Permaculture Master Plan the information depth we need to preform comprehensive research and analysis. We can make reports on such aspects as: hydrology, environment, cultural heritage, transport, and so on,


Strategic Framework Report

The Strategic Framework Report is the next area that we collect background information which will allow the designer to establish the baseline of which the design is working to accomplish.

The Baseline Information can be in relation to the following:

  • physical;
  • social;
  • and economic context of the site and surroundings.

The Strategic Framework Report will allow the designer to identify the following:

  • site location and dimensions;
  • topography;
  • and existing uses.

The report will also identify any regulatory issues as follows:

  • current zoning regulations;
  • relevant/applicable planning policies;
  • any particularly important opportunities and constraints relevant to the site.

To summarize the Strategic Framework Report includes:

  • Physical aspects of the regeneration project;
  • Vision and scope prepared during the scoping phase;
  • Various elements or functions that could act as catalysts for change;
  • The business case for development;
  • Strategic delivery issues and options;
  • Guidelines about how the strategic framework will inform and impact design.

The strategic framework is one for the most crucial aspects of the Permaculture Master Planning Design Process. The Strategic Framework helps us to develop the Master Plan on a Spatial Design Level ( Spatial design crosses the boundaries of traditional design specialisms such as architecture, landscape architecture, landscape design, interior design and service design.) One may say that Permaculture Design and Spatial Design are the same, but Permaculture Design Differs in our adherence to the Permaculture Design Principles and Ethics.


Phase Two of the Permaculture Design Process

Strategic Planning Phase of Physical and Spatial Elements

The next phase of the Permaculture Design Process is the Strategic Planning Phase of Physical and Spatial Design Element.

The Permaculture Designer will determine which of the Physical and Spatial Elements will be used in the development of the Permaculture Master Plan in relation to the findings in the Feasibility Study and Strategic Framework Report. In Permaculture Design we refer to the Design Elements in the Design Process as the “Permaculture Core Compentencies“.

The Core Competencies could include competencies in the following design areas:

  • urban design and planning;
  • landscape design;
  • transportation planning;
  • economic development;
  • cost planning/surveying;
  • cultural heritage;
  • specific industry sector analysis;
  • and urban sociology and crime statistics.


The Permaculture Design Master Planning Process Elements are as follows:

  1. Element One – Project Management in Permaculture Design
  2. Element Two – Client Interview in Permaculture Design
  3. Element Three – Site Survey in Permaculture Design
  4. Element Four – Resources Analysis in Permaculture Design
  5. Element Five – Systems Design in Permaculture Design
  6. Element Six – Site Mapping in Permaculture Design
  7. Element Seven – Implementation Phases in Permaculture Design
  8. Element Eight – Budgeting in Permaculture Design
  9. Element Nine – Scheduling in Permaculture Design
  10. Element Ten – Continual Improvement in Permaculture Design


Click the below link to go the the first Permaculture Design Element

Design Element 1 – Permaculture Design Project Management