Permaculture Designers Manual



Section 2.9 –

Order or Chaos in Permaculture

It follows that order and disorder arise not from some remote and abstract energy theory but from actual ground conditions or contexts, both in natural and designed systems.

Entropy is the result of the framework, not the complexity.

A jumble of diverse elements is disordered.

An element running wild or in an active destructive mode (bull in a china shop) is disordered, and too few or too many forced connections lead to disorder.

Order is found in things working bebeficially togtther.

It is not the forced condition of neatness, tidiness, and straightness all of which are, in design or energy terms, disordered. True order maylie in apparent confusion; it is the acid test of entropic order to test the system for yield.

If it consumes energy beyond product, it is in disorder.

If it produces energy to or beyond consumption, it is ordered.

Thus the seemingly-wild and naturally-functioning garden of a New Guinea villager is beautifully ordered and in harmony, while the clipped lawns and pruned roses of the pseudo-aristocrat are nature in wild disanay.

Principle of Disorder


Order and harmony produce energy for other uses. Disorder consumes energy to no useful end.”


Neatness, tidiness, uniformity, and straighlness signify an energy-maintained disorder in natural systems.