Permaculture Designers Manual
CHAPTER 3 – METHODS OF DESIGN IN PERMACULTURE
Section 3.12 –
Summary of Permaculture Design Methods
Any design is composed of concepts, materials, techniques, and strategies, as our bodies are composed of brain, bone, blood, muscles, and organs, and when completed functions as a whole assembly, with a unified purpose. As in the body, the parts function in relation to each other.
Permaculture, as a design system, attempts to integrate fabricated, natural, spatial, temporal, social, and ethical part (components) to achieve a whole. To do so, it concentrates not on the components themselves, but on the relationships between them, and on how they function to assist each other.
For example, we can arrange any set of parts and design a system which may be self-destructive or which needs energy support. But by using the same parts in a different way, we can equally well create a harmonious system which nourishes life. It is in the arrangement of parts that design has its being and function, and it is the adoption of a purpose which decides the direction of the design.