chapter  5.1
4 Pages

Permaculture and Design Education

WithAngela Hirst

This chapter argues that permaculture can be used as a method of design, and a vehicle for improving environmental design education. The success of a permaculture design depends on its sustainability as a system, and on how it contributes to social interaction and inclusivity over time. Permaculture addresses the high-energy costs of modern monocultural agriculture. Permaculture design could be a point of departure in a broader search for an 'environmental aesthetic' for built environment design that emphasises ethical values and interconnectedness. 'Aesthetics' in architecture design education has inhibited the formation of environmental ethics because it has been associated with controlling nature's messiness. The ideology of unproductive urban landscaping is reinforced through environmental design education. Nature, collaboration and user participation are still undervalued in design education. The ethical implications of permaculture design and the focus on interconnectedness as a permaculture design objective encourage students to examine and formulate value systems that are linked with their design practice.