Design for the future
Climate change, a booming global population, depletion of resources and pollution; the panic-attack-inducing outcomes of our interactions with the planet. A permaculture design framework may just be the solution.
Workshop 1: Philosophy and design.
Permaculture is one of those slippery concepts I had heard a lot about, but never quite grasped. Last month my journey into the murky depths began, guided by the knowledgeable co-founders of the Auckland Permaculture Workshop, Finn Mackesy and Gary Marshall.
Aussie Bill Mollison is one of the founding fathers of permaculture. Disillusioned by society, in 1972 he escaped to the bush to live off the land. He soon realised that fleeing civilisation wouldn’t satisfy his urge to change the world. So, instead of defining what he didn’t want, he developed a system capable of creating change – permaculture.
Mollison crossed paths with David Holmgren in Tasmania and together the two authored the bible of the Permaculture Movement, Permaculture One, in 1978. In 1981 Mollison scooped the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’, an award dished out to those “working on practical and exemplary solutions to the most urgent challenges facing the world today.” Permaculture was flung into the international limelight.
Over time the term has evolved, going from a concept with a focus on ‘permanent agricultural systems’ to one prioritising ‘permanent culture and community.’
Permaculture principles are tools that can guide decisions, from creating a new garden to a new city.