Patterns and Permaculture: Nature’s Forms for Dynamic Design


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Pattern is design, and design is the subject of permaculture, Mollison tells us in the Designers Manual. Patterns are nature’s ways of storing information, resolving conflicts, efficiently using resources, moving materials smoothly, recycling waste, and recognizing and ordering connections and relationships. They are also one of the hardest-to-grasp (and teach) elements of permaculture design. This two-day workshop will cover:

• A vocabulary of basic patterns and how they function in both nature and design;

• how patterns are formed and how they regulate and shape energy, material, social, and economic flows;

• how patterns are used in indigenous, Western, and other cultures;

• Fibonacci and the golden ratio, sacred geometry, and the science and mystery of pattern dynamics;

• identifying and choosing the patterns that best suit specific design challenges;

• using patterns and creating pattern languages to design physical and social landscapes and technologies.

We’ll use a combination of hands-on, discussion, lecture, images, small group work, and the other varied tools of good permaculture learning. You’ll come away with a practical grasp of how to see patterns in nature, how they work, and how to use them in design.

Instructed by Toby Hemenway

Hemenway_headshotToby Hemenway is the author of Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture, which was awarded the Nautilus Gold Medal in 2011, was named by the Washington Post as one of the ten best gardening books of 2010, and for the last eight years has been the best-selling permaculture book in the world. Toby has been an adjunct professor at Portland State University, Scholar-in-Residence at Pacific University, and has taught over sixty 72-hour permaculture design courses. He has presented lectures and workshops at major sustainability conferences such as Bioneers, SolFest, and EcoFarm, and at Duke University, Tufts University, University of Minnesota, University of Delaware and many other educational venues. His writing has appeared in magazines such as Natural HomeWhole Earth Review, and American Gardener. He has contributed book chapters for WorldWatch Institute and to several publications on ecological design.


The course tuition fee is $225. Space in this course is limited.
Bring a Buddy Rate: Sign up with a buddy and you each save $20.

Tuition Includes:

  • The 2 Day – Patterns & Permaculture: Nature’s Forms for Dynamic Designs Course with Toby Hemenway
  • Lunch both days

To Register or for Questions Email:

Watch Toby as he explains How Permaculture Can Save the World:

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