All posts by Leo Bakx

Permaculture and Science summer school

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PERMACULTURE AND SCIENCE 2015 - posterIn cooperation with Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague we established Permaculture and Science summer school. It is preferably targeted on both international and local students with background in agriculture, sustainability etc. And there is possibility to obtain 3 ECTS for this course attendance.

More information, please download the flyer here.

Or email Anežka Tkáčova. Or go straight to the registration form.


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EuroNL_a5_up22Permaculture Learning Action Network

A slow traveling & learning network throughout Europe, building on existing long distance walking trails and permaculture projects. PLAN brings traditional pilgrimage and nomadic permaculture together.

Status: journey of discovery – mapping long distance pathways, accommodations and permaculture projects; identifying gaps in the network as potential places to establish new permaculture projects; building economic capacity to plan and execute the project.

Needed: volunteers, with the option to develop your own livelihood.

Project home: – soon to be announced (Netherlands)

Organisation form: cooperative of network nodes (proposed)

Economic model: Lean Startup

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College: organized group of professional people

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Sarcophagus_of_the_brother_MAN_Napoli_Inv6603_n01college |ˈkälij|

An organized group of professional people with particular aims, duties, and privileges : [in names ] the electoral college.

ORIGIN late Middle English : from Old French, from Latin collegium ‘partnership, association,’ from collega ‘partner in office,’ from col– ‘together with’ + legare ‘depute.’

elementsIn the context of the Permaculture College of Europe, the word college means a group of professional permaculture teachers, working cooperatively to promote professional development and assisting the community of permaculture teachers to improve and excel in the field of teaching and learning permanent innovation and development on the human scale and according to the permaculture ethics of earth care, people care and fair share (setting limits to population and consumption and regenerating the earth).

Via Permacultura

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PLAN_ShellThe “Permaculture Learning Action Network” (PLAN) is a lean startup approach to building a sustainable network for sharing knowledge, working from available resources, developing them and growing from there.

To address the issue of travel, one of its core principles is that nodes in the network need to be at a distance that can be easily covered on foot or by bicycle (20 – 80 km radius). Each node will provide accommodations, food and other essential needs in return for some work and a good story. Continue reading Via Permacultura


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with reality, existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language.[1][2] Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational argument.[3] In more casual speech, by extension, “philosophy” can refer to “the most basic beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual or group”.[4]

The word “philosophy” comes from the Ancient Greek φιλοσοφία (philosophia), which literally means “love of wisdom”.[5][6][7] The introduction of the terms “philosopher” and “philosophy” has been ascribed to the Greek thinker Pythagoras.[8]
Continue reading Philosophy


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Design, when applied to fashion, includes considering aesthetics as well as function in the final form.

Design is the creation of a plan or convention for the construction of an object or a system (as in architectural blueprints, engineering drawings, business processes, circuit diagrams and sewing patterns).[1] Design has different connotations in different fields (see design disciplines below). In some cases the direct construction of an object (as in pottery, engineering, management, cowboy coding and graphic design) is also considered to be design.

More formally design has been defined as follows.

(noun) a specification of an object, manifested by an agent, intended to accomplish goals, in a particular environment, using a set of primitive components, satisfying a set of requirements, subject to constraints;
(verb, transitive) to create a design, in an environment (where the designer operates)[2]
Another definition for design is a roadmap or a strategic approach for someone to achieve a unique expectation. It defines the specifications, plans, parameters, costs, activities, processes and how and what to do within legal, political, social, environmental, safety and economic constraints in achieving that objective.[3]
Continue reading Design

Other Manuals

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Bell, G. Permaculture Design Course Handbook. Garden Cottage, Scotland
File (PDF): PDC Handbook

Francis, R. Permaculture Design Course Handbook. Permaculture Education (AU).
APT™ Cert III & IV.
File (PDF): PDC Handbook

Pitman, S. PDC-Outline. Permaculture Institute (US). With literature and resource listings. File (PDF): PDC-Outline

Solomon, V.  Accredited Permaculture Training Reaccreditation document. Permaculture International Limited (AU). With detailed descriptions of compentencies at Cert. Horticulture Levels I to V.
File (PDF): APT Re-accreditation

Places of Learning

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Links to places of learning, schools, teachers around Europe. Listings are for information only and are not intended as endorsement by the European Permaculture Teachers Partnership.

New School Permaculture

Permaculture basics with a strong emphasis on community development and New Age philosophy
– by Helder Valente (Portugal)

Nodo Espiral
Permaculture Science

Integral permaculture – online courses with local study circles
-by Stella Strega (Spain, Canary Islands)


Esthetics & Design: Symmetry

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esthetics - symmetryHand-out in workshop on Esthetics & Design in Permaculture.

Patterns in Nature: Symmetry 

Bilateral animals, including humans, are more or less symmetric with respect to the sagittal plane which divides the body into left and right halves. Plants and sessile (attached) animals such as sea anemones often have radial or rotational symmetry. Fivefold symmetry is found in the echinoderms, the group that includes starfish, sea urchins, and sea lilies. People observe the symmetrical nature, often including asymmetrical balance, of social interactions in a variety of contexts. These include assessments of reciprocity, empathy, apology, dialog, respect, justice, and revenge.

Esthetics & Design: Fractals

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esthetics - fractalsHand-out for a workshop on Esthetics & Design in Permaculture.

Patterns in Nature: self-similarity & scale 

  • Exact self-similarity: identical at all scales; e.g. Koch snowflake
  • Quasi self-similarity: approximates the same pattern at different scales; may contain small copies of the entire fractal in distorted and degenerate forms
  • Statistical self-similarity: repeats a pattern stochastically so numerical or statistical measures are preserved across scales
  • Qualitative self-similarity: as in a time series

Multifractal scaling: characterized by more than one fractal dimension or scaling rule.

Esthetics & Design: Sheet Mulching

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Sheet Mulching

Hand-out for a workshop on sheet mulching. emphasis on esthetic qualities of the shape of beds/pathways/stepping stones and the different textures of the finishing top layer.

An often encountered criticism of permaculture design in public space is that it looks “messy”. And frankly: it often does. Going overboard on pragmatism can lead to a neglect of the sense of beauty – which is perhaps more important to acceptance and behavioral change then the usefulness of design.

Mulching has the potential to draw a collection of disparate elements together. Much like a neutral backdrop in a museum. It should not just cover and protect the soil but also be pleasing and restful to the eye, bringing feature plants to the foreground.

How does that work? One tool is to provide a contract of scale. By creating a top layer of very fine detail you emphasise the shapes and colours of the plants, their leaves, flowers and fruits. Another instrument is a homogenous colour and texture to contrast with the plants in colours and shapes.

Use a chipper or shredder to cut the mulch material into a fine and homogenous material. Using different source materials, like straw, tree bark, hemp fibers or coco shells, you can create a pallet of different colours and textures. Lay out different materials in gently undulating swirls and patches.

Part of a series of workshops on Esthetics & Design in Permaculture

Teacher’s Handbook – Table of Contents

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Sociocratic Circle Method

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What is the Sociocratic Circle-organization Method?
The Sociocratic Circle Organization provides a way of producing and leading organization on the basis of equivalence in decision making through the principle of consent.


Governing Consent

The core of the method

The sociocratic ‘vision’ on living together is a society in which people live and share their lives as dissimilar, unique persons on the basis of an underlying equivalence regarding decision making. This equivalence may be realized according to the sociocratic Circle-organization Method, which is based on sociocratic norms and values.

Continue reading Sociocratic Circle Method

Permaculture for Millionaires

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(PDC given by Bill Mollison in 1981, Transcript) (Comments in first transcript by Dan Hemenway (D.H.), in second transcript by Thomas Fischbacher (T.F.))

Permaculture for Millionaires[1]

6a0133f4eef09a970b0167665d51aa970bI am going to give you an anecdote. When I was in Toronto at the Futures Conference, one thing I discovered was that the people critically interested in futures are those people who are making large investments. It wasn’t a meeting of hippies. Hippies were in the two percent minority. This was the heart of Harbor Castle Hilton Hotel. I was in a pair of thongs, the only barefoot slopping in there. Here were investment bankers mobilizing their capital, some of their principals – not often many of their principals. These are people who deal in futures. Every businessman has a little clique around him. He has long term friends. If you meet one businessman, you have contacted somewhere between ten and twenty, intimates who are commonly ringing up and are doing deals, and who have had long associations. They are old friends. Continue reading Permaculture for Millionaires

Winter School Outline

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P1050899A Winter School is described in the linked file that is run in  12 sessions of 4 hours (excluding travel) spread over 6 weeks. Design exercises in different contexts allow students to hone design skills and learn meta skills.

The file is a course outline – a work in progress with some obvious items lacking such as student hand-outs and rubrics, to be updated as the course unfolds.

Language: English

File: Winter School Format – Design Course

Permaculture in Brief

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Screen shot 2014-02-06 at 08.29.35A presentation used as elevator pitch for audiences new to permaculture.

File: Permacultuur in het kort 1

Language: Dutch

Author: Leo Bakx Aardwerk, 2010 (CC: BY-SA)

Time: 15 – 30 minutes plus Q&A time.

Preceded or followed by a practical activity indoors or outdoors.

Finished by pot-luck lunch, morning/afternoon tea or dinner – whatever is appropriate.

Can be used as on-screen presentation or printed on paper and used as flip-over.

Permaculture is a Design Philosophy

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(noun) a specification of an object, manifested by an agent, intended to accomplish goals, in a particular environment, using a set of primitive components, satisfying a set of requirements, subject to constraints;
(verb, transitive) to create a design, in an environment (where the designer operates) – wikipedia

Even though the Rational model is most taught in design schools, the design process of most designers follows another path: the action-centric model. See also Wikipedia for more details. I permaculture design I believe we use the action-centric model. Continue reading Permaculture is a Design Philosophy