April showers bring May flowers

Permaculture is a design system that David Holmgren and Bill Mollison worked on in the 1970s for both sustainable use of land and a sustainable way of living. This concept was born from the questioning of industrial activities and the techno-explosion vision of the future. It has since developed as a model for building human design in accordance with the laws of nature.

It is also described as a thinking tool for designing sustainable systems and as a framework for people to be more self-reliant. Incorporating information and ideas from other ecological related views, permaculture has spread around the world as a movement, some would say as a philosophy, and not just as a concept.

The first of the twelve principles of permaculture is #1 to observe and interact. This means (A) to take the time to look at where we are, what are the forces present on the site, what is the climate, the typography, the soil, and then (B) to interact, adapt and take advantage of the site’s specific characteristics, including local resources.

Thus, permaculture strategies and techniques are different everywhere and there is no universal permaculture solution. What this philosophy teaches us, though, is the importance of design thinking and problem solving rather than just copying.

This permacultural approach to thinking deeply informs our ongoing research at villa villa, including our current investigation Towards permacultural art practices that look at how permaculture principles can be applied to art practices.

This permaculture framework is also the lens for analysing the result of our survey How sustainable is your studio practice in which 130 people participated last month — and we would like to take this opportunity to warmly thank everyone who responded to it. We are currently in the process of analysing the data and compiling findings into a survey summary report that we will present in an upcoming online discussion before sharing it on our website.