Permaculture Design Literacy Courses

Below is a list of Permaculture Design Literacy courses offered at Pacific Rim College.

Global Design Strategies (DLPD101)

As designers, you will find yourself in a variety of circumstances requiring a diversity of strategies, tools and techniques to create effective designs as climate change and climatological patterns are getting more challenging to predict and plan for.

These factors tell us that regardless of the climate that you live in, it is imperative to understand how to design for broad scale climatological factors so that we can adapt to the circumstances presented and be the most resilient designers possible.

From rain, wind, water and light, this course helps participants get a sense of how climate works as well as cover an array of techniques and strategies for working with climatological factors in a general sense. Microclimates are explored in detail.

Detailed characteristics, challenges, strategies and techniques for cool climates, tropics and drylands for home and garden are discussed.

Participants participate in a variety of design charettes to apply their learnings.

Prerequisites: – –    Credits: 1    Hours: 20

Urban Renewal and Design Strategies (DLPD102)

In North America, what were once was known as villages have now been replaced by the Roman colonial grid, causing urban areas to become fragmented and disconnected from the natural world and community living. Working within the challenges of the current colonial framework and applying Permaculture tools and strategies, how can we more actively create positive change in our own neighbourhoods? How can we creatively come together to build safe environments where everyone can thrive together?

This exciting and informative workshop style course focusses on social engagement and place making. Participants learn tools, techniques and strategies for community design and engage in participatory processes and models to create alternative patterns that address systems of isolation and oppression, while developing networks and beneficial connections on all scales.

Discussions take place that inspire a rebalancing, healing effect on social culture by restoring interaction and identity, spatial place and gathering environments that fuse people and nature back together. Case studies of urban renewal and placemaking projects of various types and scales will be shared.

Prerequisites: – –    Credits: 1    Hours: 15

Natural Building (DLPD103)

This hands on course introduces participants to various natural building techniques, with a focus on cob earthen structures.

Topics covered include many aspects of natural building including landscape observations, ecological & passive solar design, foundations, woodworking, cob building & sculpting, and finishing plaster techniques. Light clay, strawbale, wattle and daub, adobe, and other natural building techniques and materials are covered.

Participants develop skills and apply learnings through working with natural materials and creating a useable structure for a real site. A variety of examples of existing different types of natural buildings and resources are shared.

Prerequisites: – –    Credits: 4    Hours: 60

Group Processes (DLPD104)

This participatory course places a core focus on the People Care ethic of Permaculture. Participants are introduced to tools, techniques and strategies that support equity and inclusion and that assist with community organizing and facilitation.

Various methods for building healthy group dynamics, creating safe spaces, conflict transformation and guiding groups large and small are explored in different contexts. Participatory and collaborative decision making are reviewed.

To apply the learnings of this course, students experience and participate in various demonstrations and exercises as well as help to plan, organize and facilitate a group process for a real community group or organization.

Prerequisites: – –    Credits: 2    Hours: 30

Sustainable Energy Systems (DLPD201)

Review an array of strategies with a focus on sustainable & resilient energy systems. The basics of power, heat, fuel, waste, and water systems are discussed with attention to appropriate technology.

The importance of low-energy design and energy efficiency in systems is highlighted. The distinction between Active and Passive energy technologies is emphasized.

Participants apply their learnings with practical assessments, design processes and hands on activities.

Prerequisites: – –    Credits: 1    Hours: 20

Business & Organizational Design (DLPD202)

This course focusses the creation of right livelihood through the application of Permaculture to business and organizational design.

Participants are introduced to a variety of different organizational structures and are guided through tools and techniques that empower them in the creation of effective plans for businesses and organizations. Permaculture design methods are applied in a creative way. Effective leadership and group decision making are covered. Effective marketing and communications are reviewed.

To integrate learnings, everyone will choose their own area of focus and develop a practical business or project plan that will support them after the completion the Permaculture program. Participants will have the opportunity receive valuable feedback from course facilitators and others in the program.

Topics include values, visioning, strategic planning, organizational structures, governance, program and partnership development, permaculture economics, marketing and niching. Fund development, land access and bioregionalism are explored.

Prerequisites: – –    Credits: 4    Hours: 55

Design for Resilience (DLPD203)

It is always a hope that the communities will not be affected by natural or human caused disasters, however, at some point in our lives, each of us will somehow in some way will likely be impacted by an unexpected catastrophe.

Governments along with local and global organizations usually have some kind of response plan, along with useful guides that can help support one in understanding how to respond to a disaster when it is happening. However, there are many gaps. Most plans rely on the intervention of government and social services and most resources support short term response, not considering that they may or may not be able to access those in need during an event.

This immersive workshop style course shares the Permaculture perspective of emergency preparedness and disaster response. When Permaculture is applied to resilience planning, many factors are considered that conventional approaches overlook including prevention, planning and preparedness for community response along with long term provisioning for food, water, shelter, first aid and waste to empower those affected to be able to respond with or without external aid.

Permaculture ensures that all people have a role in all phases of planning and response so that everyone feels included and that they are contributing during times of uncertainty.

Prerequisites: – –    Credits: 1    Hours: 15

Applied Permaculture Design (DLPD204)

In small teams, students are paired with local residents, businesses or organizations requiring design assistance to create real-world permaculture designs.

Participants apply their learnings from throughout the program to work with their clients from consultation to mapping to design and create professional packages.

Final packages consist of a written reports with review and evaluation of soil, water and plants systems, built infrastructure, energy systems, and human systems that affect the site. Recommendations for phased planning and budgeting for designs are shared. Visual maps and designs are included and consist of zone and sector drawings, as well as detailed design plans for quick fixes, retrofits and ultimate Permaculture systems.

Prerequisites: – –    Credits: 4    Hours: 55

Life Design (DLPD205)

This course is designed as a closure to the program to support with the next steps going forward from the Permaculture Program. Participants engage in creative design processes and are asked empowering questions that will guide them in creatively considering and developing a practical plan for their next steps.

Participants will be able to share their plans with a facilitator as well as other students to receive feedback and support.

Additional resources will also be shared.

Prerequisites: – –    Credits: 1    Hours: 15

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