Advanced Permaculture Design Process Online Course



Design Process

Online Course

Dates TBC but will be over four days during June/July of 2020

Are you ready for a deep exploration of

permaculture design process from

your home?

The course

In the fourth iteration of a unique collaboration, David Holmgren and Dan Palmer will continue to explore, deepen and share their understandings of sound permaculture design process.

Not only has much of the content of this workshop emerged in recent years, it will continue to develop during the workshop itself. This means that attendees are participants in a live conversation, where David and Dan hope to meet people where they are and support their journey forward with permaculture design.

Responding creatively to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 version of this course will be delivered in an entirely online format and is open to anyone holding a PDC anywhere in the world (the course will be delivered in English).


Dan explaining how the workshop will work.


As co-originator of permaculture, David Holmgren has been working with permaculture design process for forty years. In this workshop David shares his long history learning, practicing, and teaching permaculture design along with how his understandings are continuing to evolve today. Much of what David shares in this workshop you will not find anywhere else.

Dan Palmer helped found Permablitz, Very Edible Gardens, Making Permaculture Stronger, Holistic Decision Making, and Living Design Process. Actively and continuously involved in permaculture design projects for the last fifteen years, Dan is deeply passionate about the evolution of design processes that support the full expression of permaculture’s potential.

Topics covered

Alongside high-level design process frameworks and how permaculture ethics and principles apply directly to design process, this workshop covers:

  • David’s and Dan’s journies with permaculture design
  • Reading people (Dan)
  • Reading landscape (David)
  • Distilling and synthesising observations (both)
  • Designing and implementing as things that best unfold together over time (both)
  • The evolution of design and implementation over years and decades (both)


What’s included

  • A substantial course workbook sent out in advance that follows the course structure and includes exercises to help consolidate your learning
  • Live online sessions where David and Dan speak to each topic sharing relevant photos and diagrams with time for questions and contributions from the group
  • Multiple real design process examples shared by Dan and David
  • Regular interactive exercises and breakout groups
  • Live case study of reading people and helping them articulate their project intentions
  • High quality pre-recorded video of David reading landscape with a group and leading a design process themed tour of Melliodora
  • Live interactive tour of the Mayberry Woodend project including presentation from the crew there and the chance to ask them questions about their experience
  • Opportunity to upload media from design projects to share with and get reflections from the whole group
  • Plenty of live open question, answer and discussion time with David and Dan
  • Recordings of all sessions available to watch for one year from the end of the course


Sample of course footage

Course format and technology

The course workbook and suggested prior reading and watching materials will be sent out prior to the course. On each of the four days there will then be two main sessions of two hours in length, and one open Q & A session an hour in length. The timings each day will be as follows, all in Melbourne or Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST):

  • Session One: 10am – 12pm
  • Session Two: 2pm – 4pm
  • Session Three (Open interactive Q & A with David and Dan): 5 – 6pm

The primary technology will be the zoom teleconferencing platform, meaning all participants will have to have the zoom application downloaded on a computer, phone or tablet. We will make use of many of zoom’s features including:

  • breakout groups where you leave the whole group to work through an exercise with one or two classmates
  • built in polls where we can gauge where participant’s current design skills and tendencies are at and see patterns emerge in in real time
  • virtual whiteboard that presenters and participants can sketch on as required


Course Registration


This is an advanced course and it is a prerequisite that you have completed a PDC.

Course Fee


Numbers are limited to 30.