Here I share some ways I design for life by creating actual real things and experiences in the world. While there is a lot of diversity on the surface, what I love about designing for life is that in every creative project, meeting, workshop or engagement, I am striving to do the exact same thing. I am striving to immerse or get in resonance with what is really going on inside some whole situation then supporting steps to incrementally enhance the life or aliveness of that whole.
Whether conversing with my family over dinner, liaising with architects and builders about what’s next for a rooftop garden or farm development process, a phone session with someone trying to clarify their core values ahead of a big personal decision, a podcast interview, a writing project, or an unexpected moment during a workshop, retreat or community engagement process. It is all the same stuff and about leaning into the same question: “What is going on here, really, and what next move would be the most alive and life-enhancing?” Then listening for an answer where if there is no clear answer trying something and noticing what happens to the life of the thing before trying something else. I mean seriously, what else is there to be done?
When I was considering how to differentiate the different kinds of creating I do, I started by separating out facilitation and education. Then I realised it is not possible to separate these two things. It is all educative, in its original sense of drawing out, and it is all facilitatory, in its original sense of making easy. Making it easier to draw life-giving next steps out of the whole situation, people included. That is what I do (or am trying to do, even when I stuff it up). So, sure, I’ll share these creative offerings under a few different headings, but keep in mind that these are different facets of one whole, and in practice they all flow in and out as needed. The moment I sense that any approach or framework is not the best way of serving life right here and now, I sure hope I am awake enough to cast it aside and try something else.
Holistic Decision Making Facilitation-Education
I regularly support individuals, couples, families, businesses, farms, and collaborations of all kinds to articulate their core intent then make decisions aligned with this intent. It is hard work and while there are often tears along the way, it always seems to end up in a great place. Holistic Decision Making provides a clear framework that many people (including myself) have found transformational in their lives and endeavours, as you can see at www.HolisticDecisionMaking.org/testimonials/
Ways I do this
Holistic Decision Making Retreats
Prioritising individuals and organisations doing good work in the world, I usually meet with you in person at least several times over the course of several months to get you up and running with this approach where you start making decisions proactively to create what you want while developing and expressing your essence in the world.
Stay tuned – in progress!
Living Design Process Facilitation-Education
Aside from creating workshops, I mostly use Living Design Process (LDP) professionally in facilitating the processes of designing and creating physical places, spaces, buildings and other objects. To simplify you could say LDP combines permaculture’s focus on ecological patterning with Christopher Alexander’s focus on creating places that are beautiful and whole.
Ways I do this
Living Design Process Workshops
I occasionally create a one or two-day workshop bringing people into the experience of Living Design process. See what’s coming up on the upcoming events page.
Farm and Rural Property Development
I am typically working with about eight or so individuals, couples or families to help them develop their own rural properties. This often involves water-harvesting earthworks, access roads, and thousands of trees. I love it. There are few examples of past projects here.
Residential Development Green Space Process Design
As part of my goal to transform the development industry from within, I partner with select developers to show them a better way of doing things. Currently I am using LDP to lead the design and creation of all green spaces for the 700-Apartment East Brunswick Village project.
Advanced Permaculture Design Process Facilitation-Education
I love permaculture and I love working to support the depth and quality of permaculture’s own design process understandings.
Ways I do this
VEG Permaculture Design Certificate Course +
I am proud of this two-week live-in course I co-developed and am co-facilitating with my friend and VEG co-director Adam Grubb. To my knowledge we go deeper into solid, ecology-honouring process with real projects and real clients than any other PDC on the planet. With amazing guest tutors including David Holmgren. Check it out here.
Advanced Permaculture Design Process Workshop
I have the great honour to co-facilitate these four-day annual workshops alongside the legendary David Holmgren. For folk with a PDC ready to go next-level. I’ll say no more than check it out.
Making Permaculture Stronger
Making Permaculture Stronger is a blog and podcast I’ve been running since 2016. It exists to inspire creative exploration and dialogue around permaculture design in a way that develops our ability to think and act creatively as and with community to effect the large scale systemic change we need. There is a huge amount of freely available information aimed at deepening permaculture’s design process understandings and hence its ability to deliver on its incredible promise and potential for the world. Check it out.