PDC 4/6 – Sat 04/03/17 – “Design from patterns to details”


  • Cesar Manique, Lanzarote cactus garden – http://www.lanzaroteinformation.com/content/jardin-de-cactus-0
  • PermoAfrica Centre – https://permoafricacentre.wordpress.com/
  • Biomimicry Institute, Janine Benyus – https://biomimicry.org/janine-benyus/
  • Centre for Alternative Technology, Wales – http://www.cat.org.uk/index.html
  • Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret – http://www.cowspiracy.com/
  • Earthship Biotecture, Michael Reynolds – http://earthship.com/


  • Doodling in Math: Spirals, Fibonacci and Being a Plant (1 of 3), V. Hart – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahXIMUkSXX0
  • Vandana Shiva’s Seed Freedom with David Holmgren – http://www.filmsforaction.org/watch/vandana-shivas-seed-freedom-with-david-holmgren-permaculture-monsanto-gmo/
  • The Secret Life of Chaos, Jim Al Khalili – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0OJ7ICgr04
  • Mountain Men: The Circle of Nature – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v06FPb9DGsw

Suggested Reading:

  • Designing and Maintaining Your Edible Landscape Naturally, Robert Kourik – http://www.robertkourik.com/books/edible.html
  • Chaos: Making a New Science, James Gleick – https://around.com/chaos-2/
  • The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Michael Pollan – http://michaelpollan.com/books/the-omnivores-dilemma/

Topics and key points included:

  • Patterns in nature, e.g. spirals, branching patterns, Fibonacci sequence, Golden ratio, patterns repeated throughout nature at different scales (fractals), networks, scatter patterns, waves, patterns on animals, geometric patterns, patterns over time (cycles), use of mathemetics to describe patterns
  • Form & function
  • A key point is that simple mathematical rules and feedback can result in great complexity
  • Path and garden beds designs, e.g. straight, curved, keyhole
  • Green manure crops to increase soil fertility and provide soil cover
  • Edible weeds
  • Peg looms
  • Chaos theory and unpredictability
  • Zones and sectors in landscape design
  • Water supply and how water flows over the land are the ultimate limiting factors in landscape design
  • Biomimicry
  • Patterns/cycles of creativity
  • Alternative technology
  • Impacts of animal farming on the environment
  • Earthships, sustainable homes

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