’PERMACULTURE’ was originally coined in the mid seventies by two Australians, David Holmgren and Bill Mollison, to describe the design system pioneered as a response to what they, and many others globally, saw as serious challenges to the survival of all of us. Originally derived from the words ‘PERMAnent agriCULTURE’, permaculture has gone beyond it’s roots in looking at strategies to create sustainable food growing methods to become a worldwide movement encompassing all aspects of how we as human beings can live harmoniously in relation to our Earth and it’s finite resources and create a PERManent CULTURE. Permaculture, today has multiple defintions, but one that is particularly useful might be- “To create sustaianble human habitats by following nature's patterns”. This thought is clearly manifested in permaculture as a system of gardening but also as the worldwide network of individuals and groups and further in permaculture as a counterculture.
For many, the Permaculture focus on land and natural resource management is complimentary to the industrial focus of the “green tech” optimists, but there are differences. Permaculture:
The assumptions on which permaculture was originally based were:
Further, insofar as permaculture is an appropriate response to limitations on use of energy and natural resources, it will move on from its current status as “alternative response to environmental crisis” to the social and economic mainstream of the post-industrial era. Whether it will be called permaculture or not is a secondary matter.
Permaculture is a wholehearted adaptation to the ecological realities of decline and offers us a graceful and ethical descent. The process for providing for people's needs within ecological limits requires a cultural revolution. We appear to have little time to achieve ths revolution and in this context, the idea of simple set of guiding design principles which have wide, universal application is attractive. The following principles are slogans which act as a checklist when considering complex options for design and evolution of ecological support systems.
Now, in a situation of descent, ethics become indispensable and through their culturally evolved systemic nature lead us to create a more inclusive view of who and what constitutes “us”. The three broad maxims or principles which cover these are given below:
How one inteprets the principles listed above and implements them is open for refinement and improvisation. One has to take responsibility and see problems as opportunities, or problems as the solution. Every element here serves multiple functions and every function is served by multiple elements. Using these principles we can come up with a design that is in line with our regenerative world.