These notes form a part of x-med-k. Media Ecologies workshop

’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 definitions, but one that is particularly useful might be- “To create sustainable human habitats by following nature's patterns”.

A research on this topic is currently underway at FoAM. A brief presentation and discussion of the theme was shared at the x-med-k- Media Ecologies workshop in St. Erme, France. In the first half a film by Bill Mollison on permaculture in the tropics was shown. The film discussed case studies from Australia, Africa and India. This was followed by a presentation bringing out the main issues in Permaculture. Some of the questions raised during the discussion were:

  • How can we make ethical thinking part of the ongoing design education? Why is there strong resistance to the word, 'ethics'? Can we use other related words? This stresses the crucial role of language in our society.
  • Permaculture looks at a graceful response towards a 'slow decline' in our finite resources. This was brought out by Maja Kuzmanovic during the discussion. However, the author feels that there are lessons which could encourage an appropriate response in a catastrophic and sudden decline too. The case of Cuba is important here.
  • An important aspect was that of information 'exchange' and collaborative projects between different cultures and contexts. A specific case is that of roof top gardening. The green roof industry that has been nurtured in Europe, and now brought to North America could look at Asia and Oceania for new directions. It will make for an interesting blend of collaborative projects and new ideas between two diverse regions.
  • Another issue was that of a gradual realisation of the importance and transformation from an outlook and approach based on 'I' to a more resilient 'WE' and 'US'. This aspect was further discussed through examples of self organised systems and how they persist and maximise their power under larger systems of control.

Complete details of the research can be found at the following link.

  • permaculture.txt
  • Last modified: 2013-04-02 04:58
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