Event: Introduction to Living Design Process (2 days)

Date(s) - Saturday, January 25, 2020 - Sunday, January 26, 2020
All Day

Whakatane, NZ

This two-day workshop will accessibly introduce Living Design Process as a compelling holistic design approach applicable to the design and creation of anything whether personally or professionally. We will explore living design equally as a theory and as a practical reality at Oakdene Forest Farm which is just outside Whakatane in New Zealand.



Living Design Process starts with the question of what it means to design and create human environments using a process that mimics the process nature uses to create natural systems. This question leads to a design approach very different to contemporary understandings of what design actually is.


“After these days of talking and sharing I simply feel more alive. The life and the living and the constant ebbs and flows of nature and of ourselves need to be at the heart of our designing” (Past participant Nicole)


At its core, Living Design Process is a way of working with whole systems to enhance their life and beauty through a process of continuous unfolding. When applied to landscape design, this results in systems that are not only lush and abundant, but that are deeply beautiful and harmonious to the degree that you find it hard to leave.



“This is really life-affirming for me to learn about this living design process – it resonates with my life journey and where I’m at in my architectural practice – but I’ve not heard it explained or articulated this way before. I’ll definitely be more aware of my design process with clients and be implementing more of this to enhance my life and my client’s lives!” (Past participant Talia)


While embracing the best that both permaculture design and holistic management have to offer, Living Design Process find its primary inspiration in the paradigm-transforming work of radical architect Christopher Alexander (particularly his four-volume masterwork The Nature of Order).

In the below video Dan explains a bit more about the workshop:



During this two day workshop, Dan will present an accessible introduction to the theory of living design process, with chances for you to start practicing under his mentorship. Our objective is that you will feel the process in your body as much if not more than you will understand it with your mind.



Our intention is also that you will leave these two days with a permanently modified understanding of what design can be.


“I feel like reading about and exploring the ideas is great – but isn’t experiencing living design process AMAZING? Actually living it and practicing it (or at least getting closer to it) – wow, that’s when it really hits home how much more alive and empowering the design process can be. So grateful to have been introduced to these ideas earlier on in my design life” (Past participant Phoenix)


Learn more at www.LivingDesignProcess.org (including the podcasts) and www.MakingPermacultureStronger.net


Your Facilitator

Dan Palmer

Dan Palmer has spent the last 20 years continuously questioning and refining a systems approach to understanding, living and designing a more beautiful world. You can hear about his story here.

As a permaculture designer, implementer, and educator, during the last ten years he co-founded permablitz, co-founded Very Edible Gardens (which he still co-directs), and founded Making Permaculture Stronger. Over the last six months he has been using this last project to catalyse a global conversation around constructively reimagining the foundations of permaculture design (as a globally practiced and fast growing discipline). This work has been supportively acknowledged by permaculture thought-leaders including David Holmgren, Rosemary Morrow, Dave JackeToby HemenwayDarren J. DohertyRob Hopkins and many others. It has also led to an ongoing collaboration with permaculture co-originator David Holmgren running four-day intensive courses on advanced permaculture planning and design process.


“Dan is so easy to listen to and has a great honesty with sharing his own experiences that is just gold. The ability to communicate like that with people can’t be learned or contrived. I’m so glad I went”


For his journey has recently brought him and a collaborating cluster of close colleagues to a compelling and continually evolving approach to the design and creation of almost anything. The running title for this approach is Living Design Process.


The Venue

We’ll be based at Oakdene Forest Farm outside Whakatane and make a visit Pete and Lou’s beautiful farmlet across the road where living design process is at large also.



BYO Camping – there are plenty of camp sites for tents, campervans etc. There are also some cabins and whatnot available. First in first served!


Dates and Times

We recommend arriving and setting up camp on the Friday evening where it will be a shared meal you bring something to contribute to if you can. We’ll then run from 9am-9pm on the Saturday and 9am-4pm on the Sunday. You are welcome to stay Sunday night if you like where again it will be an everyone pitches in kind of meal.


Who this Workshop is For

Anyone can do this workshop. It presupposes zero prior knowledge of permaculture. Anyone interested in designing for life, beauty and wholeness is welcome. Whether you are a landscape designer, a life coach, an architect, a cake-maker, a musician, an artist, or just someone wanting to transform your own back yard, then there is something in Living Design Process relevant to you.

That said, for people that are familiar with permaculture, this workshop is:

  • an excellent next step after a permaculture design course
  • a prime professional development opportunity for practicing permaculture designers
  • a great experience to have before doing a PDC
  • a great place to start for anyone interested to learn more about permaculture


Testimonials Giving a Hint of What You Can Expect

This is the second event of its kind. Here are some additional testimonials from the first, which was held in 2016.

Amazing content, really built on and introduced new stuff to my PDC (permaculture design certificate) foundations. Amazing food, perfect breaks, and amazing generosity of the gorgeous hosts.

It is so exciting to see Christopher Alexander’s ideas adopted, adapted and communicated in a way that honours his work and the current context of who and where we are (Andrew)

I found the process today incredibly beneficial in understanding the application of wholistic management and decision making to bring about form and social structures and in how to make these ideas of a whole actually show up in the world (Beck)

Hugely thought and heart-provoking

I’m so much more energised and inspired for the future!

Living design process. Integrity, honesty, nature, perfection, challenge, intuitive, personal, well being. Some words I’m left with.



This event is fully catered. You are in for a treat and we’ll cater to your dietary requirements so long as they are not too weird.



Workshop cost is a sliding scale from $150 – $300 where you choose based on your situation. Book below and we’ll email you all the info you need to pay and get there etc etc.

Introduction to Living Design Process 4


Bookings are closed for this event.