1. Observe and Interact
This is the first principle of permaculture. It is the foundation of design.
These are some notes (taken by Leesa).
We have a rough recording of the main session, which you can download here or play here:
Observation is collecting information, usually directly. Our culture is filled with opportunities to let others collect information for us – indeed others may now apparently report to us “alternative facts”.
Interaction in this context means to make some kind of change to what we are observing in order to influence it towards the outcome that we want. This process is at the heart of gardening, but can be applied in any context.
Design thinking guidelines
- all observations are relative
- top-down thinking, bottom-up action
- the landscape is the text book
- failure is useful if we learn
- elegant solutions are best – simple or invisible
- make the smallest intervention necessary
- avoid too much of a good thing
- the problem is the solution
- recognise and break out of design cul-de-sacs
This is an idea for digging into this principle.
- Choose a topic to focus on – something you are interested, a problem or a new thing to do
- Summarize your observations about it
- what patterns do you recognise?
- what details can you appreciate?
- where are the boundaries of this system?
- what other systems influence it?
- Let the design thinking guidelines help you analyse what has already been done and suggest actions for the future.