I would like to thank my Director of Study, Alan Holland for his assistance in writing this thesis and in helping me to clarify many of my ideas about permaculture design. I would also like to thank Bill Fuge, in Independent Studies, for allowing dissertation help london the freedom to change directions several times.
Thanks to Floris for his assistance in helping me to verbalize exactly what it was I wanted to say and looking for a structure in the chaos. The aim of this work is a cross-disciplinary integration of ideas specifically relevant to permaculture design and the physical structure of human settlements. Although this work is ambitious in scope, I feel this is an important element of the writing, to present an overview such that the reader is able to see the inter-relations of many ideas relevant to design. This is a synthesis of a kind which I believe has so far not been attempted.
Ecological design principles are illustrated through a consideration of a variety of topics, such as urban-rural planning, agriculture and economic systems, hence a general appreciation of the application of permaculture is achieved. The first section of this work uses the idea of quality of life to define alternative possibilities for working, and for a different relationship between people and the natural environment. The second section is about the patterns of nature which provide the wisdom for permaculture design. The third section describes the observation underlying this design. As nuances of patterns in nature are infinitely varied, permaculture must begin with the local environment. It is the application of these underlying patterns to design which is the basis of the fourth section. This deals with the way in which insights from chaos theory and ecology could effect the design of human communities using the idea of a pattern language.
The fifth section is about the processes through which humans interact with natural systems and obtain their needs. This is very important, as it is our methods of production which cause a good deal of environmental degradation. Permaculture is a design system which actualizes an environmental ethic, and which enriches the quality of human life by learning directly from nature. In this context, the term quality of life is a broadly inclusive concept which recognises that human well -being is inextricably linked to the health of the land. Permaculture is a philosophy and a practical approach to sustainable design in all aspects of life. This is not intended as an introduction to permaculture.