Design 4 ACTION

Design 4 A.C.T.I.O.N. (Active Community Transformation In Our Neighbourhoods) –  A different kind of course, bringing positive design to your life, your community and your world, using permaculture principles to empower the genius inside all of us!



‘Permaculture is not about gardening. It’s about problem solving and decision making. It’s critical thinking. You USE permaculture. You don’t DO permaculture.’ – Larry Santoyo, permaculture designer and teacher

The focus of D4A is about regenerative learning, enabling individuals, organisations and communities to come together to create empowering solutions addressing the real world challenges we are all facing in these times of change. Adapted from the Permaculture Association (Britain)’s PDC core curriculum, this is a person-centred, fun, lively and inclusive course, exploring and utilising concepts such as Systems Thinking, Holistic Design, Community Empowerment, ‘Whole Person’ Health, Skill Sharing, Critical Thinking, Appreciative Inquiry, Right Livelihoods and much more.

The D4A course is participatory and dynamic, using diverse visual, audio and kinethetic learning methods such as group work, games, problem solving, discussion, observation, field trips, practical activities, lectures and slideshows during course sessions. Students are encouraged to further their learning through home study during the breaks between modules, which can include further research, personal reflection, and application of what’s being learned in practice.

D4A participants will also work together on applied design projects relevant to their own local situation that will empower them to take active solutions-based thinking back into their own homes, gardens, lives & neighbourhoods, providing essential skills for creating active transformational change whatever their concerns.

The D4A course includes the PDC Core curriculum certified by the Permaculture Association (Britain). In addition to 6 ‘core’ weekends that will cover permaculture fundamentals, design methods and applications to the natural world and built/human environment there will be additional optional days of further content covering subjects like forest gardening, holistic health, green building, community development and more in greater depth.

Completion of our course qualifies attendees for the Permaculture Design Course certificate, provides recognition as a Permaculture Design graduate, and enables you to go on to study for the Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design. We also offer a range of other benefits for our course attendees.

What is a Permaculture Design Course?

The Permaculture Design Course (PDC) is a vital stage in the development of understanding of permaculture ethics, principles, design processes and implementation techniques. To help you decide whether the PDC is for you, it might be a good idea to listen to What’s a PDC? to get a sense of ‘What is a Permaculture Design Course? and What isn’t a Permaculture Design Course?’.

Aims of the Course

  • Introduce the basic concepts of systems thinking, holistic design and permaculture theory & practice.
  • Introduce tools for making change happen in your own lives and places.
  • Enable learners to integrate ecological & design thinking into their everyday lives.
  • Introduce learners to existing examples of permaculture & relevant networks, and make them familiar with current development in the subject.

What we will cover

  • Permaculture basics – Ethics, Principles, Design
  • Thinking in Systems
  • Understanding Natural Systems: Energy, Soil, Water, Ecosystems
  • Understanding systems in the Human World, eg, in communities, organisations, economic systems, etc
  • Design Practice & Group Projects to address real life challenges

Learning Outcomes

After completing this course you will be able to:

  • Apply permaculture ethics & principles to situations in your own life
  • Describe some of the principles, processes & elements working within natural systems
  • Describe the process of design & a variety of tools & methods within it
  • Use design thinking in a variety of situations
  • Apply what you’ve learned in your work and personal life

Teaching Methods & Learning Activities

  • Guided discussions
  • Work in small groups
  • Practical activities & demonstrations
  • Group & Individual Design Projects
  • Presentation & Slide Shows
  • Making a portfolio
  • Site visits

Up and coming D4A courses

Spiralseed will be running two D4A programs in autumn 2015/spring 2016, in London in partnership with the Spring Into Action team and Southend on Sea, Essex with the One Love Foundation/Epic Quest alternative school.

What folk have said about previous courses by Spiralseed

“I can totally recommend this. I’ve done 2 courses under Graham’s tutelage and have thoroughly enjoyed each one. The second changed my life (for the better) and gave me the courage to ditch a a job that was wearing me down, in favour of self-employment that has left me happier than ever before as an adult. The Introduction to Permaculture course I did opened my eyes and broadened my outlook. Worth it for that alone, but when you add in a weekend of fun with like-minded people – priceless!”

“Graham’s teaching style is open, non-ego, relaxed, positive and BRILLIANT – A natural educator, thank you!”

“If anyone is considering this course I would really recommend it”

“The course was terrific and was paced in such a way as to ensure maximum benefit”

“A wonderful weekend”

“I’ve done a lot of training courses and Graham is by far one of the best trainers I’ve had”

“I believe that we all left richer for the experience and, speaking for myself, happier and more hopeful. I am now just looking for an excuse to return, because the whole experience was just too good to have only once”

Can’t afford the course fees? Fundraise for your tuition with We The Trees!

Fundraise your course tuition with WeTheTrees!