Design project

It is 10 years since the first permaculture design was created for Sabina school.
Since that time, the local, national and international climate has changed. Competition for school students has increased, government support for education has decreased and carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have rocketed.
Sabina school stands at a crossroads. It can choose to continue to compete with other schools offering the same model of education. Or it could take a more innovative path, using permaculture design strategies to:
– increase food yield, soil fertility, nutrition and biodiversity
– become less carbon intensive and more energy efficient
– improve the health of students, staff, cooks, community
– create a sustainable education model
– integrate permaculture design & practical activities into school life
– increase children’s broad-based performance, wellbeing and life skills
– create a local, sustainable enterprise model and inspire others to do the same
– create effective communication and marketing strategies (for the school, community, wider audiences and political)
Sabina – an Inspirational School for Education & Eco-Entrepreneurship
Sabina school is well placed to develop revolutionary enterprises that place the school at the leading edge of education & eco entrepreneurship. Building on the permaculture design of 2008, the latest Permaculture Design Course students will analyse and design two phases of future development:
Phase One 2018 – 2020
How to improve the existing permaculture activities on site and integrate these into the school’s educational, operational and marketing programmes.
Phase Two 2020 – 2030
How to develop Sabina so that it makes full use of the site’s potential for:
a) minimising carbon outputs and maximising carbon sequestration (Paris Agreement 2016).
b) offering a more holistic, sustainable experience for students, staff, visitors and volunteers.
c) equipping graduates the abilities & skills to create eco-enterprises for a sustainable future.
d) communicating & marketing the school’s USPs.
Please follow these stages to prepare your design(s):
1. In your three subgroups for Phase One or Phase Two (as allocated), review the overall brief and break it down into component parts/themes.
2. All three groups come together and decide which subgroup will explore each of the following themes: a) Land based – food, biomass etc b) Technology based – energy, cooking, processing etc c) Education & Communications – school curriculum, community, wider audiences
3. Each sub group needs to observe, ‘map’, research & come up with design ideas and proposals for their theme using permaculture ethics, principles and other design tools. THINK CREATIVELY & WITHOUT CONSTRAINTS TO BEGIN WITH – WE WANT TO SEE INNOVATIVE IDEAS AS WELL AS TRIED & TESTED SOLUTIONS.
4. Come back together as a whole group for Phase One or Phase Two and share, develop & integrate your observations, research and design proposals.
5. Include an approximate time line for implementation ie what to do first, what comes later – and an approximate maintenance schedule.
Prepare your design(s) – ensure that each sub group is represented in the presentation.
Do this task considering Sabina’s current operations & educational ‘offer’ and please don’t get lost in the detail. It’s an exercise, and the point is for you to have a go at designing. Phase Two for 2020 – 2030 needs to be broader in conceptual terms than Phase One for 2018 – 2020.
 Observe/survey the site from a permaculture perspective. This should include identifying current key ‘gaps’/limitations/challenges as well as strengths & opportunities.
 Look beyond the physical/built boundaries: you might want to consider aspects that happen ‘invisibly’ or off-site as part of your survey, analysis or proposed strategy.
 Explore and consider design options for developing the site and enhancing its usage. This should include invisible as well as practical and physical aspects.
 Think about what you’ve learned and make use of the permaculture ethics, principles and other design tools (eg zones & sectors).
 It’s OK to consider a particular aspect(s) in more detail, as long as your observations/research are holistic AND START BIG PICTURE/CREATIVE/INNOVATIVE.
 Design a strategy/ies for funding, implementing, communicating & promoting the new developments.
 Prepare your presentation(s).
Your presentation should include
 What you see as the main needs/priorities for your part of the design.
 The characteristics of the site and proposed users
 The main gaps/limitations you have identified and chosen to address
 How you used permaculture ethics, principles and a range of tools to go through the design process
 Your key recommendations for Sabina.
Ground rules for the presentation
 Up to 5 minutes to describe the brief.
 Up to 30 minutes for the whole group (10 mins per sub group) to present
 Up to 5 minutes to summarise the overall design.
 Up to 5 minutes questions from the participants.
 Up to 5 minutes feedback from the client.
 Up to 5 minutes feedback from the tutors.
 Each member of the team should contribute to the design proposal in some way
 Have some visuals that show your thinking, convey your design proposals and presents a compelling vision! Angie Polkey & Steve Jones, 2018

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