Learning the Language of Systems and Patterns
October 2018 (provisional dates)
Residential, with non-residential option
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What is this course?
This course is an experiential journey into the world of systems and patterns and their value in designing for both land and people. We will explore them in our own lives and the world around us, through games, observations, artwork, mindmapping, slide shows, talks and discussions. This experiential learning embeds the language into our own thinking enabling us to become fluent in using patterns and systems in our formal and informal design work. Applewood Permaculture Centre will provide the perfect opportunity to learn systems and patterns from the most proficient teacher - nature; with a multitude of different habitats and ongoing permaculture designs in action.
Why are we teaching this course?
Because we think it's important to deepen our understanding of systems and patterns to become more effective permaculture designers. Systems and patterns feature heavily in both Aranya's and Looby's latest book projects, and we are fascinated to bring our different perspectives together to further expand our thinking. This will be a journey of collective discovery with teaching methods suited to harvesting the wisdom of the group.
Systems and Patterns are embedded into the practices of Cultural Emergence - a new evolving framework for creating positive personal, social and environmental change.
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How has learning the language of systems and patterns benefitted us?
"Understanding systems has helped me to be more resilient in my life and to place my journey in a much bigger context. Becoming familiar with patterns has inspired me to be more creative in my thinking and being. I am continually amazed at how understanding the complexity of systems and patterns has actually provided me with more reassurance and hope. When I am wanting to bring about change anywhere I start with some systems thinking to bring into awareness the flows and leverage points."
"Learning about systems has helped me to see ‘the bigger picture’ and understand why the unpredictable can sometimes happen. It’s made me realise the importance of good observation - we live in a world of processes, not objects - and why making small changes can avoid making big mistakes. Understanding the problems that nature’s different forms are solving has expanded my toolbox of solutions and helped me to become a better designer. Nature’s basic recipe is ‘Matter + Pattern’ and if we only focus upon the former we are missing a vital half of the picture."
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What you will learn
What you will go home with:
- Seeing the world in a whole new way.
- An understanding of systems terminology.
- Understanding patterns and systems as a way of initiating and maintaining change.
- How to use systems and patterns in our people and land based designs.
- Awareness of patterns of thinking, behaving, interacting and being.
- Familiarity with feedback loops and how to observe them and interact with them.
- How to use systems and patterns as tools for Cultural Emergence.
- Shifting our own perspectives and widening our frames of thinking.
- Becoming more effective in our personal, community and work life.
For more details about course content contact Aranya
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Venue and themes
Applewood is a 20 acre smallholding in the beautiful hills of North Herefordshire. The owners, Designed Visions partners Chris Evans and Looby Macnamara, are developing a low-impact permaculture demonstration and training centre. They feel that with permaculture, you need to see it to believe it, and then need to be able to learn it, and then acquire the resources (seeds, plants, books, friends and networks) to do it!
The site includes woods, pasture, a lake, kitchen garden and an orchard of heritage apples. These diverse habitats make for an incredible wildlife and people sanctuary. A converted barn and outbuildings provide indoor accommodation and the grounds a peaceful campsite.
For those who are especially interested, Applewood Permaculture Centre offers an extra emphasis on social permaculture and cultural emergence
For more details about the venue
contact Looby on +44 (0) 1584 831195
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Dates and Times
This course will run provisionally in October 2018. Please sign up to our mailing list if you'd like to be kept in touch.
Sessions will run throughout each day. We have an hour and a quarter for lunch and evening meals, plus tea breaks during the mornings and afternoons.
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Completing his Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design in 2003, Aranya started teaching the following year. He discovered this made his heart sing, so he made it his main focus. Since 2004 he has taught over 80 two-week design courses, something he has no intention of stopping. He feels that it's a privilege to have the opportunity to teach "something that can make a real difference in all our lives".
Aranya is also excited about new ways in which permaculture thinking can help us, developing new courses on using its principles to help us design for optimising our health and creating ethical livelihoods.
In the spring of 2012 Permanent Publications published his first book 'Permaculture Design - a Step-by-Step Guide', which evolved from a set of design course worksheets. He also writes occasionally for magazines and from time to time shares interesting items on his blog. Aranya is currently writing a second book, about a subject he’s especially fascinated by, the application of systems thinking and patterns in permaculture design.
Looby was first inspired by permaculture when eating a flower salad from a 6 foot square patio garden bursting with vitality in the middle of an urban jungle. She went on to do her permaculture course in Brighton, but it was not only the content of the course, but how it was taught that led her on the path to teaching permaculture. Her path since has been life changing and has affirmed the belief that we can all take positive action to benefit ourselves, our communities and our planet. She is interested in how we can use Permaculture principles, ethics and design in all aspects of life, and as part of her Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design she included several non land-based designs.
Her book 'People and Permaculture' was the first book to directly explore the application of permaculture design and principles to our lives and relationships. She teaches a diversity of permaculture courses, including introductory, full design, advanced design, teacher training and peoplecare courses. In 2016 she moved to Applewood Permaculture Centre, a 20 acre smallholding in North Herefordshire with her family and partner Chris Evans.
She is also a senior diploma tutor and experienced in people based designs. In 2014 she co-founded Thriving Ways a collective of international facilitators specialising in People and Permaculture courses.