All theory

eric + michiko emstorm at
Sun Jun 25 10:55:09 EDT 2000

Myk wrote:
> As a design system isn't it 'all theory'? A set of
> Ethics/Principles/techniques/procedures/theories/patterns/ideas...etc. that
> are applied to a social group/community/house/task/landscape...etc. to
> find/provide sustainable/permanent solution to requirements/needs/goals...
> etc.
> To my mind 'data/examples/recipes/whatever' are examples of permaculture's
> application not permaculture

Well said, Myk.  This is not emphasized enough, in my opinion.  Although
"Permaculture is a design system" gets said often, the implications of it
are often overlooked.  Can you have a Permaculture site, garden or village?
 Or isn't it a site designed using Permaculture (principles)?  And since
there are always parts of the design that are not part of Permaculture
(aesthetics, personal preferences, economic factors, material availability,
etc.), calling a project a "Permaculture project" might be misleading. 

Other examples:
A house isn't architecture, though the design of it might have been.
A house isn't carpentry either, though it may have been used to build it.
A bridge isn't engineering, thought engineering principles may have been
used to build it.
Is a painting art or the result of doing art?
Is a book writing or the result of writing?
Is a meal cooking or the result of cooking?

Rather than relying on a memory of past solutions, if the ideas, principles
and ethics of Permaculture were deeply ingrained, wouldn't many unique
solutions to unique situations (like the first herb sprial or keyhole bed?)
come to mind (even if they are inspired by older ideas)?

Eric Storm

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