Archived Design Course

Ecovillage Design Course:  July 09 - 20, 2003


This particular course will be the final Graduate Design Project for an M.A. in Whole Systems Design at Antioch University Seattle. It is intended to serve as the prototype for more VDI presentations in the future. The course will be modeled upon comparable, international-standard, Permaculture and Village Design courses offered around the globe, but adapted to the unique perspectives and purposes of the Village Design Institute.

 In comparison to other courses, ours will have much more of a focus on the Design Studio phase. We're not merely presenting information or showing examples of work that has already been done – we want to guide course participants through the very organic process by which they can prepare themselves for doing their own, comprehensive, multi-dimensional site design work. In this regard, we will be working extensively with maps, on-site evaluation, and the community-centered Group Design Process. We want to balance theory with practical hands-on application; we want the course to have a real community feel; and we want to introduce body and sensory awareness as essential aspects of good ecological design.

 For a complete explanation and interpretation of the philosophy and intentions underlying this type of course, see Context Paper. For an abbreviated version, see course Design Criteria.

 It is important to emphasize that the faculty presenting this Ecovillage Design course have actively gone out and experienced the best that the world has to offer in this emerging new field. We're taking all we have learned – through intensive college course work, through leading-edge international design presentations, through residencies and extended practicums at premier ecovillage models, and most importantly, through our own daily, practical, hands-on efforts – and applying this collective body of knowledge to the creation of a dynamic, timely, useful, regionally-based, holistic – mind, body, spirit – learning experience. For further qualifications, see Faculty and Staff.

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