Date(s) - Saturday, January 20, 2018
9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Whakatane, NZ

NOTE: This event has recently changed from a four-day to a one-day workshop. Please contact us if you’d like to know more.

A diverse group of designers has been coalescing over the last several years, brought together by the shared goal of seeking the core fundamentals of good design process.

We’ve arrived into a new space, that we can now share, that reliably creates forms of intense beauty and function, apparently equally effective over a huge range of scales and contexts – from living–scapes to living-rooms; from menu-planning to life-choice-planning.

The collaboration has progressed to the point that it’s now time to open an intensive face-to-face space to really piece it all together. We are getting together over 4 days in January to workshop this material – and we’ve decided to open the final day up for a limited number of new participants.

Join us for a one-day introductory workshop on Living Design Process (LDP). LDP is a paradigm-shifting way of working with whole systems to enhance their life and beauty through a process of continuous unfolding. During this introduction, not only will you hear about LDP, but you will live, breathe, feel and taste it.

Who is this workshop for?

Anyone can do this workshop. Though in many ways LDP has for us grown out of our prior work and collaborations in permaculture, the workshop requires zero prior knowledge of permaculture. Anyone interested in designing for life, beauty and wholeness is welcome. Whether you are a landscape designer, a life coach, an architect, a cake-maker, a musician, an artist, or just someone wanting to transform your own back yard, then there is something in Living Design Process relevant to you.

That said, for people that are familiar with permaculture, this workshop is:

  • an excellent next step after a permaculture design course
  • a prime professional development opportunity for practicing permaculture designers
  • a great experience to have before doing a PDC
  • a great place to start for anyone interested to learn more about permaculture


20th January 2018, 9am-4pm. Though coming just for the day is fine, we invite you to arrive and get set up / settled from 5pm onward the afternoon/evening of 19th. We’d also recommend sticking around for the evening of the 20th which will be a lovely time of celebration – the crescendo of the larger four-day event this one day introduction is part of. You are then welcome, if you like, to stay the evening of the 20th then head off on the 21st.


The venue is shared between two stunningly beautiful properties a walk down the road from each other. Both are about a 12-minute drive out of Whakatane.

There is a choice of camping, small cabins and house busses over the two properties – first in first served. You can choose to be in a secluded bushy grove, next to the brick yard or close to the campfire so you can hear the nightly music from your tent. Composting toilets, fire baths, warm showers and daily river swims available.


Food is an integral part of the wellbeing of our systems. Most of the food will be harvested fresh from our orchards, gardens and farms. We will be using rocket and solar technology to cook onsite. We’ll have a bbq set up on the evening of the 19th – please bring a contribution to share.


While there is no set fee for this workshop we invite a koha (donation) that is affordable to you and that reflects whatever you get out of it.



Louise Shaw

Along with Peter West we are a family of 5 who live on a beautiful farm in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand. We live off the grid in an earth house and we produce most of our own food in a regenerative way (you can check out some of our adventures here).

I am a trained primary school teacher who has specialised in science and outdoor education through experiential learning. I hold a Permaculture Design Certificate, am a trained Enviroschools facilitator, hold an L3 Organic Agriculture certificate through Telford and have Course 3 Playcentre training. I feel my most important qualification is the time I have allowed myself to play within my world. To explore the many wild landscapes, learn to read the environment (natural, built and social) and then use these observations, imaginings and conversations to design through all aspects of my life.

I have worked within our wider local community on a broad range of projects as teacher and then an environmental educator. From lifestyle design to events hosting more than 300 people over three days; from broad acre farm design to intensive crop rotations; from kitchen design to cheese design. My favourite designs are creating spaces (social and physical) that allow people to reawaken the designer/creater within themselves; designs that incorporate a high level of designer redundancy and invisibility; designs that rekindle the designer in others.

A lot of my work has hinged around eco-literacy and the need to learn more than just basic observation and pattern reading skills. Through shared and parallel design experiences with Peter this has evolved into the development of a language of design where we can co-operatively design within diverse guilds of people.

Peter West

In the distant past, I made my living working Clydesdale draft-horses, trapping furs, and working in wild-life Kokako conservation. I now work as a consulting engineer specialising in river hydrology, flood protection design and flood forecasting systems. This involves working within teams of designers, and often designing in collaboration with large community groups among diverse objectives and contrasting world-views. Since 2010 Louise Shaw and I have operated our own consultancy – Blue Duck Design Ltd.

For me, good design is a fog-clearing exercise built on thorough understandings, and on clear communication or expression. My current focus is the clarity of expression and collation of insights afforded by the careful use of patterns. I’m now seeing that these methods can be helpfully applied to almost all decision-making situations.

Starting in the late 1990’s we have been gradually establishing a living-scape on family land amongst hills overlooking the Whakatane River. Each year in this landscape finds new layers of richness to explore; to be designed and formed-up. The place continues to develop, and its capacity to provide for people’s needs increases. This long-term project has formed the back-drop to our developing design consciousness; a testing-ground for ideas and methods; and a germination-bed for the design concepts we now apply in our other spheres.

Courtney Brooke

I am a coordinator and educator with Earthcare Education Aotearoa in New Zealand & School of Integrated Living (S.O.I.L) in the United States where I co-organize, coordinate and tutor on Permaculture Design Courses. I obtained my Permaculture Design Certificate at Tui Community and have a B.S. in Ecology and Anthropology of Human Food Systems.

I have studied with teachers and mentors including David Holmgren, Robina McCurdy, Dan Palmer, Patricia Allison, Zev Friedman, Robin Clayfield, Annaliese Hordern & Ross Mars.

I have been an experiential educator for seven years; teaching nature-based curriculum to children of all ages, young adults and adults. I teach at a range of venues including nature centers, elementary schools, camps and, of course, right off the land. At the moment, I am in pursuit of her Professional Diploma in Permaculture Education with Permaculture Institute North America (P.I.N.A).

I am best know for my passion for using the language of eco-literacy to decipher the dynamic book of patterns for system design, development and maintenance straight from the blueprints of the landscape. I currently live part time in New Zealand and part-time in the states, ‘cross-pollinating’ the permaculture movement the South Island and the Southeastern Appalachia mountains.

James Andrews

Myself along with my wife Pip, and our two kids, Lilly (9) and Finn (7) live on a small farm near Mangawhai in Northland. My experiences to date have been varied, with many of my earlier years (following a few years at University) spent working and playing in the mountains and doing conservation work on offshore islands.

While working for DOC my understanding of our place in the world progressed.

I went from supporting the standard species focused preservationist thinking, where people and nature are separated and ‘nature’ is visited in the weekend… into a more integrated approach, where we attempt to take our place as a positive force within nature. If the effort to re-integrate humans as a positive force within nature sounds like a large and complex task to you, you are right! It is infinitely complex and also infinitely interesting, challenging, multifaceted and rewarding.

While on this Permaculture inspired trajectory, I have gardened at home, started a market garden, launched a sourdough bread business, worked as a Polytech tutor in Horticulture and Rural sustainability, and run workshops on permaculture, gardening, seed saving, nutrition and orchard design.

Most recently, I have started up Thrive Permaculture as a professional design service. Through this, I aim to develop clients confidence and knowledge of design process to be able to address the arrangement of physical space in terms of how it reflects and enhances personal, social and ecological realities. Otherwise I am surfing, fishing, gardening or playing with the kids.

Dan Palmer

I am husband to Amanda and father to Robin (7) and Nikka (4). Though we have a deep connection to the Whakatane area, we currently live in Castlemaine, Victoria, Australia.

During the last decade or so, I helped start the permablitz movement, making permaculture stronger, and very edible gardens, which I co-direct. I involve myself in two or three in-depth design projects at a time (currently one of them is a 10-acre farmlet for two families and another is a 700-apartment Melbourne development). In recent months I have been working with permaculture co-originator David Holmgren to further permaculture’s design process understandings.

But my passion is feeling into design processes that are authentically alive. Having tasted what becomes possible inside living processes of design, there is no turning back. So many well intentioned approaches to healing a broken world attempt to join the broken pieces back together again. This approach cannot generate lasting wholeness. It cannot heal the earth. Living process starts at the unbroken core or essence of a thing and grows fresh tissue from there. Heart, head and hand start out and stay together, each enriching the others every step of the way.

Bring on January 20th!

Zev Friedman

Zev Friedman is an Appalachian milpa farmer and leading permaculture educator and consultant at Earthaven Ecovillage in western North Carolina. He grew up in a patch of kudzu in Sylva, NC, and received his B.S. in Human Ecology from the University of North Carolina Asheville. Zev specializes in hands-on, in-depth education in permaculture and earthskills and has been doing residential and community-based professional design and installation throughout the southern Appalachian bioregion for over 10 years. Almost a decade of study with world-renowned teacher Martin Prechtel helped feed his passion for regrowing our own diverse indigenous lifeways through youth initiation and ritual.



Bookings are closed for this event.