Currently there are introductory and in-depth workshops on living design process happening in both Australia (Victoria) and New Zealand (Bay of Plenty).


  • Nothing currently booked in Australia - please check back again soon

New Zealand

  • Nothing currently booked in New Zealand - please check back again soon

Testimonials from Workshop Participants

Deep down you know where you want to take the project. You’re confident and you’re excited. But there are so many decisions to make. Every one of them an opportunity beckoning or a cul de sac of regret. It can be a lonely path.

And that’s why we’re so grateful to Dan and the courage and clarity he has brought to us and our project. The nub of Dan’s approach is to give “every decision its rightful breathing room.” To get there, Dan mixes passionate encouragement with incisive questions.

Because asking the right questions is really what Dan’s living design process is all about. Finding that sweet spot between intentional action and thoughtful reflection.

The most immediate example I can think of is the 1km road and contour channel we’re designing for our property. With Dan’s patient wisdom we’re confident we’re going to frame the backbone for our property. Without it, we’d have put the essence of our property’s design at risk.

I’m proud to say that Dan is our nodding Socrates. Thanks Dan!

John Carruthers

Thank you for having the courage to step up and speak from your heart and take permaculture to the next level of its evolution. Everything resonated so deeply, particularly coming from my background in performing arts, and have been rattling my brain about how I can bring the two worlds together. However, after the workshop, I realised my brain may have never arrived at the answer and it was my heart and the magic of design that contained the key! Loved it! Please keep me posted on future training/talks

Brittany Laidlaw

After this day of talking and sharing I simply feel more alive. The life and the living and the constant ebbs and flows of nature and of ourselves need to be at the heart of our designing

Nicole OGrady

Living process design. Integrity, honesty, nature, perfection, challenge, intuitive, personal, well being. Some words I’m left with.

A. Nonymous
Thanks for all your efforts in organising this workshop. It was an eye opener. I have had parts of the workshop running through my head over the last two days. It won’t stop!!! I think I started by saying the my piece of land was a blank canvas. As the workshop progressed I realised how untrue that was. It’s probability the  opposite of a blank canvas -whatever that is. As the day went by it was clear that your process is multidimensional (space,time, heart, smell and more) and require more senses that most people use on a daily basis. I look forward to learning more and perhaps discuss options for my ‘not blank canvas’
Denny Verghese

It is so exciting to see Christopher Alexander’s ideas adopted, adapted and communicated in a way that honours his work and the current context of who and where we are

Andrew Macmillan

I found the process today incredibly beneficial in understanding the application of wholistic management and decision making to bring about form and social structures and in how to make these ideas of a whole actually show up in the world

Beck Rafferty

My mind’s been buzzing ever since. I’m currently in the process of writing a blog post about my house renovation/edible forest garden and how that relates to the concepts you discussed. A lot of what both you and Louise said resonated with me very strongly. Louise’s enthusiasm for the her house and garden really reminded me of what I felt while working on mine. I hadn’t really stopped to think why I found that experience so rewarding but now you’ve given it some conceptual form.  It’s exciting to think that the process could be repeatable!

All in all, it was a great day.  I’m really inspired now to try my hand at a new project using these principles.  Thanks a lot for running it!

Simon Sheridan

Hugely thought and heart-provoking. I’m so much more energised and inspired for the future!

A. Nonymous
Dan’s Living Design Course enabled a sort of integration of processes familiar to me in one aspect of my life which i would not have otherwise applied to the design of land and environment. It validates and encourages a felt response to design, which feels organic, natural, life affirming – a process most likely to lead to beauty in form and function.
Martine Murray

This is really life-affirming for me to learn about this living design process – it resonates with my life journey and where I’m at in my architectural practice – but I’ve not heard it explained or articulated this way before. I’ll definitely be more aware of my design process with clients and be implementing more of this to enhance my life and my client’s lives!

Dan is a natural teacher and a gun at taking people on an intellectual journey that inspires them into real, meaningful action. He’s also a warm, friendly, straight talker – meaning he doesn’t waste time and gets straight to the important things. Sitting through his one day Living Design workshop was a joy to see him in action and, as a permaculture designer, affirming and deepening for my own professional practice.

I found your thoughts on the living design process very deeply useful.

I have been using this process with my work this year … and have been intrigued with the reactions in my self and others as we are confronted with the letting go of the ‘Master plan” and letting life take its course and giving the land time to reveal itself to us… pretty much get our egos the feck out of the way! ha! I really heard what you were saying about a process that starts with parts and not a “whole”

Lovely to now have a bit more of a common language around these ideas and to know that Im not alone in my huge desire to “work” differently and mostly to realise that this can be used as a decision making process for everything.. internal external big small decisions …. so will crash test this, thrash it out and slow the heck down, damn it….

Sally Lyttle

Thank you Dan, for challenging the norms of the design process and for encouraging us to feel and interact with the landscapes we work within. The ideas behind Living Design Process can be applied to any aspect of our lives, allowing us to bring consciousness and feeling back into what we do everyday. The landscapes we work with are apart of nature and nature has the answers for what will and will not work in any given place. The challenge is not to impose our external ideas onto these places but rather listen, observe and feel and enhance them accordingly, from within.

Lydia Blocksidge
Learning and growing in a classroom with Dan Palmer has opened me up to a new understanding about design process and holistic approaches to decision making. His classes are explorations into a new territory in which we are all the empowered designers of our own lives in co-operation with everyone and everything around us. His significant contributions to the field of permaculture can be explored through comprehensive writings, podcasts, videos accessible through a plethora of websites.
Delvin Solkinson