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Permaculture Assessment; Processes for Closed Resource Cycles, Energy, John Cassel

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John Cassel: Permaculture Assessment: Finding Reliable Processes for Assembling Closed Resource Cycles and Effective Energy Pathways

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Permaculture Assessment; Processes for Closed Resource Cycles, Energy, John Cassel

  1. 1. Permaculture Assessment Encouraging Reliable Flourishing @JohnBCassel Agrible
  2. 2. 3 Theory; No Case Studies Encouraging Reliable Flourishing John Cassel
  3. 3. What is permaculture?
  4. 4. 5 Permaculture for agroecology: design, movement, practice, and worldview. A review Rafter Sass Ferguson & Sarah Taylor Lovell Agronomy for Sustain. Development (2014) 34:251–274 DOI 10.1007/ s13593-013-0181-6
  5. 5. 6 Permaculture is addressing its challenges
  6. 6. Is permaculture assessment possible?
  7. 7. Toby Hemenway suggests not
  8. 8. His points are true
  9. 9. His points are true but invite constructive responses
  10. 10. 11 Permaculture is a toolbox of approaches (organic farming, agroforestry, renewable energy, water harvesting, etc.) that are already proven in their respective domains.
  11. 11. 12 We don’t need scientific trials of permaculture
  12. 12. 13 We need more scientific trials of permaculture-inspired agroecology
  13. 13. 14 Permaculture needs more program assessment
  14. 14. 15 Aerospace engineering is also a toolbox ● Fluid dynamics ● Structural engineering ● Thermodynamics ● Control Systems ● Human Factors ● Finance ● Electronics ● etc.
  15. 15. 16 Aerospace engineering pays attention to operational methods for improving systems integration
  16. 16. 17 Example Multidisciplinary Design Optimization (MDO)
  17. 17. 18 Each permaculture system makes a particular balance of food production, habitat provision, and input reduction that is impossible to assess against different goals.
  18. 18. 19
  19. 19. 20
  20. 20. 21 Not all criteria should be considered equal
  21. 21. 22 If one were to compare designs based on the same goals but using similarly appropriate design processes, how could we measure the difference between the outcomes in any meaningful way?
  22. 22. 23 From rigid goals, domain-appropriate design approaches should have similar results
  23. 23. 24 Designers Discover Needs http://welcometobusinesstown.tumblr.com/image/110646060721
  24. 24. 25 Assessment is not about comparing design processes, but determining if a given design process reliably leads to appropriate interventions
  25. 25. 26 When one “measures permaculture”, what is one measuring?
  26. 26. 27 We can agree that “measuring permaculture” is nonsense
  27. 27. 28 Permaculture is all of these ● a design process ● a movement ● a set of best practices ● a worldview
  28. 28. Our focus: permaculture’s design process
  29. 29. 30 We are interested in questions which help build useful critiques of the permaculture design process.
  30. 30. 31 We are also interested in understanding the permaculture design process compared with differently-minded design processes
  31. 31. 32 Permaculture creates systems that participants agree feel most alive and provides new lifeways. This phenomenological assessment supersedes reductionist particulars.
  32. 32. 33 Living constrained by quantitative metrics is a lifeway humanity should try to avoid
  33. 33. 34 A proper use of assessment is to expand the phenomenological richness of how we interpret our development
  34. 34. What does it mean to assess the permaculture design process?
  35. 35. 36 We are interested in questions which help build useful critiques for a given undertaking of the permaculture design process.
  36. 36. 37 Permaculture’s Mission To maximize the sustained flourishing of the resource-renewing cycles in which we participate
  37. 37. 38 Design Process Expectations 1) Reliably discover substantive concerns 2) Reliably create appropriate interventions
  38. 38. 39 Reliability at substantially improving the sustained flourishing of resource-renewing cycles that provide for the designer's human needs
  39. 39. 40 Reliable Flourishing
  40. 40. What does design process quality consist of?
  41. 41. 42 Design Process Qualities • Result Quality • Evaluation Strategy Quality • Discovery Strategy Quality • Purpose Quality
  42. 42. 43 Result Quality How good was the outcome given the kind of challenge it became? How did the outcome compare to similar interventions to similar problems?
  43. 43. 44 Evaluation Strategy Quality How thoroughly did we use what we know in evaluating the intervention? How much of the “space” of different alternatives did we cover?
  44. 44. 45 Discovery Strategy Quality At what rate did we continue to find the different conditions imposed by the situation? Did the rate at which we discovered impacts diminish?
  45. 45. 46 Purpose Quality How well did we find a problem worth addressing? Was what was actually implemented really worthwhile by standards external to the logic of the problem?
  46. 46. But what difficulty did the situation present?
  47. 47. 48 Situation Challenge Severities • Design and Implementation Costs • Analytic and Computational Complexity • Obscurity and the Unknown • Ugliness of Trade-offs
  48. 48. What do these qualities assume design is?
  49. 49. 50 Implicit Model of Design • Domain-specific Design Competencies • Synthesis, Analysis, & Selection • Discovery and Information Gathering • Ethical Guidelines and Worldview
  50. 50. What is permaculture design?
  51. 51. 52 The Analysis Stage of the Permaculture Process
  52. 52. Assessing a particular permaculture exercise
  53. 53. 54 Result Quality ● Are the designer’s needs reliably satisfied (produced, maintained, processed) with additional yields? ● How little waste is generated? ● How few external resources are required? ● How much work is required?
  54. 54. 55 Evaluation Strategy Quality ● Were all of the needs designed to? ● Were all of the selected elements evaluated against potential sectors? ● Did we consider a significant range of element combinations? ● Did we consider a significant diversity of arrangements?
  55. 55. 56 Discovery Strategy Quality ● Has the rate of finding new needs, elements, sectors, functions, and arrangements, decline as to become negligible? ● Were we ever surprised? At what rate? ● Did the design situation find cost/risk equilibrium?
  56. 56. 57 Purpose Quality ● By virtue of the system, do we better take responsibility for the ecological presence of ourselves? ● Was the first purpose of the design to care for the earth, and then people? ● Did our design have a minimal footprint?
  57. 57. 58 Cost Severity ● What work, waste, and external inputs were required to configure this new arrangement? ● How much of those were incurred in the design process versus establishment?
  58. 58. 59 Severity of Complexity ● How incompatible were elements with each other? ● How many elements were eliminated by sector, zone, or cost constraints? ● How needy were the necessary elements?
  59. 59. 60 Severity of Obscurity ● Were relevant design elements easily discovered? ● Was the interaction between elements known? ● Were the needs readily forthcoming? ● Were design-eliminating sectors still being discovered?
  60. 60. 61 Trade-off Severity ● Did the only viable ecologically sound designs produce a dramatically lower quality of human life? ● Did taking care of people mean that there were no further conserved resources?
  61. 61. How effective is permaculture’s process guidance?
  62. 62. 63 Each aspect is supported two ways • Prior knowledge • Operational guidance in executing processes
  63. 63. 64 Permaculture Process Quality Solution Evaluation Discovery Purpose Prior knowledge Many well-known systems and teams Team interactions becoming understood Only rough categories for human needs Simple and articulated ethics Operational Guidance Many appropriate instructions Heuristic, Not MDO level Part of Process Early observation; boundaries
  64. 64. Permaculture as a design process among peers
  65. 65. 66 We are also interested in understanding the permaculture design process compared with differently-minded design processes
  66. 66. 67 Design Process Peers Total Discipline Analytical Framework Risk Governance Game Theory Engineering (as it actually happens) Engineering Design Permaculture System Dynamics
  67. 67. 68 A Model of Engineering Design
  68. 68. 69 Engineering Design Process Quality Solution Evaluation Discovery Purpose Prior knowledge Many well-known systems Simulation and Meta- modeling Human factors and checklists Professional responsibility Operational Guidance Well- developed Trades Optimization and experimental design Not considered Not considered
  69. 69. 70 A Model of Risk Governance
  70. 70. 71 Risk Governance Process Quality Solution Evaluation Discovery Purpose Prior knowledge Some well-known systems (expected) Expert Analysis/ Public Deliberation Known Risks to Human Life Human Rights Operational Guidance Some developed approaches (expected) Game theoretic analysis Stakeholder Engagement Assuring Rational Communication
  71. 71. 72 Permaculture Process Quality Solution Evaluation Discovery Purpose Prior knowledge Many well-known systems and teams Team interactions becoming understood Only rough categories for human needs Simple and articulated ethics Operational Guidance Many appropriate instructions Heuristic, Not MDO level Part of Process Early observation; boundaries
  72. 72. Permaculture could also use Multidisciplinary Design Optimization
  73. 73. 74 Generic Engineering Optimization Minimize difference from goals While maintaining constraints By varying parameters
  74. 74. 75 Optimization for Permaculture Minimize waste, work, external inputs Maintaining needed production, processing, and maintained conditions By varying parameters determining elements and how they connect
  75. 75. Optimization for permaculture might be a bad idea
  76. 76. Takeaways
  77. 77. 78 Permaculture is a purpose-rich design process that attends to ongoing discovery
  78. 78. 79 Permaculture needs specific and detailed lists of shelter, nutritional, and social needs
  79. 79. 80 Permaculture can borrow the optimization methods of engineering design X
  80. 80. Thank you
  81. 81. john.benjamin.cassel@gmail.com @JohnBCassel (#RSD5)
  82. 82. 83

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