Garage design – Full

Read the Design Summary first


On one of the PDCs that I helped out on I met Bill who was passionate about Permaculture and worked not far away from me. He subsequently became part of our ALG.

He owns a successful independent garage near to where I live, he had already integrated a fair amount of permaculture thinking into the way it worked, but he was looking to move towards retirement and reduced work hours and so he wanted to use permaculture design to enable this. As he was not experienced in people-based permcaulture designing he asked for my help in designing it. And as it was part of the business development he kindly offered to pay me for my time.

The Design

Overall Evaluation

Design Framework Evaluation: Design Web

I think the design web worked well for this design. With hindsight and more experience, as normal, I would probably choose to use it slightly differently. I used it quite linearly for this design, moving around the anchor points. This was partly as it was an easy way to introduce Bill to it.

I did however, build in regular reflections, as well as appreciation and pauses, which helped to keep up the momentum and for me to keep a handle on how it was progressing and tweak my approaches.

Tools used Evaluation

Design tools evaluation

Design Process Evaluation

What went well?

  • Lots of good designing
  • Worked well with Bill
  • Built in lots of People care
  • Direct communication through texting!
  • Tried a variety of good techniques
  • Collected and analysed a large amount of information
  • Preparing well for meetings

What was challenging?

  • Adequately responding to feedback from the system
  • Large quantities of information that I wasn’t familiar with
  • Unclear role as the process progressed
  • Identifying other peoples limits
  • Learning and guiding the process simultaneously
  • Trying to work with another consultant with a completely different (and incompatible) approach

What would I do differently next time?

  • Investigate and seek help on identifying other peoples limits who are key to the design
  • Be clear from the beginning what my role in the process is and who I am accountable to
  • Recommend having only one consultant for each aspect of a process, as two conflicting recommendations can be less useful than none