Mae Tha Community, Chiang Mai, N Thailand

(Supawut Boonmahathanakorn – JaiBaan Studio)

Module Description:

In this module the concept of ‘design’ has been expanded to be ‘co-created design with nature’, including not only physical aspects of community but also core values about the purpose of life.  Participants will also inquire into forms of human relationships with each other and with nature, and economic practices that will enhance wellbeing of all.  Based on a real traditional village in Northern Thailand, the facilitator, community and participants will co-create a vision of this village as an ecovillage as well as co-designing a process of how to achieve that sustainable vision.


Mae Tha village is a success story of regeneration of a traditional village into ecovillage. The revitalization process has brought young people back to rural village life with pride, and has become a model for community forestry and sustainable livelihoods.

Mae Tha is a farming community nestled in a valley, surrounded by streams and natural forest in Northern Thailand. Over the past 3 generations it has been the site of community-led resistance to top-down socio-economic development.  Alongside their efforts to protect their natural resources, the community has also become a model of regeneration with the return of youth, who have come back to engage in a more simple and sustainable way of life, and re-infuse new ideas and creativity into livelihoods that sustain the community. They have built a strong organic farming ethos within the community, and through partnerships with good friends in the region, they have created fair trade platforms for marketing their produce; food sovereignty is being explored through seed production and saving; and local wisdom is being regenerated through community awakening – knowing their history and maintaining connection to the land of their ancestors, which gives them purpose and understanding of the value of their community life.

Learning Goal

To learn deep knowledge of permaculture design and co-create the ecological designs with nature

Learning Outcomes

         Participants will:

  1. be able to communicate with nature and community people
  2. be aware of careful planning, sharing of resources and working with nature
  3. be able to apply permaculture ethics and principles in redesigning the sites


Permaculture Design Principles.

Deep Green Permaculture.