Module 21 – Ecological Design


14th-18th January 2019 (5 days) at Nong Tao community, N Thailand

(Supawat Boonmahathanakorn)


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.


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


Learning Themes (schedule example from 2017)

DAY 1 History of Nongtao (Karen) Community

Understanding People and Place

Principles of Design

DAY 2 Survey the assigned sites. listening to the people, observing the landscape
DAY 3 Work in Groups : complete the survey, analysis and design for the assigned sites
DAY 4 Visit the Community Sacred Forest
DAY 5 Present the designs to villagers



Recommended Readings and Websites:



Joni Odochao, Douglas Nakashima and Chayan Vaddhanaphuti. 2006. An education rooted in two worlds: the Karen of northern Thailand,



Obstacles to Indigenous Land Rights,

Water management through the Mae Wang Village Wisdom Institute



Dignity Conference 29.1: Presentation of a Karen Village, Part 1: Forest Village Life



Permaculture Design Principles.

Deep Green Permaculture.

Baan Nong Tao Project


Hand-outs/ Powerpoints During Module: