This poem came from a game designer named Raph Koster. See his original post and comments here: http://www.raphkoster.com/2011/12/16/good-design-bad-design-great-design/#more-3929.
I think these design elements can also apply to permaculture and are often missed as the focus becomes more on stacking functions, sectors, capturing and slowing energy and other permaculture principles. While zones play a part in encompassing utilization by people, planning for that can also be largely practical and, well, let's face it: bland.
I've seen a lot of permaculture spaces with good design, but not very many that have the great kind of design that is inviting, instructive, exciting and engaging.
Good Design, Bad Design, Great Design
(By Raph Koster - www.raphkoster.com)
Good design is familiar.
Bad design is boring.
Great design is exciting.
Good design embraces human nature.
Bad design exploits human nature.
Great design is humane and humanistic.
Good design guides.
Bad design controls.
Great design invites.
Good design drives habit.
Bad design drives frustration.
Great design drives passion.
Good design teaches.
Bad design lectures.
Great design has you teach yourself.
Good design is invisible.
Bad design calls attention to itself.
Great design calls attention to what you can do.
Good design celebrates accomplishments.
Bad design loudly celebrates minor accomplishments.
Great design enables accomplishments.
Good design does what the user wanted.
Bad design does what the designer wanted.
Great design does what the user didn't know they needed.
Good design is at the user's skill level.
Bad design never asked the user.
Great design makes everyone think they can use it.
Good design is intentional.
Bad design is planned (exhaustively, on paper).
Great design reveals itself while working in the materials.
Good design gets people to pay for utility.
Bad design gets people to pay as quickly as possible.
Great design makes money as an incidental consequence.
Good design makes companies.
Bad design can make plenty of money.
Great design builds legacies, cultures, and communities.
Good design converses.
Bad design tells.
Great design connects people.
Good design executes on the possible.
Bad design ships on time.
Great design reaches for the implausible.
Good design has only the parts it needs.
Bad design is cluttered.
Great design has fewer parts than seem possible.
Good design doesn't fail.
Bad design fails a lot.
Great design fails even more.
I have done good design.
I have done plenty of bad design.
I always want to do great design.
I'd love to hear thoughts, or see pics or videos of what folks think is good, bad or great permaculture design.
I was admiring an enormous pohutukawa tree the other day. It was very happily growing in a cliff-face, taking advantage of some pretty challenging edge!
I know you didn't mean that kind of thing, but I think plants are some of the ultimate exponents of great permaculture design.
Good design is innovative.
The possibilities for innovation are not, by any means, exhausted. Technological development is always offering new opportunities for innovative design. But innovative design always develops in tandem with innovative technology, and can never be an end in itself.
Good design makes a product useful.
A product is bought to be used. It has to satisfy certain criteria, not only functional, but also psychological and aesthetic. Good design emphasises the usefulness of a product whilst disregarding anything that could possibly detract from it.
Good design is aesthetic.
The aesthetic quality of a product is integral to its usefulness because products we use every day affect our person and our well-being. But only well-executed objects can be beautiful.
Good design makes a product understandable.
It clarifies the product’s structure. Better still, it can make the product talk. At best, it is self-explanatory.
Good design is unobtrusive.
Products fulfilling a purpose are like tools. They are neither decorative objects nor works of art. Their design should therefore be both neutral and restrained, to leave room for the user’s self-expression.
Good design is honest.
It does not make a product more innovative, powerful or valuable than it really is. It does not attempt to manipulate the consumer with promises that cannot be kept.
Good design is long-lasting.
It avoids being fashionable and therefore never appears antiquated. Unlike fashionable design, it lasts many years — even in today’s throwaway society.
Good design is thorough, down to the last detail.
Nothing must be arbitrary or left to chance. Care and accuracy in the design process show respect towards the consumer.
Good design is environmentally-friendly.
Design makes an important contribution to the preservation of the environment. It conserves resources and minimises physical and visual pollution throughout the lifecycle of the product.
Good design is as little design as possible.
Less, but better — because it concentrates on the essential aspects, and the products are not burdened with non-essentials. Back to purity, back to simplicity.