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Designing - Site elements analysis  RSS feed

 
doug peddle
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Hello fellow Permies,

I have a fairily 'techy' question about the design process via analysis of site elements, and linking up inputs/needs with outputs/resources (plus also reference to characteristics/querks of elements).

When i have been going through site elements and listed all the above details and then linked up needs to resources i end up with a convoluted spider diagram which is helpfull in general, but its hard to digest all of the information. Plus i cant but think i have missed some small but important details! So i thought there must be a better way to collate all of this information together.

This is especially the case with more complicated designs as you have MANY site elements, so the list of connections becomes even more complicated.

Does anyone have any advice about perhaps how to do this better? Maybe there is some funky graphical software out there? Or maybe just another better way?!

One thing i was thinking was that perhaps there could be a set of standardised 'element cards' which mean every time you do a design you don't have to re-write up basic info (e.g Chickens!). Has anyone tried this? Obviously you would have to be carefull to review them for every site. Also you would still end up with a massive diagram with a million connections that is hard to digest...

Thanks again for any advice,
Doug.
 
Ben Stallings
Posts: 160
Location: Emporia, KS
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Hi, Doug. See this thread for just exactly what you're looking for: http://www.permies.com/t/14704/permaculture/Permaculture-Planning-adults-children

Also, I'm working on a mobile-friendly Web-based design tool where you enter what's already in a design (plants, structures, etc.) and it makes recommendations of what to add to the design based on climate, sun, soil, needs & functions, compatibilities & incompatibilities. I haven't had a chance to work on it in a few months, but once I get started again I'll be only about a week or two from a private beta test.
 
doug peddle
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Hi Ben, Thanks for the response, and the link. Those cards look very good and very usefull - may well have to purchase some when they become available!

I would be very keen to help out with any beta testing of your system too, feel free to message me whenever you need. That sounds like a really good idea.

I still wonder what other ways other people have developed to help them work through the 'analysis of elements' design method too...

Thanks!
 
Saybian Morgan
gardener
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Location: Lower Mainland British Columbia Canada Zone 8a/ Manchester Jamaica
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how do make multidimensional connections simplified and digestible, that's a tough one. all you can really do is simplify its presentation to the viewer. the expounding of the permaculture design manual is about ad simple as it gets while being honorable to the truth of its complexity. its no small book, and it would be even harder software to write. I work with non linear node based connections for a living, and the truth is the more you label the more compounded is the brain fry. All you can really do is display the hierarchy of connections in cascading fields of dominance. outputs may dwarf inputs in something like a chicken if there is a greater field like incidental forage systems available. it could go in reverse if your buying feed in, so your software would need a quick means of reconnecting large networks of connections. I've used those connect the bubble presentation programs but they lack a database of elements you can template. permaculture seems to stack connections to the brink of stroke inducing revelation. the only thing I know of that emulates that many interdependent connections is 3d software n that's not simple or friendly at all.

what can I say but dumb it down for the client, n manage the clutter of stats internally to the degree you can handle, there's just no easy way to linearize life systems
 
doug peddle
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Hi Saybian, Thanks for the thought-full response, its always great to hear that other more experienced people have similar experiences! Youve really brought it home to me that the reality is just that some things in life are complicated, and nothing more than life itself. Very helpfull perspective to get.

 
Saybian Morgan
gardener
Posts: 582
Location: Lower Mainland British Columbia Canada Zone 8a/ Manchester Jamaica
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I thought about it, if I had an image for every element as a node with a corresponding picture i could build networks of relationships that could be output as a quilt of images in their hierarchy of dominance and group those into cluster's that are also sorted into a downward connecting tree that are fit into a simple quilt. The quilt is navigated by depth and any node/image in the tree can take you to any of it's connections. It would probably take most of my life to examining components and figure out all the connections, but building one of those for a design is easy because i'm limited to only connecting the clients elements.
I don't want to build such a thing while i'm still young and spry for digging in the mud, but I know which tools need to be connected to do it. It would sort of end up like those silly floating screens people touch in sci fi movies, but with clicking.

It sounds like something I'd like to do with my older years, create a program for navigating infinite potential of the connections in permaculture which is no different than nature inclusive of humanity.
 
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