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3.9 Zone and sector analysis: Design by the application of a master pattern  RSS feed

 
Cj Sloane
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Zone and sector analysis: Design by the application of a master pattern
 
Cj Sloane
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This is my favorite section, by far, because it's so practical and makes so much sense - but then again I spent 5 years at art school.

I used to link to a youtube video which really pulled this all together in a way that nothing else has, but the video has been taken down. I wish it was in the book but it's not so here it is.

If you overlay your zone & sector analysis you've made a spiders web where the rays describe external energies and the circles govern domestic energies. If you overlay the spiders web on your site your well ahead of the game.

Bill says, how does this work in practice? I've got an item I want to use - a walnut tree - I go to my pattern (spiders web) to see where it goes. I don't need to see it too often so it goes way out in zone 4 or 5. Is it susceptible to fire? No, in fact it's resistant to fire so I may as well stick in the fire sector because it'll help control fire. So it has to go in Zone 5 in the fire sector. Well done, Bill [he says] very beautifully placed.

What about this parsley plant? I use that everyday so I'll put it right next to my house zone 1. How is it effected by sectors? Its shade tolerant so it goes in the shade sector. If you design this way, you always know why you've place elements where you have and it's hard to go wrong.
 
Matu Collins
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Zone 0 is given a brief mention in this chapter but it deserves a lot of attention. This is where we spend a lot of time and use a lot of our resources. Good design in the home saves time, brings harmony between people and makes life more pleasant. We have seven people who live in our home and visitors and helpers share our space. Design is of the essence!

One example is the loop, meaning a way for children to run around the house without crashing into each other or having grownups tell them to stop. When I had my first baby the home was designed with a central hallway that each room opened off of. No loop. I chose not to have a homebirth because walking around would have been very annoying. With one calm child it wasn't too bad but now it would be miserable! Now our home has a great loop. Children know just what to do.

One of our children is on the autism spectrum and design is especially important to help him stay happy and peaceful. He is almost 13 and still uses the loop. I'm in the early stages of forming a plan for a farm-based therapy/education center for children and adults on the spectrum. I spend time designing areas for him to hang out and move and I observe him carefully to figure out how does he use the space and why. He likes to stay within zones 0-2! Swings, obstacle courses, balance beams, these are all popular ...unless they are too far away. With the growing incidence of autism this is an area of importance and I'd love to hear if anyone else is doing something similar.
 
Matu Collins
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I meant to add- the child sector is a strange and somewhat unpredictable one, but well worth taking into account.
 
Cj Sloane
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Matu Collins wrote:
One example is the loop, meaning a way for children to run around the house without crashing into each other or having grownups tell them to stop. When I had my first baby the home was designed with a central hallway that each room opened off of. No loop.


We designed our house with a loop. I had a new born and was pregs at the time so this was on my mind! A friend had a loop in their house and it made so much sense, at least for us New Englanders! We actually didn't need it as much as I thought - my kids are kind of low-key but when some energetic kids came over it was handy.

That said, the PDM does go deeply into house design - later! For Humid Cool to Cold Climates it is in Chapter 12 section 5.

Nicole Foss from The Automatic Earth has said she talks about nutrition in Zone 0 when she teaches PDCs.
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1976
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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I'm trying not to jump ahead! Good to know he gets into the home later.

Designing zone 0 for one's own family is different from designing it for a client. And designing a whole new house is different from designing a living space in an existing home. Our house is a charming cozy quirky homemade post and beam from the seventies with an addition from the eighties. Not the average house.

 
Christopher Kerrschneider
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Hey yall, this is a great discussion, looking forward to seeing where this goes.

Here's a link to a post which goes into depth and explores the same ideas. Enjoy!!!

http://www.permies.com/t/23053/permaculture-design/Permaculture-Design-home

As a child, my father's old farm house was divided into four rooms (imagine each as a quadrant) with each room leading into the one next to it, creating a circle. My brother and I spent many of evenings running around and at time we even roller bladed!!! I've never thought of the interior design of that house from a permaculture zone perspective until now, very cool.

Chris

 
Cj Sloane
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Here's my zone & sector map I did for my PDC this summer:

I actually left out a key sector for Vermont - snow removal! In this case, part of the plan was to move the driveway - which they actually did. I think on the main thread I'll post about an error I made at my own house due to leaving this out.
 
Cj Sloane
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So here's the mistake I made. 3 years ago I planted 3 apple trees in the early fall. One was directly in the path of where my husband likes to push big piles of snow. It seemed to be listing this summer and when I tried to straighten it, it fell right over. Ooops. I just wasn't thinking about snow in October.

Poorly done, CJ, bad placement! Next time map it out.
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1976
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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I'm finally getting a computer, I'm looking forward to being able to show photos like the above!

Another tree mistake- I planted seven plum trees out in zone 4 in the deer and meadow vole sector which also turned out to be the disrespectful chemical-using farmer sector. Some were girdled, some were nibbled and two were run over by an encroaching tractor and then a pickup truck. Lesson learned! The roots are still alive, perhaps someday the design can include them for something other than a mistake demonstration.
 
Paul Cereghino
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Here's my zone map.



Here's the blank slate



The founding pattern are three parabolas facing south, with a series of loop trails... I'll get the trail map up some time. I think coreography is really valuable and might be understated. While it is implied in zone analysis, actually mapping the flows of daily and weekly movements seems really important in defining the reach of zones.
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1976
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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Can anyone steer me toward a program to create a zone map like the ones above? There must be a simple way to make the overhead photo one layer and overlay with other layers showing zones and sectors.
 
Paul Cereghino
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Matu Collins wrote:Can anyone steer me toward a program to create a zone map like the ones above? There must be a simple way to make the overhead photo one layer and overlay with other layers showing zones and sectors.


I think by far the simplest approach is a presentation program like Microsoft PowerPoint, or OpenOffice Impress (my diagram above uses PowerPoint). They are roughly equivalent, and can be used for slide shows, and are pretty fast and tidy if you get familiar with them... a good multi-purpose tool if you want to minimize your time with software. I also use ArcGIS professionally, but still bounce back to something simple like PowerPoint for most of my diagrams, figures and other such things. I have been introduced to SketchUp, but don't want to spend the time learning it.

The advantage of an object-based program over a paint based program is that you can modify and duplicate objects more easily, and the snapping tool lets you quickly do scale drawings. You can always push a image file to a paint program later if you want to make pretty.

For 95% of design work, I print out clean base maps and use a #2 Dixon Ticonderoga and a impressive six jointed reticulated device called an arm...
 
Cj Sloane
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Google maps or GoogleEarth are great for the satellite image. Then, use the program you're most familiar with to do your layers - even if that's manually with onion skin paper and colored pencils.

I'm on a mac and used Pages and preview.

Here is a good design tools thread from a forum someone created for the design project of geoff lawton's online PDC. That's where I met Jenn (& convinced her to check out permies, I think).
 
Matu Collins
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Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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Cj Verde wrote:Google maps or GoogleEarth are great for the satellite image. Then, use the program you're most familiar with to do your layers - even if that's manually with onion skin paper and colored pencils.

I'm on a mac and used Pages and preview.

Here is a good design tools thread from a forum someone created for the design project of Geoff Lawton's online PDC. That's where I met Jenn (& convinced her to check out permies, I think).


I'm behind the times. I've done a lot of video and photo editing and I have use layout programs but I've never used any design programs. I was hoping to do this work on my computer. Flat surfaces are at a premium in a house with so many people. Plus, I'm excited to use this computer, I put off getting a new one for years.

I have looked at the google maps image but I don't know how to get a copy of it to work with.
 
Cj Sloane
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Matu Collins wrote:I was hoping to do this work on my computer. Flat surfaces are at a premium in a house with so many people. Plus, I'm excited to use this computer, I put off getting a new one for years.
I have looked at the google maps image but I don't know how to get a copy of it to work with.


Once you have your site up in google maps can can do a screen capture (on a mac its by pressing "shift," "command," and "3" at the same time - it'll make the sound of a photo being taken). Then it should be on your desktop labeled "screen capture so & so." Someone else can give directions for another platform - check the F keys I guess.

GoogleEarth lets you save or export the image as a file.
 
Johnny Niamert
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Matu Collins wrote:I have looked at the google maps image but I don't know how to get a copy of it to work with.


Just do a print screen, like CJ mentioned.

On a windows based machine, just hit the "Print Screen" button on your keyboard, then open Paint and paste it (Ctrl v, or right click and select paste).

You can use Paint for a very basic design tool. I would recommend saving the original file as a stand alone, then experimenting with designs saved as their own unique file.



Sketch-up is daunting, but it is pretty easy to familiarize yourself with. The benefits are well worth the time to learn it. Elevation, accurate measurements, 3D, layers, etc....
They're a lot of videos to watch for pretty much anything you want to do. Not only for site design, but greenhouse, house, coop, animal tractors, etc...
 
Cj Sloane
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I've heard good things about Inkscape which is free but I haven't tried it myself.
 
Erica Wisner
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If you like photo-editing software like Photoshop or Illustrator, there are two free programs that will let you overlay stuff in 'layers.'

One is called GIMP (Gnu Image Manipulation Program). It automatically creates a new layer each time you put text over an image, but otherwise you have to select "create new layer" from a menu.
Not as easy to see what layer you're working with as in the proprietary programs, but if you are not using more than 3 or 4 layers it's very workable.
You can save in most photo or image formats, but some of them don't support layers. I usually save a master copy in the standard GIMP format. .xcf, then re-save a copy in a different format like .png for loading into other programs or sharing online.

Another is called "Scribus" which is more like illustrator or pagemaker; it was originally designed for 'zine layouts (documents with a lot of text, graphics, and formatting, up to about 30 pages).
I use this program a lot, especially when I want to draw a diagram over top of a map or scale drawing.
It allows me to do vector-line graphics (boxes, lines, polygons, hand-drawn curves, circles, and combinations which make any shape I want). Each graphic is automatically its own separate object, so there is no need to declare whether something is a new layer. I can edit the shape by moving control points - I can move the corners of a rectangle to make a trapezoid, or pull out little tangent tabs to make it into a rounded-corner (cob bench) or rounded-edge blob (bulging sack).
You can drop objects to the bottom, or pull them to the top, or shuffle them downward or upward. You can make them transparent, or translucent.
The standard save format, .sla, works just with Scribus, but you can export things to a whole host of different formats like jpeg and png.

I have used both to draw on Google maps.
I have also pulled the Google map or screen-print from the Google map up to the size that matched my paper (e.g. a copy of the plat map), and then used the computer screen as a light board to trace the image from computer onto paper.

Another fun thing is looking at topo maps of the property. Getting a sense of where the water comes from before it reaches you, and where it goes after, is pretty fun.
Here's a topo map finder from the USGS - you can zoom in pretty far, but if you want finer than about 10 m elevation differences you may have to contour-map your own place.
nationalmap.gov/ustopo/index.html


-Erica W
 
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