Geoff Lawton Presents: Permaculture – A Designers’ Manual (Podcast)

There’s a book… a book that is 576 pages long.

It was first published in 1988.

Some of you may have read it, some of you maybe haven’t.

This book is about designing sustainable human settlements, and preserving and extending natural systems. It covers aspects of designing and maintaining a cultivated ecology in any climate: the principles of design; design methods; understanding patterns in nature; climatic factor; water; soils; earthworks; techniques and strategies in the difference climatic types; aquaculture; and the social, legal, and economic design of human settlement.

It calls into question not only the current methods of agriculture, but also the very need for a formal food agriculture if wastelands and the excessive lawn culture within towns and cities are devoted to food production and small livestock suited to local needs.

The world can no longer sustain the damage caused by modern agriculture, monocultural forestry, and thoughtless settlement design, and in the near future we will see the end of wasted energy, or the end of civilization as we know it, due to human-caused pollution and climate changes.

Strategies for the necessary changes in social investment policy, politics itself, and towards regional or village self-reliance are now desperately needed, and examples of these strategies are given. It is hoped that this manual will open the global debate that must never end, and so give a guide to the form of a future in which our children have at least a chance of reasonable existence. — Bill Mollison: Permaculture, A Designers’ Manual

This book is Permaculture, A Designers’ Manual.

This is the definitive Permaculture design manual in print since 1988. It is the textbook and curriculum for the 72-hour Certificate course in Permaculture Design.
Written for teachers, students and designers, it follows on and greatly enlarges on the initial introductory texts, Permaculture One (1978) and Permaculture Two (1979) both of which are still in demand.
Very little of the material found in this book is reproduced from the former texts. It covers design methodologies and strategies for both urban and rural applications, describing property design and natural farming techniques.

And this show is Geoff Lawton covering the whole Permaculture Designers’ Manual in about an hour at Permaculture Voices 1 (see also) in March 2014.

Click play below to hear the talk (jump to 4:30 to skip the intro):


The chapters of the Permaculture Designers’ Manual:

  • Chapter 1: Introduction
  • Chapter 2: Concepts and Themes in Design
  • Chapter 3: Methods of Design
  • Chapter 4: Pattern Understanding
  • Chapter 5: Climatic Factors
  • Chapter 6: Trees and their Energy Transactions
  • Chapter 7: Water
  • Chapter 8: Soils
  • Chapter 9: Earthworks and Earth Resources
  • Chapter 10: The Humid Tropics
  • Chapter 11: Dryland Strategies
  • Chapter 12: Humid Cool to Cold Climates
  • Chapter 13: Aquaculture
  • Chapter 14: The Strategies of an Alternative Global Nation

Order your copy of Permaculture: A Designers’ Manual!

Geoff Lawton

Geoff Lawton is a world renowned Permaculture consultant, designer and teacher. He first took his Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) Course in 1983 with Bill Mollison the founder of Permaculture. Geoff has undertaken thousands of jobs teaching, consulting, designing, administering and implementing, in 6 continents and close to 50 countries around the world. Clients have included private individuals, groups, communities, governments, aid organizations, non-government organisations and multinational companies under the not-for-profit organisation. In 1996 Geoff was accredited with the Permaculture Community Services Award by the Permaculture movement for services in Australia and around the world. Geoff's official website is GeoffLawtonOnline.com. Geoff's Facebook profile can be found here.


  1. Indeed I read a lot of Mollison’s since about the early 1990s (and a lot from his detractors too). However, if humankind wants to double once again it can’t sustain itself on over-fished seas or top-less-depleted acreage threatened by droughts and resistant pests. It has to adopt permaculture methods or aquaponics systems to feed the growing numbers as well as preserve the rest of functional soil that’s left and preserve the rain forests etc.

  2. Hi, just trying to get a copy of Permaculture a Designers Manual – any suggestions where to get it? The link here doesn’t work, it says page not found. Regards, April

  3. I am still very clueless about what permaculture is. Starting to get it but unfortunately this talk doesn’t bring a beginner into the rudiments understanding what it is on the surface. Unfortunately the book sounds pretty text Based as far as content goes. Is there any other book that delivers the same information but last on the technical and academic heads. I’m looking for a good read not a manual..

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