Design Project Portfolio

The core component of The Peoples Diploma is the development of a Design Project Portfolio. Over the course of the program students engage with and document five (or more) different design projects demonstrating competent use of permaculture ethics, principles, design methods, strategies, and techniques. The outcome is that students develop themselves as ecological design thinkers across diverse project types while having a positive impact in their community. Design projects must include:

  • 1 full property land-based site design
  • 1 partial property land-based site design with implementation
  • 1 community impact design with implementation
  • 1 social (non-land-based) design with implementation
  • 1 personal nature immersion practice that will last for the full 2 ½ year program

Learning Design

Students create flexible and customized learning designs that include sites you want to visit, books you want to read, classes you want to take, articles you want to write, and design projects you want to do. The learning designs function to guide you in gaining the skills, knowledge, and experience necessary to succeed with your design projects.

  • Include how you are going to achieve your goals, challenges you may face on the journey, how you will keep momentum, stay organized, and celebrate achievements.
  • Include time for documenting your work.
  • Adaptively plan in six month increments to allow for new opportunities and resources to emerge.


As you progress through The Peoples Diploma, practice short and concise documentation of your design projects along the way. Include images and text that share highlights about what was done and what was learned, connecting each highlight to permaculture with reference to ethics, principles, strategies, attitudes, and practices.

  • Choose one focus project to document in great depth up to 15 pages.
  • All other design projects for the portfolio should be documented concisely, around 5 pages.
  • Take photos (for physical sites, it’s helpful to take ‘before’ photos from different angles).
  • Express yourself in whatever creative form is of most interest to you, be it writing, photography, video, etc.

Fields of Practice

The Peoples Diploma participants can choose to apply permaculture design thinking, ethics, principles, and practices to any combination of the Fields of Practice. We want participants to grow their own passions and directions, as well as address the needs of ones community. See Fields of Practice for more information.

Application Requirements

  • Applicant must have completed an approved Permaculture Design Course to apply
  • Commitment to 2 ½ years of enrollment in the diploma program

Application Process

  • Submit diploma application. We will contact you promptly after receiving your application.
  • Pay sliding-scale annual registration fees and 1st mentorship fee.
  • Begin draft of Learning Design that will set you up to begin the Design Project Portfolio.
  • Receive 1 hour of staff support for Learning Design development by phone/video conferencing/email/mail/or in-person when possible.
  • Submit final draft Learning Design, and receive written recommendations and support for finalizing.

For further details on program structure see: THE PEOPLES DIPLOMA PROGRAM OUTLINE

Ready to apply?  Submit your application to start the conversation!

Learn more about The Peoples Diploma


Fields of Practice

Diploma Fees

Erika HaranoProgram Structure