Ecosocial Design concerns itself with the organizational design – how a place-sourced project will be lived into over time. It involves (re)sourcing & organization of energies, processes, intervention design and much more.
Abrigada Eco Community
Earth Learning, Inc.
Earth Learning (non-for-profit organization) was designed and developed as a pattern generator for interventions towards emergent cultural evolution within the Greater Everglades bioregion (Southern Florida).
It was birthed in 2003, after a deeply transformational immersion by its founder (Yanez). By 2007, it had already created significant public programming to create a sense of bioregional identity.
In the intervening decade, it sparked the self-organization of a local food movement, which is quite alive til this day.
After 2018, it was reborn as Inhabit Earth, an NGO dedicated to the work of regeneration on a global scale.
Foodscape Design, LLC.
Foodscape Designs, LLC. is an offshoot Of Earth Learning’s regenerative design initiatives. Earth Learning, now relaunched as Inhabit Earth, has used regenerative design methods in all it’s interventions (projects, events, workshops, campaigns, etc.) and internally as an organization since it’s inception. The Farm at Verde Garden became it’s most complex project and it became clear there was a demand for a for-profit social venture to propagate more productive placemaking projects in the world.
LIFE @ Opa-Locka
LightStream Farms was another wonderful collaboration with Jono Neiger and his team at Regenerative Design Group. This time the tables where turned, since the project was based in central Florida, he was doing the overall design and I was bringing the planting plan.
The site was quite challenging, site was primarily and still operated as a sand quarry, with varying degrees of eroding pits and very wet areas.
The design team was challenged to make the most of the degraded landscape, meet regulatory requirements to compensate for damaging activities, regenerate the land, as well as provide an alternate set of enterprises, that would produce diverse income streams for the project.
In the end, the design produced a viable approach that came through on all counts!
Msalato Community Farm
Msalato Community Farm (part of the Dodoma Foodway concept) design and build process was an extraordinary experience, in many ways. Being and working in Africa (specifically, in Tanazia) was extremely humbling and amazingly frustrating as well.
The site chosen was owned by the Dodoma City Council (DCC) and being farmed with annuals by some of the employees.
The conceptual co-design process was conducted with over 90 people over several days. Later I came to learn, that very few were actually residents in the area (direct beneficiaries) of the project. My partners included Charles Muhamba and Wilhard Shishkaye, each from NGOs working in Tanzania. We were all contracted by ICLEI Africa or the project.
A beautifully rich design for was generated for a multi-enterprise farm (LIFE approach) for the direct benefit of and to be cooperatively operated by the community.
Some of the systems included: native edges for production of medicinals, wood, alternative agroforestry products, habitat, and protection; massive alley cropping rows interspersed with annual production alleys; large animal grazing areas line with fodder hedgerows; small animal area lined productive vines (grapes, others); a passive watering scheme; a keyhole garden beds surrounding a farm center (production space); learning and demonstration beds surrounding a market space. All of which required immense earthworks.
After several weeks of engaging the surrounding community, which we found out well after the design process, had not been done. And, well into the implementation of the earthworks, we were forced to completely revamp the design, because we come to find that the DCC was not on board with the project as designed. In fact, they were quite fearful of the design, which gave the the community full use of the site. The fear was that the community would take over the site completely. We came to a reconcile, redesigned to appease the DCC and I pulled away from final implementation.
Needless to say, the design presented here is the comprehensive original one.