Student Resources


USC Roski School of Design

Mateo St & Palmetto St

Los Angeles, CA 90013

Roski Location Map


Class starts at 9 AM sharp and goes until 5 PM with a lunch break around 1 PM on both Saturday and Sunday.


  • October 6th & 7th, 2018

  • November 3rd & 4th, 2018

  • December 1st & 2nd, 2018

  • January 5th & 6th, 2019

  • February 2nd & 3rd, 2019

  • March 2nd & 3rd, 2019


Coffee, tea, water, and light snacks are provided.

Please bring additional snacks to share with the group.

Please bring your own mug and water bottle.


Lunch is not provided, there are several quick lunch options available in the area.

After class students are invited to join the instructors for a happy hour at a nearby bar.


Month 1:

Your first homework assignment is to type a half page biography of yourself that includes a headshot and bring a paper copy of it to class.  They will be displayed and will help the class and instructors become familiar with you and your background.

Your second assignment is to read the attached course syllabus, the Permaculture Journey article, and listen to the interview with Toby Hemenway.

Month 2:

Your Month 2 homework assignment is to become familiar with logical fallacies outlined in the handout, and the techniques for constructing a logical argument.

1) Identify three of the most common fallacies you commit.

2) Find a written argument you made, either in an email, text, facebook or youtube comment that exhibited a non-logical argument.  Using the logical argument techniques and methodologies, correct it.  Please submit in an email your original argument excerpt and the improved one to us by next month's class.  Include your three most common logical transgressions.

Month 3

Gaia's Garden Reading Assignments

  • Chapter One

    • Natives vs Exotics Debate

    • Making the Desert Bloom

  • Chapter Three

    • Other Natural Patterns in the Garden

    • Living on the Edge

  • All of Chapter Four

*In the event that you should miss a scheduled class, we offer a makeup session in the Spring, usually February or March, dates TBD. Please discuss with your instructors.  A facilities fee of $100.00 per makeup day will be charged.

The Permaculture Design Certificate Course is the foundation of Permaculture education and it includes:


Weekend 1 and Weekend 2:

Nature teaches us the language of patterns, and shows how the garden can act as a metaphor for systems design.  Observing and understanding the information presented by natural habitats reveals foundational design principles.

  • Mollisonian Design Ethics

  • The Origins of Form

  • Natural Succession Modelling

  • Biomimicry

  • Indicators of Sustainability

  • Design Methodologies, Sectors & Zones

  • Geolocational Profiling


Weekend 3 and Weekend 4:

All locations and situations have a designated set of zones and sectors that determine site design decisions.  Factors that are identified and addressed include solar, hydrological, geological, cultural, and political conditions.  These conditions also inform the palette of techniques and technologies that are applied.


  • Base Mapping & Property Design

  • Reversing Erosion & Watershed Management Practices

  • Greywater Systems

  • Soils, Compost & Mulch

  • Conservation of Energy

  • Passive Cooling & Heating Techniques

  • Strawbale, Cob and Adobe Buildings

  • Horticultural Designs


Weekend 5 and Weekend 6:

Site development includes a self-analysis of human dynamics, capital and socioeconomic study.  It shows methods for community-wide sustainability, creating right-livelihoods and a sense of place.  Personal and communal development pushes the designer to integrate themselves into the design, which aids in its success.

  • Micro Economies

  • Wilderness Preservation

  • Eco-neighborhoods and Intentional Communities

  • Business Guilds and Cooperatives

  • Alternative Banking and Economic Strategies

  • Community Celebration