Register for VBDC
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About the course
Drawing on permaculture design principles, and on patterns we’ve recognized while repairing our city over the last 13 years, we will present an introduction to Village Building Design in 4 days, times that are woven around the usual Village Building Convergence activities.
The Village Building Convergence is a 10-day community placemaking event in Portland Oregon with free workshops and volunteer opportunities in natural building, permaculture design, and public art taking place throughout the city, at the 20-40 sites we have active each year.
The Design Course happens at the front end of those same 10 days. With this course, you’ll be well on your way to organizing a Placemaking project in your own home town. We will tie in concepts of empowerment, how that is connected to placemaking, alliance building, and other strategies for maximizing village living in the city. We’ll take a permaculture approach toward the physical and social structures involved in doing Placemaking work, with Hannah Poirier, Mark Lakeman, Deborah Eden Tull, and Beth Wieting as instructors.
Why this course?
Last spring, a City Repair project in NE Portland caused two neighbors to meet for the first time — and they had been living across the street from each other for 20 years! We have been supporting neighbors and their projects for over ten years, and frequently find that near neighbors do not even know each other’s names. This is born out by national statistics.
Let’s face it — knowing your neighbor is becoming a lost art!
There is a place deep within each of us that shrivels and dies when faced with living in an impersonal and dehumanized space. Humans love to put their stamp on their environment. But usually, we halt that activity right at the property line.
We invite you to step over that line, become the one who gathers the others, and sets the magic in motion. In this course, you’ll see hundreds of examples of projects neighbors before you have pulled off and draw on your own power to create something new.
In short, This course is about transforming Spaces into Places; Places which are invested with value and meaning.
We’re here to facilitate the supportive process of outlining the steps necessarily to start organizing yourself, your neighborhood, or your city into doing Placemaking.
Thursday, May 23
Introduction to Placemaking
11:30am – 5:30pm
This is the essential starting place, context and tools to start the simplest forms of group process – understanding what Place means to you, to the group, and the basics of getting to know your neighbors and running meanings.
- What is Place and why does it matter?
- Inviting neighbors
- Running meetings
- Basic facilitation and brainstorming
- Collaborative design: identifying values and setting project priorities
- Examples of sustainable placemaking
Friday, May 24
Introduction to Permaculture
- Permaculture principles
- Permaculture patterns applied to community organizing
- Practicing recognition of permaculture principles and using patterns
- Necessary roles in groups
- Facilitating design charrettes
Internal Placemaking for External Group Organizing
With: Deborah Eden Tull
“In this workshop we will explore how to be more powerfully present, centered, and skillful as community organizers and facilitators. We will explore how to stay centered while engaging with others through mindful awareness and will learn tools for doing the inner and outer work at the same time. Some of the topics we will cover are: self-awareness, mindful leadership, conscious communication and deep listening, coming from a mentality of WE, staying centered in conflict, projection, and helpful v. unhelpful attitudes to bring to community organizing. ”
- Group facilitation
- Mindful leadership
- Attitudes of community organizing
Saturday, May 25
Day off! Go explore the VBC Placemaking Sites!
Sunday, May 26
Patterns & Tools
9:00am – 12pm
- Patterns in Nature
- Human patterns
- Designing villages – essential elements on a large-scale
- Resources readily available for projects (natural building, repurposing, and more)
- —–* Bernhard Masterson will be joining us to present on Natural Building.
- Planning projects
- How to organize a work party
The Human Being on Earth, from the viewpoint of Anthroposophy
With: Beth Wieting
We will talk about human development, and about gardening. About out relationship to nature spirits, and to other human beings in community. About our role in connection with the world outside of us, and our role in our own development, and what to develop. We will hone in on our purpose on Earth and how our Will is essential to all Life.
- Internal and external roles we have as a species
- Esoteric implications
- Practical directives
Monday, May 27
Storytelling, Myth, & Culture
11:30am – 2:30pm
With: Mark Lakeman
- History and breakdown of the grid
- Dealing with legal structures
2:30 – 4:30pm
We will work with each other to set goals and check-in systems to move forward with the information we’ve learned. Visualizations will help us understand what we’re working toward and motivate us to take action on the inspiration and skills we have in our lives.
- Setting achievable goals
- Creating the future
*Your course fee also includes follow-up with the instructors and classmates.
Hannah Poirier (Lead Instructor)
Hannah grew up in Bend, Oregon and began studying Permaculture in Forest Grove, Oregon in 2008. Studying Sustainable Design, she helped teach permaculture classes at Pacific University, specializing in collaborative group client design projects, and became very involved with the 3.5 acre Permaculture Project “B Street”, as well as worked with the wider community to start a new garden and gathering place on a blank 50×100 lot. Hannah has been one of the primary organizers for the Village Building Convergence in 2010, 2011, and was Placemaking Coordinator for VBC 2012. She’s been engaged in permaculture homesteading, including residence at the Planet Repair Institute, farming, and teaching permaculture and placemaking for going on five years.
Deborah Eden Tull, founder of Mindful Living Revolution
is a meditation and mindfulness teacher, author, speaker, and sustainability consultant who teaches the integration of compassionate awareness into every aspect of our lives. She has been traveling to, living in, or teaching about sustainable communities internationally for the last 20 years, including seven years as a monk at a Zen Monastery. Her book, The Natural Kitchen: Your Guide for the Sustainable Food Revolution (Process Media), was published in September 2010 and she is currently completing her new book, Mindful Living Revolution: How to live Sustainably from the Inside Out.
Elizabeth (Beth) Wieting was born in Virginia and raised in Massachusetts. She grew up in an extended family who appreciated nature. In 1965 a move to Oregon introduced her to the volcanic wilderness of the Northwest. Living in the city of Portland, before organic food was available, she grew much of her family’s fruit and vegetables in the back yard! During that time she developed an appreciation for the contribution of the Nature Spirits to our world. Beth now lives in SE Portland and is a highly respected member of the biodynamic and anthroposophy community and has been studying the works of Rudolf Steiner and teaching her insights for more than 40 years.
Mark is a co-founder of The City Repair Project, the VBC, Planet Repair Institute, and a national leader in the development of sustainable public places. In the last decade he has directed or facilitated designs for more than three hundred new community-generated public places in Portland, Oregon alone. Through his leadership in Communitecture, Inc. and The City Repair Project, he has also been instrumental in the development of dozens of participatory design projects and organizations across the United States and Canada. Mark works with governmental leaders, community organizations, and educational institutions in many diverse communities.
Awakenings Wellness Center
1016 SE 12th Ave. Portland, OR
For our afternoon classes (Thursday and Monday), we won’t take a long lunch break, so come well nourished.
For our all-day classes (Friday and Sunday), lunch is 1.5 hours each day from 12-1:30 PM.
Because of the delightfully long lunch, be sure you are back at 1:30 PM, we’ll start right away!
You provide all of your own meals. There may be light snacks available.
We can also do lunch potluck style! If you’d like to eat lunch together, plan on bringing your potluck item. Your own brown bag is okay too, of course. Awakenings is a lovely place to eat, and we are in walking distance to Ladd’s Circle and the St. Fancis Park.
Unfortunately, childcare will have to be organized outside of us. If you have a homeschooler who is mature and serious about the course, they may enroll at full price.
Complete course is $70-$100
Drop in for a day: $20-$30
Payment method will be e-mailed to you upon registration.
Scholarship may become available, please contact us for details.
In the past, we’ve run this course for $200-$300 but we’ve managed to tweak enough things around while still maintaining the most essential elements to make the class more affordable this year. That being said, any amount greater than the minimum really helps us keep growing!
This does not include entrance to the evening venue of VBC. You can purchase these tickets here: http://vbc.cityrepair.org/index.php?id=395 .
IMPORTANT: Housing is paid for and handled separately, please visit VBC’s Housing Page to register for a home-stay in Portland: http://vbc.cityrepair.org/index.php?id=88
E-mail is the very best for us! Please feel free to e-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org .
We’ll get back to you within two days, usually the same day.
The best telephone contact is Hannah – call 541-419-6723. (I’m back in civilization, so this is a good way to be in touch!)
Please register, even if you plan on paying in person, even if you’re only coming for one day. It helps us keep track of snack budget, chairs we need, classroom set up, scholarship options, etc.