Academic Papers & Articles

The Gaia Education team, known as the GEESE (Global Ecovillage Educators for a Sustainable Earth), is comprised of a growing membership of individuals who engage in academic research on community-based approaches to Sustainability Education and Community Development from around the globe. Often, members of the GEESE community generate papers, theses and published articles of interest to those studying or researching issues related to these topics.

We invite you to take a look at the collection of academic papers, theses and articles we have received from our network, and also to contribute with any papers on related topics that you may have produced. We post these papers as resources for students and people interested in sustainable design and community development.

Author

Luiza Helena Gomes Frota

Luiza is a psychologist and ‘Permaculturer’, certified by Gaia Education in Ceará, Brazil, and Worldworker, certified by the Process Work Institute in Portland, USA.

She provides advisory information on the organisational climate and management of conflicts in companies and communities.

Article

  • Permaculture and Process Work: the flow of the experience in yourself and in the environment

    Gomes Frota, L.H. (2013)
    The monograph aims to make explicit the relationship of Permaculture, from David Holmgren, with Process Work, from Arnold Mindell. This relationship further facilitates the awakening of consciousness to the overall situation and allows people to take appropriate action to find and implement creative and sustainable solutions for the planet and its inhabitants. This work offers a differential in permaculture practices for people care.

Author

May East

May holds a diploma in Climate Change Diplomacy and an MSc in Spatial Planning.

She is a sustainability practitioner, educator and designer.

Based at the UN Habitat Best Practice Designation, Findhorn Ecovillage, since 1992, May has been leading a whole generation of sustainability educators delivering capacity building activities in 48 countries in both urban and rural contexts, all in different stages of development.

May East

Article

Author

Dr. Daniel Christian Wahl

Daniel Christian Wahl, PhD, works internationally as an educator, activist and consultant, specialising in whole systems design and transformative innovation for regenerative cultures. He is a member of the International Futures Forum, a fellow of the RSA, and a Findhorn Foundation Fellow. He co-authored all four dimensions (social, ecological, economic, worldview) of Gaia Education’s UNESCO recognised online curriculum in Design for Sustainability.16. Designing Regenerative Cultures, Daniel’s first book, was published by Triarchy Press in May 2016.

Articles

  • Re-Generation

    Wahl D.C (2016)
    In an age where there is a clear need to thrive and not simply survive, to shift from degeneration to regeneration, this paper introduces a new generation of designers, working to apply ecologically inspired design to agriculture, architecture, community planning, cities, enterprises, economics and ecosystem regeneration. This is a clear call to join them to co-create diverse regenerative cultures in the transition towards a regenerative society.

  • Regenerative Design and a Science of Qualities

    Wahl D.C (2016)
    Here Dr. Wahl shows how health is an emergent property of complex dynamic systems – sustainability is not enough. We need systemic regeneration. This issue also includes a review of his book Designing Regenerative Cultures.

  • Activism Revisited: Personal reflections on trying to make a difference

    Wahl D.C (2016)
    Dr. Wahl embarks upon a reflexive process, exploring his positionality as an activist. He explores the dynamics surrounding ‘walking the talk’ and simultaneously draws attention to the tendency to lose focus fighting polarised battles to the degree of forming a dichotomy of ‘us versus them’. Daniel indicates that as opposed to continuing with this narrative, we should move forward and shift the story to a narrative of interbeing.

Author

E. Christopher Mare

Christopher has completed two Masters and a PhD. His doctoral dissertation bore the title Designing for Consciousness, which is his passion. Christopher facilitates a Design Studio process that integrates Yoga as a method for conditioning the nervous system in preparation for perceiving essence.

His NGO Village Design Institute will secure a land-base upon which to establish an Academy of Design whose purpose will be researching and promulgating Designing for Consciousness principles and techniques.

Articles

  • General Systems Theory as a Conceptual Tool for Village Designers

    Mare, E.C. (1998)
    General Systems Theory (GST) has been successfully applied to the physical, chemical, sociological, ecological, psychological, industrial etc, and especially the biological fields. Here E.C. Mare demonstrates how GST can be used as a meaningful model in the field of Ekistics, the multi-disciplinary, scientific approach to the design of human settlements.

  • Sustainable Settlement Energetics: EMERGY and Eco-Village

    Mare, E.C. (2002)
    This paper is a preliminary theoretical exploration into the energetics of sustainable human settlements. The overall purpose of this investigation is to provide a context within which the crucial, yet all too often vague, discussion of ‘sustainability’ can have a meaningful scale of application and operation – based on the settlement – and an objective method of evaluation – based on the optimal use of available energy. The final intent is to organise, synthesise, and present the conclusions as a coherent set of proposals that can be used as semantic design criteria for settlement designers and planners interested in creating truly sustainable systems.

  • The Urban Village: Synergy of Ecology and Urbanism

    Mare, E.C. (2006)
    During a discussion with May East at Galgafarm in 2005, in which the desire to make the EDE applicable to urban contexts was discussed, E. Mare committed himself to an in-depth study of sustainable urbanism. He set out with the intention of formulating a typology for the, specifically, Urban Eco-Village yet, for many reasons, was not successful. Another emerging concept proved to be far more fruitful, that of the Urban Village. The more he investigated, however, the more careless he found the usage of this important concept. As a remedy, he wrote the book-length academic paper enclosed here.

  • An Historical Survey of Urban Densities as a Consequence of Energy Regime: Descent into the Urban Village

    Mare, E.C. (2008)
    This paper is a preliminary exploration into the relationship between urban densities and energy regime. How has urban density been affected by the prevailing sources of energy that have fueled civilisation over time? How have these various energy regimes influenced urban form, and what variation of form can we expect in the Ecocity of the future? Instead of speaking in generalities, specific density figures will be analysed, past and present, from international sources, and from this analysis optimum urban density calculations will be proposed as a consequence of the transition to a ‘sustainable’ energy regime. The concept of the Urban Village, finally, will be projected as the fundamental and comprehensive retrofit solution for a truly sustainable – that is, perennial – trans-urban pattern.

  • Design for Beauty: Evolution Beyond Sustainability

    Mare, E.C. (2011)
    Mare argues that sustainability can be only an interim goal. There exists a realm beyond sustainability, beyond mere steady-state material maintenance, in which humanity may find its ultimate fulfilment and self-realisation. It is also stated that the ubiquitous implementation of beauty will be the attractor that inspires the transition beyond sustainability. Design, as an emerging wholistic discipline, is the obvious vehicle by and through which to reach sustainability, first, and then to prepare for conditions beyond sustainability. A new design – and thus noetic – framework is needed to reposition objectives from sustainability to a more fulfilling state beyond sustainability. The purpose of the paper is to inform this new framework by introducing beauty as a ubiquitous design criterion.

  • Towards a Neurophenomenology of Settlement Morphology

    Mare, E.C. (2011)
    One thought-provoking way to look at settlements is in respect to their morphology, their structure and form. This paper concentrates on the geographic roots of a comprehensive ‘settlement morphology’, recognising the importance of urban factors, yet lifting the discussion on multiple scales. As a further reflection of the inherent interdisciplinarity of a comprehensive settlement morphology, the paper overlays another emerging field – neurophenomenology – onto the terrain. Neurophenomenology is a research programme uniting recent discoveries in cognitive neuroscience with the philosophy of phenomenology. This paper argues that neurophenomenology may provide trenchant insight to the ‘ideas and intentions’, or epistemological assumptions, that comprise the substratum of design and development decisions, at any scale.

  • Village Design as a Retrofit Solution for Suburbia

    Mare, E.C. (2013)
    Suburbia is positioned as a distinctly American phenomenon, the result of the rapid westward expansion of Manifest Destiny and a perpetuation of the colonization of the continent. During this mad rush of development, fueled by a glut of cheap energy, an abstraction was created. This abstraction called Suburbia will prove to be increasingly dysfunctional during the coming age of energy descent. Village Design is presented as a comprehensive solution, in part, because it will retrace a missing step in cultural evolution. Finally, criteria are articulated for converting the unsustainable suburban pattern into a sustainable village pattern.

  • Village Design as a Retrofit Solution for Suburbia

    Mare, E.C. (2013)
    Suburbia is positioned as a distinctly American phenomenon, the result of the rapid westward expansion of Manifest Destiny and a perpetuation of the colonisation of the continent. During this mad rush of development, fueled by a glut of cheap energy, an abstraction was created. This abstraction called Suburbia will prove to be increasingly dysfunctional during the coming age of energy descent. Village Design is presented as a comprehensive solution, in part, because it will retrace a missing step in cultural evolution. Finally, criteria are articulated for converting the unsustainable suburban pattern into a sustainable village pattern.

Author

Raul Armando Monteiro Júnior

Raul is a psychologist and Permaculturer, certified by Gaia Education in Ceará, and a Worldworker, certified by the Process Work Institute in Portland, USA. The NGO to which it belongs – the Janus Institute – has advised business and community organisations since 2006.

Article

  • Permaculture and World Work: Keeping a sustainable organisation

    Monteiro Jr., R.A. (2014)
    The monograph aims to show the importance and plausibility of the use of Permaculture by organisations in general. It offers an option that complies with the seemingly opposite interests of  businesses and ecology. This synthesis, truly dialectical, can be achieved with Worldwork, a practical application of Processwork for organisations – both created by Arnold Mindell.

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