Design from Patterns to Details

May 8, 2021 | Blog

By stepping back, we can observe patterns in nature and society.  These can form the backbone of our designs, with the details filled in as we go.  

This Principle is where we apply what we’ve learned from our observations and interactions into our systems’ designs.

By designing our systems based on the patterns in our environment, we can save a tremendous amount of time and energy.

We can observe these patterns in the arc of the sun, with the tides in different seasons, by designing our personal routines around our children’s school schedule, or when we adapt our company’s business model to leverage our team’s strengths.


How to Design from Natural Patterns


What are each individual’s natural patterns, and how can you best work with them?

How can we widen our perspective, expand our understanding of the details, and look for patterns that invite creativity?

Simply taking the time to design is another inherent element of wisdom in this Principle.

A bold idea can turn into a failure if not properly researched and planned out. This is about strategic thinking, minimizing loss, and maximizing profits.

It’s a different approach from the more traditional mode of having an idea and trying to make it work,  no matter what opposing forces might come up.

Widen your perspective and see how the greater environment will respond to your decisions.


Consider the Environment in Your Decision

design decisions on environment

How should your decisions take into consideration the wider environment?

  •  Talk with our elders! They have seen a lot of change over the last century.  The breadth of their perspectives can offer invaluable insights into large-scale cyclical patterns, as well as reawaken forgotten pearls of wisdom.
  • Find a system of goal setting that works for you.
  • Experiment with drawing Mind Maps.
  • Imagine, again,  how we can let nature do some of the work for us.  Work with it, rather than against it, whenever possible.
  • Take time to imagine all possible outcomes, especially all of the possible ways that something can go wrong. We don’t need to be inhibited by the prospects of failure or complication, but we do well when we consider them from the outset.
  • Value the generalist and holistic thinkers in your organization. It doesn’t mean that you need to concede to their insights, but putting a value on hearing and considering the patterns that they see could revolutionize your business and maybe even your industry.


This is Part 9 of a 15 part series, pulled from the Permaculture Lifestyles Explained eBook, which contains over 100 tips for how someone might apply the permaculture principles to their life for greater efficiency, impact, and happiness. 

If you’d like to get the whole book to download and read offline, drop your email below and I’ll be happy to send you a link.

Reclaim your life from uninformed choices and outdated habits!

The Eco Enthusiasts Guide

Improve The Quality of Your Life While Being a Benefit to the World Around You!

Your Copy Awaits

Do you feel other people will like this blog post?
Use our share buttons below

Select a Child Category


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Cookies Policy

We use cookies and similar technologies to run this website and help us understand how you use it.

You can see our cookies policy here.