Diploma design for Muddy Boots – Integration

Bring it all together… How can I integrate the information already gathered? What are my needs within the design? What systems could be put into place to meet those needs? What elements would each system be composed of?                                                                                                                     L. Macnamara People and Permaculture 2012IMG_3232The image show a successfully integrated area of my garden. Feverfew, nasturtiums, Calendula, courgettes and tomatoes all growing successfully together in a small space.

I decided to focus on Functions, Systems and Elements for this anchor point. I identified eight key functions that I needed Muddy Boots to fulfil and then thought about the systems I would use to support these functions and the elements or actual ‘stuff’ needed to achieve this. The eight Key functions are;

To teach children about food growing

To inspire a love of nature and art

To be a safe and welcoming environment for parents and their pre-school age children

To be a place for like-minded parents to meet and forge new friendships and networks

To keep the education space of the community allotment looking good. (I designed this space for my PDC design project in 2012)

To be a learning opportunity for myself, possibly leading onto an income generation project in future years

To be a community run group that uses and values the individual skills of the participants

For families to enjoy playing and learning together outdoors


The diagram below shows each of these functions alongside the systems and elements attached to it. The systems gave me great starting points to plan lots of the activities. The elements also helped me to plan each activity and consider what materials were needed. This was a very useful exercise that I have come back to time and again.


I then looked into how I could make these functions into SMART goals and considered what the most important yield of each function was. This made me realise that lots of my intended functions were rather vague but also gave me ideas that I could use in future years to tighten up the functions and measure the success of the sessions.


I then looked at  the inputs and outputs to the group and thought about how these could be linked up (integrated) to minimise inputs from outside of the system and minimise wastes of time, effort, energy or activity.