I left my last post after having submitted my design project at the end of December… And it’s now March… You can probably guess that I needed to make some changes.
New Submission Method
After frantically putting together the documentation and blogging it to share the links with my supervisor, I had to complete an additional new online form for their efforts to ensure consistency across the students.
Feedback on my Submission
Once I had completed this form, I had feedback within a day that my design needed an overhaul and that it was too rough. I was asked for more detail, and to make it look clean and pretty. My supervisor recommended that I hand-draw the design instead. I was concerned about how much detail I would be expected to include for a few reasons.
- How much would fit in the actual drawing at that scale.
- If I’m including more detail (eg. more plants), then shouldn’t these be reflected in the budget and implementation plan? IE. Doesn’t that mean those documents would need to be updated too?
- Surely students who were designing bigger properties such as farms would not need to design to tree guild level or cover plants in nurseries, so it didn’t make sense to me that I would need to draw those in for my design.
So, to try to address this feedback, I used my mostly computer-based design as a guide for the hand-drawn version to attempt accuracy, and decided on making it A3 sized to be able to get some detail into the drawing. I chose not to worry about updating the budget and implementation plan if need be and just focus on the feedback at hand. For those new to the blog, here is my design before:
I used SketchUp to create the base map and then drew in my design over the top.
My Hand-drawn Design
And here is my hand-drawn design after:
Here I have attempted to make trees and shrubs look more like plants and paid more attention to colours.
No comments about the budget and implementation plan, but I had feedback in another direction. The next email I had from my supervisor said,
“Please draw around and label each zone clearly. Also please provide sectors on top of the map as well.”
I interpreted this to mean that my design was now acceptable and that I needed to use my design to re-do the zones and sectors map, rather than using a base map. I really didn’t want to ruin my hand-drawn design by drawing over it so my solution was to attach more paper to the edges of the design to be able to fit the sectors around the edges, and just marked the zones more heavily.
My New Zones and Sectors Map
Sorry that the image is darker for this one. Essentially you can see the arcs for summer sun, winter sun, warm wind, noise/pollution, and cold wind. The zones were hard to delineate as really the property only has zone 0 and zone 1.
Are We There Yet?
Sort of. They really keep you on tenterhooks with the assessment.
“Congratulations, we have conditionally accepted your design project, as it appears to satisfy all the requirements laid out.”
Apparently they do a final review of the design project after you pass the exam, meaning that they can still ask for changes. I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions on that. Personally, after going to so much effort with the design project, it was very hard for me not to get excited about moving to the implementation stage rather than moving to the exam preparation stage for the course. I’ve been enjoying greater confidence with my efforts in the garden after soaking up the permaculture wisdom from the course and my reading, and I see that change as the point of the course. To have a sense of hope for the future and a toolkit to bring that to life (and maybe listen to Bring Me To Life by Evanescence with permaculture in mind).