Urban Permaculture Design Course
at silent green, Berlin, June 1-15 (2019)

Facilitated by Alfred Decker (core facilitator and convener), Nicole Wolf (convener) and guest tutors: Declan Kennedy, Mojisola Adebayo, Sonja Bach, Johanna Häger, Dennis Posthumus, Robert Strauch, Bouba Touré, Raphaël Grisey, Rosemary Morrow (via video conference) and others

In collaboration with Prinzessinnengarten KreuzbergHimmelbeet, Stein-Häger Hof (Gerswalde) and others.

Film Feld Forschung @ Silent Green Kulturquartier and 12P Permaculture Design invite you to a two-week intensive Permaculture Design Course (PDC), offering the internationally-recognized 72-hour permaculture curriculum. Our focus is on urban and social permaculture and how activist permaculture can work for climate justice and building a non-racist society where the permaculture ethic "People Care" is practised. We will explore soil as the ground we live on and with, as a contested and extracted medium; how practices of soil regeneration connect to how we live together; and how the ethics and principles of permaculture and regenerating soil relates to arts and film practices.

Building on the core permaculture curriculum (see below for more information), we invite you to think, practice, debate, play, observe, strategise, experiment and invent more sustainable, resilient, and just forms of living together.

The format of the course is participatory, inclusive and based on principles of mutual learning, respect and equality. Our approach to facilitation draws on diverse techniques including radical pedagogy, theatre of the oppressed, individual and group work, research through audio-visual arts and performance examples, debates and discussion, conflict resolution exercises and techniques for collective planning, screenings and slideshows, and practicals in collaboration with different urban garden projects in Berlin as well as a field trip to a permaculture site outside the city.

We are very excited to welcome Alfred Decker as the core facilitator. This is Alfred Decker’s second Berlin-based permaculture course, sharing his many years of teaching experience, his activities in the association Permacultura Barcelona, and more recently setting up a rural permaculture demonstration site.

Alfred is joined by a fantastic team of facilitators. Many are active with the German Permaculture Academy or gardeners, activists and artists shaping Berlin’s common gardening spaces.

Special guest: Declan Kennedy - a Permaculture pioneer in Europe who has been active in Berlin since the 1980s.

Together with participants from diverse backgrounds, we are looking forward to a enriching period of learning together. Come and join us!

Free Places:

We offer two places free of charge for refugees and a number of reduced course fee options for participants unable to pay the full fee and interested in taking permaculture further.  Please write to us using the registration form.

Soil - City - Solidarity is organized within the framework of Archive außer sich, a project of Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art, part of a cooperation with Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden and Pina Bausch Foundation, part of “The New Alphabet,” a HKW project, supported by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media due to a ruling of the German Bundestag.


The course is open to everyone with a keen interest and passion for the ethos of the course. No specific knowledge is needed.
The course is however delivered in English and requires a conversational level of fluency.
Let us know if you have specific physical and access needs.

We welcome participants from diverse backgrounds, genders, sexualities, ages, professions, artistic practices and activist contexts. We are particularly interested in bringing together diverse experiences in urban gardening or agricultural practices from different geographic regions.

Please contact us if you have any questions!



Arrival and registration: 1 June midday to afternoon, followed by opening session in the evening.
Each course day starts at 9am and ends at 7pm, and there will be a series of evening events (presentations, discussions or screenings) in addition, some of those will be open to the public.
Weekend 8-9 June is free
The course ends on the evening of 15 June with a closing party, following design presentations, information and discussion on future steps in permaculture, and a certificate ceremony.


Full course fee: 850€
Reduced course fee: 650€ (limited number)
Your registration is secured with a pre-payment of full fee 400€ / reduced fee 300€

We offer two places free of charge for refugees - please write to us!

Your fees include

• A life-changing learning experience
• A PDC Certificate
• Digital resources
• A new generation of permaculture doers for you to join!
• A free copy of Permaculture Magazine
• A 30% discount on books available from Permanent Publications
• Seasonal, local and vegetarian food (lunches, some dinners when there are evening activities, and tea and snacks during breaks - please provide us with your dietary requirements when you apply. As during many permaculture courses, participants will support cooking on a rota)

If you have trouble funding your fees, have a look at We The Trees for organising crowdfunding campaign!  Check out this page for more info, and feel free to contact us.


Please register via permaculture(at) with our application form.


The PDC is an intensive course combining theory, practical hands-on learning, and visits to permaculture sites in and around Berlin. The completion of the course earns participants a Permaculture Design Certificate – the foundation for further permaculture work and study and a prerequisite for the Diploma in Permaculture Design. Participants will learn all core Permaculture ethics, design principles & techniques. Each participant will design their individual project and take part in developing a group project which are presented at the end of the course. We will examine the underlying assumptions of the current culture of consumerism, economic globalisation, extractive racialised capitalism, and encourage exploration of ways to actively contribute to the emergence of a culture of sustainability, compassion and equity. The PDC covers a broad range of subjects to provide a holistic overview of Permaculture systems and sustainable living. This includes urban gardening for personal and collective use but goes much beyond this in its vision to develop radically different forms of living together. With this particular course we are focusing on the challenges and immense possibilities of urban contexts and their specific economic, political and social conditions and textures.

Some of the topics / themes to be covered are:

  • Core Ethics & Principles of Permaculture
  • Social Permaculture themes such as Transition Towns, Sociocracy, and Collaborative Economy
  • Activist Permaculture and solidarity with urban activist and anti-racist movements
  • Ecovillages & sustainable settlements in urban contexts
  • Conflict resolution and collective planning and working techniques
  • Appropriate technologies & renewable energy systems
  • Techniques and design strategies for both urban & rural applications
  • Ecological planning & design methods
  • Organic food production and food security
  • Climatic factors in design
  • Observation & landscape analysis
  • Soil: Background to soil depletion and natural soil improvement
  • Integrated animal systems
  • Water: harvesting, conservation, and management
  • Agroforestry & forest gardening
  • Mapping & design exercises
  • Permaculture in conflict zones
  • How to take permaculture further, including a presentation of the German Permaculture academy

City dwellers have found that even with little or no land, Permaculture shows them how to work with their home to produce food, reduce energy needs, live more ecologically and in closer connection with their diverse communities. Educators, farm advisers, international development workers, gardeners, builders or landscape architects have all reported that what they’ve learned in this course has become a foundation for their work. Farmers, nursery owners, foresters and livestock farmers have all found that Permaculture design has multiplied their incomes, reduced their work, and improved the health of their stock.



If you are looking for accommodation in Berlin, please let us know and we will try to connect you with Berliners who can offer a place to stay through diverse networks including the Berlin/Brandenburg permaculture listserve.


Transport to and in Berlin can not be funded, but we will provide the transport to visits outside Berlin as part of the course.

Course Organiser & Venue

Organiser: Nicole Wolf, for Film Feld Forschung @ Silent Green
Venue: Silent Green, Gerichtstraße 35, 13347 Berlin

Silent Green will function as a base and we will visit different urban garden sites from there. Transport outside Berlin will be organised.


Alfred Decker

Since his first PDC (in 1998 in California), Alfred has been involved with permaculture projects and social movements throughout Europe and the Americas. He is the founder of the 12 Principles Permaculture Design consultancy, Permacultura Barcelona and the Forest Gardens project at Can Masdeu; was a member of the European Permaculture Teachers Partnership and the Permaculture Council of Europe; and holds a post graduate diploma in sustainable architecture and renewable energy (Centre for Alternative Technology). Alfred currently is focused on organising permaculture teacher trainings, and lives on a smallholding in the Montnegre i el Corredor Natural Park north of Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain.

Nicole Wolf

Nicole lives in Berlin and London. She is a researcher, writer and teacher in Visual Cultures (Goldsmiths, University of London). Her background is in exploring political cinemas for their capacity to resist what is deemed to be real and to imagine otherwise. Much of her research and thinking is inspired and informed by artistic and activist practices in South Asia, including in military occupied Kashmir. Nicole started training in Permaculture in 2014 (at Ecodharma, facilitated by Alfred Decker and Caspar Brown), followed by two PC teacher trainings including Rosemary Morrow’s course in Srinagar, Kashmir.  Since then she has been passionate about connecting her interest in critical ecologies, permaculture and film through research on agriculture as resistance and exploring what a cinematics of the soil might be. Collective learning and making processes which draw on diverse knowledges are crucial for all of these questions.

Declan Kennedy 

Declan Kennedy - an Irish permaculture designer, former Professor of Urban Design at the Technical University of Berlin, Germany; teaches Permaculture all over Europe since 1980, was Country Co-ordinator for Global Action Plan (GAP), Germany and Founding Chairman both of the Permaculture Institute of Europe and of GEN: Global Eco-Village Network. He contributes to spreading the daily practice of sustainability, mostly through workshops in Lebensgarten Steyerberg Ecovillage, Germany, (in which he lives) - but also worldwide.  See:

Rosemary Morrow

Rosemary is known and loved worldwide as a permaculture teacher, practitioner, and activist. She has travelled the globe for four decades, often in countries shattered by war and disasters, sharing her passion for permaculture and social justice. Her belief is that access to useful knowledge is a basic human right, and is focused at this time on permaculture training for refugees. Her pragmatic and effective approach working with and being lead by local people has created community-scale permaculture projects and outcomes across a broad range of environments from drylands in Ethiopia, to the wet tropics of Vietnam. The knowledge and experience she brings to creating abundance, food security and successful sustainable farming models is perhap. She is the author of the Earth User’s Guide to Permaculture, "Training Permaculture Teachers" Manual, The Family Seedsaving Book, and A Good Home Forever

Rosemary will join us for a talk by videoconference during the course. 

Sonja Bach

Sonja was a physicist in her previous life. It soon became clear to her though that we cannot find technical solutions to our environmental problems and when she came across Permaculture in a community garden project, she found this to be a much better path to respond to environmental issues and problems in our society. While training as a Permaculture designer Sonja studied Geo-ecology at the TU Braunschweig to integrate both and together with like-minded students she co-founded the university garden "Institut für urbane Botanik e.V." Sonja is very interested in expanding Permaculture as a field of study and research and has accompanied students studying permaculture. Next to higher education pedagogy she also trained in Rosemary Morrow’s PC teaching methods. Sonja now lives on the farm Luna in Everode where she is developing the concept of Living Agriculture as Learning Space, together with her husband and Cheryl and Thom Meiseberg. To create learning path collectively and to work towards a high level of self-sufficiency is important for Sonja. This includes a life style of pleasurable modesty, which she would also like to handover to coming generations.

Robert Strauch

Robert is a skilled carpenter, experienced craftsmen, gardener, designer and facilitator. Since 1994 he runs a 1.2 ha Permaculture project in the Southwest of Brandenburg, Germany, together with his wife and many others, which has become a very diverse place of learning and an ecological sanctuary. He has been engaged in creating the German Permaculture Academy as a collective living organism since 2009.  He founded zukunftsFähig e.V. to disseminate future oriented solutions and design tools on local, regional, and intermunicipal levels. He initiated the Agroforestry campaign committed to make trees an indispensable part of agriculture again. He is married and has one daughter. Since his youth he has been active in ecological contexts and plants trees, without which our Earth would be a desert. Over the years he gained a lot of practical experience in the design, care and maintenance of very different living systems. The last 5 years he was, for private reasons, swinging between two places of living, one in Kleinmachnow where he grew up and his permaculture homebase in Kleinkrausnik. His work is similarly ecological and social design aiming to create systems that stay alive and that foster self-preservation, regeneration and a high capacity for development and where people perceive and experience themselves as part of natural processes. Permaculture is for him both creative freedom and responsible relationships. It stands for autonomy as well as thoughtful design of community; it is personal, political, social and artistic expression at the same time

Johanna Häger 

Johanna Häger was born in Berlin in 1977. Her love for designing alternative models for society already developed during her youth in Kreuzberg. Her live for Permaculture is politically motivated. Combining vitality and justice her work and life style is characterized by freedom and responsibility, made sustainable through fun. After school Johanna trained in carpentry to renovate old houses and to establish a land commune. She then studied landscape architecture while also training in Permaculture. In 2007 she moved from Berlin to Uckermark in North Brandenburg where she started the land based Permakultur-Hof Stein-Häger together with her partner Christoph Steinberg and her two children. Here they run seminars, a vegetable nursery – working with permaculture principles and with the support of horses - and offer farm holidays. Johanna is further developing a vegetable and fruit nursery from where old vegetable varieties are sold. In 2007 she foundedwww.zukunftsfaehig-ev.detogether withRobert Strauch. To initiate creative and just designs they run four projects: agroforestry campaign, hay instead of diesel, Apfel.Birne.Pflaume and CultureCare. Johanna has been connected to the German PC Academy and the Permaculture Institute since 2005.

Mojisola Adebayo 

Mojisola Adebayo is a playwright, performer, director, producer, workshop facilitator and lecturer. Sheholds a BA in Drama and Theatre Arts, an MA in Physical Theatre and a PhD in black queer theatre (Goldsmiths, Royal Holloway and Queen Mary, University of London). Mojisola trained extensively with Augusto Boal and is a specialist in Theatre of the Oppressed, working particularly in locations of conflict and crisis. Shehas worked in theatre, radio and television, on four continents, over the past 25 years, performing in over 50 productions, writing, devising and directing over 30 plays, from Antarctica to Zimbabwe. Her own plays are concerned with social issues including climate change, racism, slavery, occupation, homophobia, Islamaphobia, gender based violence, state crime and the Black Lives Matter movement. Publications include Mojisola Adebayo: Plays One(Oberon Books), 48 Minutes for Palestinein Theatre in Pieces(Methuen), and The Theatre for Development Handbook(co-written with John Martin and Manisha Mehta) based on her work with slum-dwellers in India. Her new book, Mojisola Adebayo: Plays Two (Oberon Books) is out this year. Her latest play exploring the politics of sexal pleasure, STARS, opens in London in 2020. Mojisola Adebayo is currently commissioned by the National Theatre to write Wind / Rush Generationfor 2020 which addresses state racism in Britain. She is very excited to be working with Nicole Wolf to research and practically explore the meeting of permaculture and performance through workshops in Berlin and London.

Dennis Posthumus

After his PDC in 2010, Dennis spent a few years working on farms gaining practical experience and developing basic skills in gardening, animal care, and agroforestry. He spent four years in Portugal where he consulted on small commercial farming projects, studied Keyline Design and Mediterranean agroforestry, and took up teaching. He did the Permaculture Teacher’s Training with Rosemary Morrow and his teaching apprenticeship at Quinta do Vale da Lama, in the Algarve.  He went on working in a large eco-tourism project, where he developed educational programs for volunteers and coordinated a 40 ha commercial agroforestry project. Ever since he has taught the permaculture design curriculum in The Netherlands, Germany, and Portugal. Nowadays Dennis lives in Berlin with his young family, where he focuses on regenerative enterprise and continues to teach, garden, and work as a permaculture consultant. 

Bouba Touré 

Bouba Touré was born in 1948 in Tafacirga near the Senegal River (former French Sudan, now Mali). He lives in Paris, France and Somankidi Coura, Mali. He went to school in Tambacounda, Senegal, before emigrating to France in 1965. Touré lived in the migrant worker hostel Foyer Pinel with Siré Soumaré. From 1965 to 1970, he worked in the factory Chausson and took part in the strikes from 1966 to 1969. From 1971, after studies at the Free University of Vincennes and in Montrouge he worked as a projectionist at Cinema 14 Juillet Bastille and at Cinema L’entrepôt, Paris. A photographer since the 1970s, Touré has been documenting the lives and struggles of the migrant workers’ movements, as well as the foundation of the agricultural cooperative of Somankidi Coura in Mali. Since 2008, this working photographic archive has been complemented by video productions. Touré co-founded the ACTAF (Cultural Association of African Workers in France) in 1971 and the Cooperative of Somankidi Coura in 1977 after agricultural internships in Marne and Haute-Marne (France). He collaborated with Raphaël Grisey on the projects Cooperative(2008) and Becoming Cooperative Archive(2015–). In 2015, he published the book Notre case est à Saint Denis (Our house is in Saint Denis, Éditions Xérographes). Since the 1980s, Touré has exhibited his work and given talks in associative and migrant workers hostels’ circles (France, UK,Germany) and more recently at the Contemporary Art Center Les églises, Chelles; Goldsmiths, University of London; Espace Khiasma, Les Lilas; Festival Theaterformen, Braunschweig; B-Movie Kino, Hamburg; Caméra des Champs Festival, Ville-sur-Yron; Spectacle cinéma (USA) and in Berlin at: Savvy Contemporary; Arsenal Kino; Documentary Forum, HKW, Archive Kabinett, The Building, E-flux.

Raphaël Grisey

Born in Paris in 1979, Raphaël lives and works in Berlin and Trondheim. Grisey uses video, editorial and photographic works to gather or produce narratives about the politics of memory, migration and architecture. The book Where is Rosa L. (2001-2006) and the film National Motives(2011) study the ghosts of various political regimes in the public spaces of Berlin and Budapest. Through diverse documentary, fictional or essayist forms, Grisey’s films and installations deal with contemporary social and political questions issues such as migration and postcolonialism in France (Trappes, Ville Nouvelle, 2003; Cooperative,2008 and Sowing Somankidi Coura, a Generative Archive2015– in collaboration with Bouba Touré). He collaborated with Florence Lazar on the films Prvi Deoand Red Star(2006), which deal with post-war former Yugoslavia. Recent film projects were made in France amid students’ strikes (The Indians, 2011), in China amid Míngōng peasant-workers (The Exchange of Perspectives, 2011), in the social housing complex of Pedregulho in Brazil (Minhocão, 2011), in the Brazilian Positivist Church in Rio de Janeiro (Amor e Progresso,2014) and around marooned quilombola communities in Minas Gerais (Remanescentes; A Mina dos Vagalumes, 2015). His work has been shown in film festivals, art galleries and museums internationally and was a fellow of the Norwegian Artistic Research Programme (2015–2018). In  2019, his ongoing artistic research together with Bouba Touré Sowing Somankidi Coura, a Generative Archive, will be presented at Kunsthall Trondheim, Savvy Contemporary and in the Contour Biennale Mechelen.