Why the Arts-and-Crafts Movement Moves Me

Finding beauty in the everyday objects that comprise the material necessities of our lives, is in essence the key to understanding the allure of the Arts-and-Crafts Movement. Begun in the salons of the elites who could afford such privileges, to build a world of handcrafted objects, including gardens, where form and function was celebrated, the movement sprung from a serious response to the changes wrought by the Industrial Revolution. The American Arts-and-Crafts Movement expressed this concern in a decidedly a more democratic movement, producing the great bungalow design aesthetic. Regardless, the central element remains a devotion to living a life in beauty and functionality, issues that remain important today. In my opinion the current environmental movement, as a response to our damaged physical and social ecology, traces back to an earlier expression in the Arts-and-Crafts Movement. Since the first Earth Day in 1970, concern for the environment has gone from …

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Why Permaculture?

What makes ME believe this wholistic movement is a positive change that can address our environmental crisis? Around 2001, I was once asked if I’d ever heard of Permaculture and I had to admit that I hadn’t; then Gaia’s Garden, by Toby Hemenway, was published; I read it and was hooked by the ideas the author presented. It helped bring my though process full-circle, as it revisited my early interests in ecology (TESC) and later landscape design (Oregon). Not long thereafter I was heading to the Lost Valley Educational Center, near Dexter, Oregon, to take a two-week PDC (Permaculture Design Course) with Jude Hobbs, Toby Hemenway, and Rick Valley. Since then I’ve been fortunate to take advanced design courses with some really outstanding teachers. David Jacke, in Helena, Montana, on edible forest design; Jenny Pell & Andrew Millison (OSU), at Breitenbush Hot Springs, Oregon, on community planning; and especially, David Holmgren, at …

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