16 – 29 Nov 2013: Urban Permaculture Design Course

16 – 29 Nov 2013

Urban Permaculture Design Course


Permaculture is the conscious design of productive human settlements which have the diversity, stability and resilience of natural ecosystems. It aims to bring food growing back to where people are, and develop sustainable ways of living whether in cities, towns or villages.

Join Australian permaculturists, Dan Deighton and Aaron Sorensen for an intensive 2 weeks of permaculture theory, practical workshops, field observations, and design exercises based on real sites and real situations.

Dan Deighton and Aaron Sorensen are the co-founders of Elemental Permaculture, and probably two of the most gifted and inspiring Permaculture designers in Australia today.The dynamic duo, have over 20 years of experience in Permaculture planning, design, implementation, training and education. 

Projects they have worked on include: urban design, eco village design, regional master planning, school and community gardens and environmental restoration. They are also PDC trainers with Brogo Permaculture Gardens and the Sydney Permaculture Institute.

The duo are familiar with the tropical landscape and climate, and have helped in the setup of a number of Malaysian projects: the Sustainable Living Centre, as well as several ecological Master Planning initiatives for condominiums, town houses and an integrated mosque in early 2000 for the then existing property development company, Sri Hartamas Sdn. Bhd. They are also designers for the the Taman Petanu Eco Neighbourhood in Bali, Indonesia.

Architects, town planners, aid workers, environmentalists, entrepreneurs, policy makers, teachers, homemakers, gardeners and farmers can all benefit from permaculture. There are no prerequisites for doing a Permaculture Design Course.

The course will be held in the middle of the suburban setting of Petaling Jaya, a stone’s throw away from Bukit Gasing, a regenerating secondary forest on the borders of Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya. We will draw inspiration from nature’s classroom, developing an understanding on how to work with the wisdom of nature to create simple systems that build soil fertility, produce healthy organic food, conserve water and energy, maximise space and reduce waste, as well as regenerate our ecological and social landscape.

With a 50% theory and 50% practical emphasis, combining both indoor and outdoor classroom experience, our PDC graduates will leave the course ready to design and implement permaculture principles into a wide range of scale and scenarios; from urban permaculture systems, to small farms, and sustainable aid work. The class size for this course is limited to ensure quality learning outcomes for everyone, and upon completion of the course, graduates will be able to use the word ‘permaculture’ on a professional basis – as a practitioner, teacher or consultant in permaculture. Limited in its application only by imagination, Permaculture can also be applied to our lives; be it in our homes, community or work.

TeachersContentVenueTime, Date, FeesRegister

Dan Deighton

profile_danDan has a degree in Landscape Architecture and a Diploma In Permaculture. He has been working in environmental design, restoration and conservation, community food gardening and community development since completing his formal education in 1992. The restoration of Tom Thumb Lagoon Wetland in Coniston and the Port Kembla Laneway – pathway to sustainability project – are foundation projects upon which Daniel, in collaboration with Aaron Sorensen, developed the “Living Classroom” program.

Dan’s passion for biodiversity conservation, environment restoration, & community food gardening have become a vehicle for his involvement in community development, growth and a return towards a culture of care for the earth, care for people and sharing resources – key ethics of the permaculture profession that guide his life and work.

Daniel is a talented Permaculture designer in urban, suburban and rural applications, and also provides specialist training in the establishment and maintenance of resilient Permaculture systems.

Aaron Sorensen

profile_aaronAaron is a qualified teacher and has studied fine arts before full immersion in Permaculture design, practice and training. His foundation work with the design, establishment and ongoing development of “The Garden” at the Wollongong PCYC  (an outstanding demonstration site of urban Permaculture) has provided the basis for growing the “Living Classroom” program with Daniel Deighton.

Aaron believes Permaculture practices to be an effective conduit of positive human transformation. The “Living Classrooms” like community gardens facilitate growing happy, healthy communities through connection and participation in natural cycles.

Aaron currently facilitates training in the “Living Classrooms” of Cringila, Coledale, Port Kembla Public schools and Warrawong High school for students and support for staff and the wider school and Permaculture/community garden community.

He also collaborates with Dan Deighton in Permaculture design for urban and rural applications including community gardens, school “Living Classrooms” and Eco Neighbourhoods and Permaculture materplanning. Their work also includes Permaculture training on PDCs (Permaculture Design Courses), introductions to Permaculture and workshops in food forest design, intensive organic growing both locally and abroad.

Guest Teachers

To be announced

Course Content

  • Soil building
  • Aerobic composting bays
  • Passive compost bins
  • Worm farming
  • Green manuring
  • No dig gardening
  • Feeding fruit trees
  • Inoculating soils with fungus; leaf mould; liquid fertilizers
  • Creating soil mixtures
  • Planting techniques (vegetables, herbs, fruit trees, native trees, support plants)
  • Establishing a Food Forest (the 7 layers & myco-sphere)
  • Surface water runoff management
  • Erosion control
  • Swale & mound
  • Establishing levels
  • Collecting and storing rainwater
  • Integrating greywater – greywater diversion devices
  • Safe use of tools

Practical Workshops (not limited to, but may include*)

  • Site asessment, analysis and design
  • Surveying and mapping the landscape
  • Composting
  • Building a Worm Farm
  • Sheet Mulching
  • Establishing a garden bed
  • Plant Propagation

*While we aim to run all workshops, it is subject to weather conditions and time management


Our Petaling Jaya course venue is La Salle Hall, set in the extended grounds of the La Salle School. Across the road from Raju’s Corner (Indian Restaurant), this well kept secret of Bukit Gasing has accommodation & seminar facilities, a tennis court, and is surrounded by a community garden in the making. It is within walking distance from the sprawling 44 hectare Bukit Gasing forest reserve, Petaling Jaya’s green lung, much frequented by nature lovers, and joggers.

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La Salle Hall
Jalan 5/15B, off Jalan Chantek, 
Bukit Gasing, 
46000 Petaling Jaya, 


Accommodation is available at La Salle Hall, upon request.

Getting there by LRT

  • The nearest LRT station is Taman Jaya.
  • La Salle Hall is 15-20 minutes walk away.
  • There are also ample taxis at the LRT Taxi Stand.
  • View directions on Google Maps

Getting there by bus

  • Take Rapid KL bus #30 and #51 or Metrobus #98 to Jalan Gasing and stop at the La Salle primary school.
  • Walk up to the row of shop houses behind the school field, on Jalan Chantek 5/13. After passing Raju’s Corner (end corner Indian restaurant) on your right, immediately turn left into Jalan 5/15. Look foor the main entrance on left less than 50 metres away.

Getting there by car

  • From the Federal Highway, head out to Petaling Jaya and exit at the Jalan Gasing/Jalan University turn off, just after passing the Selangor archway.
  • Turn left onto Jalan Gasing and after 1-2 km turn left on Jalan Chantek 5/13 and pass by row of shop houses on your right. These row of shop houses are behind the La Salle School field, which will not be visible from the road.
  • After passing Raju’s Corner (end corner Indian restauraunt) on your right, immediately turn left into Jalan 5/15. Look for the main entrance on left less than 50 metres away.


There is ample free parking in the compound.

Workshop Fees

Sliding scale of RM2600 – RM3000.

Pay what you are able to afford: Participants are welcome to pay a minimum of RM2600 for the course. Should you choose to pay up to RM3000, the extra money will go towards providing a scholarship space for one participant who is unable to afford the course. Depending on the funds raised, the scholarship space may be for the current course, or another upcoming one. Contributors will be notified of their contributions.

Course fees are inclusive of beverages and fruit during tea breaks. For lunches, participants are welcome to join in on a joint order to an external caterer for an additional RM195. You are also free to bring your own, or dine out. There are a couple of restaurants, halal options too, within walking distance.

Discounts are also available, please see below.

icon_earlybird_starEarly Bird
Register by the 1st of October 2013 and get a RM100 discount.

icon_mates_stsarMates Rates
Sign up with another friend or more, and get a RM100 discount each.

Time & Date

8:30am – 5pm. 
16th November – 29th November 2013.

Day off: Sunday, 24th November 2013.

Those who are renting accommodation at the venue are welcome to arrive on 15th November, from 5pm – 8pm. Departures occur on the day of the course’s completion, or the following day.


La Salle Hall & Eats, Shoots & Roots,
Bukit Gasing, Petaling Jaya.

Class Format

Classes run in a rough 9am – 5pm format, depending on the material of the day. Outside class hours, students are welcome to interact with the venue and its daily chores, or make use of our library of Permaculture and sustainability texts.

Please bring along

  • Notebook/sketchbook and drawing stationery
  • Working gloves (you can get them at gardening/hardware stores)
  • A hat & appropriate clothing and footwear for working outdoors, keep it simple. Work is not too strenuous, and practicals will not be held under the midday heat of the sun.
  • Optional: You can bring along pictures, maps, layout, details of a property (e.g balcony, rooftop, home garden/yard, vacant plot) that you intend to transform using permaculture design.

Registration is now open. Places go quickly, so register early to book your spot on the course. If you need more info, get in touch.

Register now