Permaculture Design Principles with Architect Vincent Pieri

Permaculture Design Principles with Architect Vincent Pieri

Arguments about Permaculture, the equivalent of permanent agriculture, surrounds not only Landscape Architects and farmers, it is now a tool for better performance in Architectural Design drawn by sustainable principles. Architect Vincent Pieri, Owner and President of the Sustainable Consulting and Design Firm, Pieri + Associates Architects, PSC., led a talk on this fabulous topic at the College of Architects and Landscape Architects of Puerto Rico with a special focus: food and water.

vincent-pieriThe importance of being fed the right and how to process food environmentally friendly,  was one of the main discussions of the Architect,  but what exactly is being “fed the right way”? What are we doing wrong these days? According to his experience and research on the topic, we have actually been destroying the most healthy directions of how we process primary produce because the Architecture in representation of it, is more a representation of a “prophylactic life, one that deals with consumption of little boxes sold at big boxes, on which you totally omit the intimate process between plants-animals-humans.” A total recall to what our civilization was previously initiated: Agriculture.

Big boxes took that part out of our lives and introduced the aisle concept where everything is processed, packed and labeled for us to believe it has been processed for our health, safety and welfare. Is it? Deviating myself here with this exact thought, the Documentary: GMO OMG, clearly maps our most genuine produce to its roots, finding out the most horrific results… which I won’t say so you can go watch it after you read this article. Undoubtedly, but the documentary is very much connected to the intentions on which Pieri is insisting to perform.

Along the talk in front of many Puerto Rican Architects, Pieri explained in depth the implications and importance of using Permaculture in Architecture and what this means for the future of islands such as Puerto Rico. Onwards, ethical parameters (people, planet and profit as fair share) from sustainable design, were also exposed along with twelve main principles as follows:

  1. Observe and Interact.
  2. Catch and Store Energy
  3. Obtain a Yield
  4. Apply self-regulation  + Accept feedback
  5. Use and value renewable resources and services
  6. Produce no waste.
  7. Design from patterns to details.
  8. Integrate rather than segregate.
  9. Use small and slow solutions.
  10. Use and value diversity.
  11. Use edges and value the marginal.
  12. Creatively use and respond to change.

This preamble of the discussions of Permaculture and Architecture was linked with interesting people such as Terreform One, Genspace from whom I learned for a short period of time; and other innovators looking for environmental solutions by using nature itself. Part 2 of this lecture will be held at CAAPPR on December 10, 2014 at 6:00 pm, with further explanations on how to use Permaculture for our favor in Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Design.

Don’t miss out on this books suggested by Pieri himself and other findings of myself. If you are encouraged by learning more about the topic these are good readings. Feel free to communicate for any questions.










Featured Image by Istock/Thinkstock
Other references obtained at live lecture.


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Mabelle Plasencia

Founder and Editor at INmatteria©
• Architect | LEED AP BD+C, with an intense passion for materiality, innovation, technology and science. • Arquitecta | LEED AP BD+C apasionada por la materialidad, innovación, tecnología y ciencia.