3. Creating a learning environment

Design:Creating a learning environment for volunteers
Location: Germany
Client:Kuckucksmühle community & volunteers
Start and end of planning dates:January 2020 – December 2020
Type of project: Land based
Design process:GOBRADIMET


For many volunteers spending time at the Kuckucksmühle is the first time that they have the opportunity to get a taste of living in the countryside and the first time that some have even heard of permaculture as a concept. Whilst the work that they contribute is important and precious to us we also want to give something back in appreciation of their contribution to our community.  

We see learning opportunities everywhere around the property and hiding amongst everyday activities and therefore this design helps to highlight these opportunities to make them visible and accessible for volunteers who wish to avail from them. 

Phase 0

Client Identification

The design is for implementation by the Kuckucksmühle community and the transient visitors that pass throughout the year. It is meant to provide small and slow solutions that can be implemented in the short term and with a limited budget but with a model that can be replicated on an ongoing basis. 

Phase 1


The main goals for this design are to highlight existing learning opportunities in various areas: 

  • Linked to physical spaces:
    • Growing areas
      • Greenhouse
      • Food garden (aka Mandala Garden)
    • Social hangout areas
      • Hackerspace
      • Kitchen
    • Rest areas
      • Dormitory
      • Hammock forest
  • Linked to non-physical spaces:
    • Online file repository
    • Online wikipedia


  • Most volunteers seem interested in learning when spoken to one on one but very few come forward with questions independently
  • The community members have little to no time to mentor people on a one to one basis
  • There are already a lot of resources on site including:
  • There is a task rotation system in place

Phase 2


  • Community members have little time
  • Monetary resources are very limited


  • A willing community
  • Experiential wealth
  • A lot of areas available for use
  • A large library of books (physical / electronic)



Phase 4



Phase 5