This month, we’re excited to share our conversation with David Holmgren, author of the recent RetroSuburbia and co-author of the landmark 1978 book, Permaculture One, with Bill Mollison, which launched the international permaculture movement.  Drawing on permaculture principles of recognizing existing patterns and incorporating them into design, Holmgren is calling for a bold and improvisational approach to the problem of the suburbs.  Rather than start with a mythical blank-slate for perfect ecological construction, he sees rich possibilities in retrofitting suburban space, opening it up to distributed, small-scale food production and new forms of life.

In this episode, we discuss the crises we all face, what it means to write from a specific place, the power of speculative fiction for imagining alternative futures, and concrete visions for transforming suburbia.  This is a deeply terrestrial proposal, based on practical experiences in Australia, and which will develop via widespread experimentation, playing with patterns, and hacking suburban forms.  Holmgren speaks generously as a fellow practitioner and designer, not a policy maker with ready-made solutions applicable globally.  We are pleased to offer some of the prompts and visions he shared with us for experimenting in suburbia.

They are offering a pay-what-you-can model for the book, Retrosuburbia: The Downshifters Guide to a Resilient Future. You can find it at

Our theme music is by Lyn Rye