I support people to design and evolve their own gardens.

Living systems is a collaborative design practice centred around learning and working alongside each-other. It’s about immersing in place, clarifying intention and following a process which generates a design centred around people and their habits.

At its essence, this practice is about seeing the world in a range of different ways — ecologically, as a track, as an unfolding process. And it seeks to use these ways of seeing, understanding and doing to make our surroundings more alive.

This website promotes and reflects upon this practice. It documents my journey and shares the resources I’ve found useful along the way.

If you’d like me to work on your garden with you, do get in touch.

Design Approach

You are at the centre.

I will support you to:

  • Appreciate the existing ecology in your garden and realise your vital role in its transformation towards more life.
  • create clarity around where you want to take your garden, develop a design adapted to your life and take some practical steps towards it
  • Evolve your capacity to transform your garden yourself and develop an ongoing culture of observation, nurturing and adaptation so that you and your land can thrive together.

Sessions typically involve:

  • learning and designing together
  • working alongside each-other
  • storytelling, exchange, cups of tea
  • immersing in your place and how you relate to it
  • trying, experiencing, refining living designs
  • documenting our observations and thoughts

See my design philosophy

Typical Sessions

Design with permaculture principles, Developing and using microclimates, Nurturing healthy soil, Weed management , Composting, Establishing a productive garden, Establishing perennials, Pruning, Growing food, Fruit trees, Berries, Working with water, Irrigation systems, Kids in gardens, Habitat, complexity and biodiversity, Shaping a garden around your life, Garden Design, Immersing in your living system

Find out about sessions in more detail


Website 1.0

I wrote most of the text for this site about two — no, three months ago. I laboured over the words, drafting and redrafting. I wanted to have it all nailed down and ready to go. But now, as I finally come to build the site, the descriptions already feel outdated — they don’t quite …


About Dan

Dan designs and teaches with interests in ecology, systems thinking and permaculture. He has taught design at Monash University since 2006. Dan can be seen in his natural habitat, pottering in the garden or lost on long rambles through the reserves of Montmorency with his daughters.

Get in touch with Dan

Phone / 0402 465 027

Email / dan@livingsystems.com.au