Designers Connect

One thing I have noticed over the course of the Edgin campaign is a very weak awareness of permaculture designers, and what they have to offer. When salivating over the highly-productive, or superbly off-grid farms that blaze across social media, few realize that many people out there have the knowledge and skill to make these visions a reality in almost any situation.

Granted, not everyone that calls themselves a permaculture designer, or even has a certification, will get you these results. This is exactly why I want Edgin to broadcast the array of talent that is out there, and outline every detail of the experience you can expect when you bring a designer on scene.

Like lightning before the discovery of electricity, it’s an untapped power source that needs an effective platform. I created an infographic to help explain the core value of hiring a designer: connecting you to your vision.

 

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In this age of information, people can get a long way with their education. I find clients may have really great ideas for their site, and just need some fine, but drastically important tuning of the design they would only learn for themselves on the other side of installation.

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Hiring a designer may seem like an over the top, even pompous idea. It strikes many as expensive. If you’re uncertain exactly what you’re going to get when you part with your cash, and commit to the time you think consulting and installation will take, you have to ask: is this worth it?

I’ve seen designers charge tens of thousands. On the other hand, I have spent only a few hours with clients, identified their problems, gotten them a plant list and drawing, and not charged even a hundred dollars in total. Even I was surprised at the results that followed.

This broad range is as much a problem for designers as potential clients. What is too high a price, and what is too low? This is another reason to set projects, and prices, side by side: so people can choose their rate. Designers can compare the value of what they offer. You can imagine how this information would quickly encourage effective price tiers for different services offered.

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Between recognizing and firming up your vision, to connecting you with plant nurseries or building materials only years of experience can offer, designers represent a powerful tool for giving you a massive foot up in realizing your vision. The first step in connecting yourself with your vision is in connecting with the right designer, be it a book, the material for building, or an in-person designer. The first, and most powerful step to finding these resources, is creating Edgin.

The campaign is near it’s end, but one beauty of the internet is how quickly information can move. Care to share? Or participate yourself?

 

 

8 Comments

  1. I think I would be reticent to hire a designer in case their ideas were a flop. That said, I’m happy to continue making my own way. However, I can see the value for people with different needs.

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    1. Yes, that’s the worry; and unfortunately I’ve heard from far too many people that’s the reality. I’m afraid much of the potential client base may already be soured. This is one reason why I never have clients pay me until I have assessed their site, made designs that clearly convey my plans, then set up a several year payment and installation plan and detailed plant list once they are confident. The payment plan goes along with installation so if they decide to stop halfway through, they’ve only paid for half the designs. Many have heard that I practice this and say I’m not paying myself. I find clients always become more satisfied as they see the designs come to fruition, and usually double the design work by the end of the original job because they are so pleased with the results. I very much appreciate you sharing your view though Helen. I need to hear that.
      And of course, considering your education and self-initiative, you might just consider hiring out for design work yourself!

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      1. Thanks for your confidence in me, Luke! Maybe one day lol.

        Anyway, I like your procedures. Are potential customers about to access references through Edgin?

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        1. The campaign is majorly lacking. So unless some storm of backers comes in, the Kickstarter will end on the 7th unfunded, and what funds the campaign has accrued will be returned to backers. Thankfully I kept to my budget and won’t be in a financial mess as a result.

          I hit some major problems in trying to get the project advertised and find interest. The topic of this post is just one. I’m not sure after the whole process if this tool would ever be used. It makes entirely good sense still, but I have such a new image of what the global community is about that I feel I’ve tried to place the circle block in the square hole. I need to redesign a movement -which I’m not unwilling to try, but as you can imagine, it’s formidable.

          Thanks for asking.

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          1. I’m sure you’ve heard it said that you need to fail in order to succeed? I feel this is one such situation: the idea of the website is sound. So, what else is needed?

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            1. Of course yes! I realize now that I really couldn’t have gathered the kind of information I have without pushing a real project. When I first set out with this project I wrote as many ideas as I could on how to increase designer value. I need to turn that from web design to public awareness now. Unfortunately some prominent politics in the Permaculture scene have made it clear to me that they believe they are already on this trail and that I shouldn’t meddle with their affairs. So I’m figuring how to work around (or perhaps utilize) this sticky pitfall of the project. Thank you, Helen, for the confidence you have in me!

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