Its time to go pro while doing great work for the planet.           Register for courses and build community solutions.

With the hold on most of our projects and postponement of international travel, we are opening live, online sessions for training. This is an important time to develop our skills hello design solutions so we can be ready when called to help Bring sustainable resilience to our communities. Food production is going to be an important activity for all communities this summer. Also we want to develop our landscapes with good design principles. 


Adobe Illustrator Training for

Professional Ecological and Permaculture Design

An intensive course with direct instruction for learning Adobe Illustrator skills and work flow.


By popular demand we offer this intense training to get your pencil design and ecological concepts into science supported systems and professional graphics on computer for a  career in ecological and permaculture design.

This is the entire two-week digital design course online. It is formatted to be done at your own pace with weekly live consultations, Q&A, and added video content to demonstrate specific tasks.  This is a living and dynamic course. New content is added continually and available to all students, past and present. Case studies are added in real time as United Designers Teams work around the world. 

Once you have taken this course, either on-site or online, you are welcome to attend any other on-site course greatly reduce cost as long as you agreed to help new students with their learning (this is of course depending upon space and availability of seats).

  • A trial version of AI can be downloaded at:

  • Students will have access to tutorials, example files, templates, symbol libraries, take home exercises, importable survey graphics, and much more.  AND a pro subscription to the Natural Capital Plant Database. 

   Then... Join United Designers on our global quest to heal the planet and build capacity for all cultures where-ever we are called. Recent work has been in Haiti, Senegal, Liberia, Hawaii (that was fun)...and the USA and Canada too! Prospective projects are on deck for Egypt, Poland, Tanzania, and the Pacific. We work as a team and we hope you will join us. Real project are the best way to learn.

 Sample course video here soon


Instructor: Daniel Halsey, MPS, Certified Designer and Teacher of Permaculture Design

Schedule:  At your own pace.

Loosely listed due to a constant addition of materials and content. There are over 72 instructional videos from 5 minute tasks to 90 minute design skills and process lectures. More being added all the time.

Design Theory - Introduction to design process and theory.  Professional Standards and Practices

Module 1   Digital Design Training I: Basic tools, layers, and software operation 

Module 2   Digital Design Training II: Using Tools, Workspace, and the Digital Base Map

Module 3   Digital Design Training III: Pencil Concepts to Digital Graphics, Symbol Libraries

Module 4   Digital Design Training IV: The Key, Plant Lists, Call Outs, Output

Call SouthWoods for sponsoring a series at your location.  612-720-5001  

Digital Design Theory: Ecological Design, Data Mining, Setting Up Good Practices, and Smart Design.

A series of ecological design lectures for sustainable and ecologically supported solutions.


Digital Design I: Basic tools, layers, and software operation
Overview- The structure and features of AI and how we it them in design. Each week we will have case studies, incorporate the design process, and look at the step by step layering of information and details . Assignment: Take home hand-outs and practice symbols and graphic styles.

Digital Design II: Using Tools, Workspace, and the Digital Base Map
Classroom Tool Practice: Tools, Making Landscape Symbols, Importing your resource files and base map to the title block.

Assignment: Bring finished basemap to next class, output BW copy at OfficeMax.

Digital Design III: Pencil Concepts to Digital Graphics, Symbol Libraries
Classroom Skill practice: Refining the concepts, shapes, and readability. Looking for patterns in the landscape.

Digital Design IV: Supervised Work Session for Designs. The Key, Plant Lists, Call Outs, Output and Narratives

Style Demo, Practice and Supervised Work Session. . Assignment - Complete draft design Demonstration: Calculating spaces and materials wih Acrobat. 

Materials List: Laptop PC or Mac, Updated Adobe Illustrator Software, Plant Database Access (supplied),

Printer (at home), Adobe Acrobat for PDFs, Internet Access, & Drop Box® Access Account (No iPads or Surface PCs).

Cost: Adobe Illustrator Instruction series per person.              

A receipt for tax deduction purposes will be supplied. Let us know if you wish to be billed for services prior to use.

Please use registration for here or paypal (add 3.5%, $1035.00) below.   

*********************  Includes NC Plant Database, Symbol Libraries, Templates, and Assessement Documentation, and example work. 

Digital Design & Professional Practices