SouthWoods Center for Ecological Design

Its time to go pro while doing great work for the planet and generate income.

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 Thanks!    Dan


Professional Digital Design with Adobe Illustrator®   

An on-line course with

Daniel Halsey


Join us for an unparalleled learning experience as we build our international design community.

This course is developed to help participants accelerate their expertise in using Adobe Illustrator for digital design of permaculture and ecological systems. On-line and synchronized presentations will allow participants to ask questions in real-time during the sessions. Students of the course will be able to work on their computer and do exercises in Adobe Illustrator during the class with screen sharing. United Designers will have associates available to help you with the exercises and answer your questions as you work.

  • A complete set of exercises, design process documents, and materials will be delivered to each participant prior to the beginning of the course.
  • Drop box folders will be set up for each person so that their project materials, assignments, and exercises can be accessed and reviewed by the instructors.
  • The course content is chronologically based as a real time project.
  • Each step carefully explained, practiced, and integrated into the work flow.
  • Between live sessions, students will be expected to complete portions of the assessment and design process to prepare for the next class.
  • The goal is professional skill development and efficient design practices.
  • Pre-class assignments and study will begin 1 week prior to the course.
  • This will include loading software, testing the computers ability to use it, data mining soil and climate data for the location of the participant, pre-loading dropbox course files, and numerous recorded tutorials on Youtube.  
  • This course will concurrently delivered on-line as well as on-site at SouthWoods in Minnesota, USA.  On-line participants will have additional sessions after the live class has finished, access to recordings for later review, and chat sessions. 
  • Important:
  • 9 AM presentations will appear at varied times relative to each person's time zone. Southwoods is -6 GMT. Calendar and time adjusted reminders will be sent by e-mail. Delivery time in most European regions will be in late afternoon.
  • Each lecture segment will be 4-5 hours long with assignment and practice time, breaks, and class discussion filling the remainder.  Please send us questions and comments for clarification of the course details.

Who would benefit from these courses?

  • - Anyone that has completed a prior PDC, on-line or live. 
    - Active designers wishing to accelerate their professional skill development.
    - People wishing to professionally design farms, homesteads, communities and ecosystem restoration.
    - Designers wishing to raise the standards of their design work and that of the permaculture community.
    - Designers wishing to use a proven design process and digital style for career and income.

All class materials are supplied, but students will need a: computer workstation or laptop  installed with Adobe Illustrator V6 or above, Photoshop,and Microsoft office and Acrobat will be used.  (No iPads or Surface PCs for class use)

Meals & Lodging: See registration page         

         .   .   .  

The Schedule

  • Session 1  Basic tools, layers, and software operation
    Session 2  Using Tools, Workspace, and creating the Digital Base Map
    Session 3  The Geo Standard Color Pallets, Digital Graphics, Symbol Libraries
    Session 4  The Key, Plant Lists, Call Outs, Output, Supervised Work Session            Session 5   Polycultures, Design Report Management, Finishing Up

Digital Design I: Basic tools, layers, and software operation
Overview: The structure and features of AI and how we use them in design. Each class we will have case studies, incorporate the design process, and look at the step by step layering of information and details . Assignment: Assignments, hand-outs, and practice symbols will be evening study.

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. Making it layered and easily read.
  Digital Design IV: Supervised Work Illustration of Homestead Design in Texas Session for Designs
Style Demo and Practice. Assignment - Complete draft design Demonstration: Calculating spaces and materials with Acrobat.

Digital Design V: The Key, Plant Lists, Call Outs, Output and Narratives 

Finally:  The big picture. United Designers and SouthWoods Ecosystems have a vested interest creating design teams using this standardized practice. The participants in the class will most likely be design partners in the future. We hope this common language and platform will assist in the creation of regional and international design partners working with United Designers as well as many other organizations. 

Course hours:
9 AM - 4 PM with breaks for study and practice. Evening study and practice.

Monday to Friday (15 minutes break in morning and afternoon, and 45 minute lunch break).

Course price:   $1100.00 USA

All prices are in US dollars. A minimum non-refundable (though transferable) $250 deposit is required at the time of booking. The balance is due 14 days prior to the course start date. Check preferred. Fully paid reservations will take priority in seating.

Choose Payment Type, Fees due prior to class

Approved Installment Payment Plan

Designer or Company Name
Amount of initial down payment

Register form. Attendee Information Form

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. Mouse or pen tablet HIGHLY recommended. You will need a Wacom or or digitizing pen tablet for professional work.

Important information about this course:  Self paced, schedules to be interactive with the instructor.

Recommended Pre-course software tutorial:

UDEMY or Facebook has many Adobe Illustrator training videos.

Prior experience will increase your lrearning during the course.

About the Instructor:

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

Biography: Daniel Halsey is a certified permaculture and professional agro-ecosystems designer. Daniel has a Bachelor of Science degree in Temperate Climate Polyculture Design and a Masters of Professional Studies in Horticulture from the University of Minnesota. He is hired nationally and internationally to design private homesteads, intentional communities, and broad-acre transition. He teaches in Haiti, Lebanon (Beirut), Costa Rica, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Spain, the United States, England, and Alaska. Dan is also managing director of PRI/USA, United Designers, a board member for the Society of Ecological Restoration, and co-author of Integrated Forest Gardening.

SouthWoods Ecosystems 2005 - Present
Halsey Creative Services, Inc. 1984 - Present
Natural Capital, Plant Database (Partner) 2011 - Present
Permaculture Research Institute, USA 2012 - Present

Board of Directors - Permaculture Research Institute, USA

Minnesota Map to SouthWoods