Lisa DePiano is a certified permaculture designer, teacher and practitioner with over 15 years of experience. She is a lecturer in Sustainable Agriculture at the University of Massachusetts and a research fellow at the MIT media lab. She runs the Mobile Design Lab which specializes in participatory permaculture design and education and is author of Permaculture FEAST principles flash cards.
Lisa DePiano, Full Biography
Lisa DePiano is grounded at the intersections of public art, economic development, participatory design and social justice. She came to permaculture from a background as a community organizer working against Mountain Top Removal and for global justice. She sees permaculture as a tool to both see connections between social, ecological and economic problems and to create solutions for the world we know is possible. She is a certified permaculture designer/teacher, and faculty member for the Yestermorrow Design/Build School, the University of Massachusetts and a research fellow at the MIT Media Lab. She has extensive experience in social enterprise and worker cooperative development including co-founding the Montview Neighborhood Farm, one of the first worker-run human powered urban-farm and edible forest gardens in the country and establishing the bicycle powered compost program while riding with the worker-owned collective Pedal People. She is board member for the Permaculture Association of the Northeast currently developing bottom up quality standards for permaculture education.
For over a decade she has taught permaculture to hundreds of students in dozens of courses in the United States and abroad, including the Permaculture Women’s Teacher Training. She runs the Mobile Design Lab which specializes in participatory permaculture design and installation and serves as a board member for the Permaculture Institute of the Northeast. Her public permaculture installations include the grey water system at Occupy Wall Street and the Lee Street Forest Garden in Cambridge.
Lisa has been a leading permaculture teacher, organizer and innovator for over a decade both at the grassroots and University level.
Lisa co-founded the Western MA Permaculture guild in 2002 where she helped to develop the thriving permaculture network that helped to build many demonstration sites including, Paradise Lot. She started her formal teaching in 2003 when she apprentice taught with Dave Jacke and Jono Neiger during their 3-week Permaculture design course. She went on to get her teaching certificate from Kat Steele and Benjamin Farrer in 2008. Making permaculture more accessible is a main motivation so she went on to design and run permaculture short courses first out of the public library and later at the Northampton Community Resource Center she co-founded and at the Montview Neighborhood Farm, a 3 acre permaculture CSA and Food Forest on public land, she co-founded in 2004.
Since 2008 she has been a regular Instructor at the Yestermorrow Design Build school where she developed a weekend and week long edible forest gardens class with Jonathan Bates of Food Forest Farm, a weekend and week long Permaculture for Regional Planning with Andrew Faust, a week long Pemaculture Site Analysis course as part of a team of architects and engineers 3-week core curriculum for the Ecological Design certificate with Mark Krawczyk and a week long Farm Design course with Buzz Ferver and Jesse Selman. She has also been a regular guest teacher of the PDC there with Andrew Faust and Keith Morris.
In 2010 she co-created Permaculture FEAST a weekend based PDC that centers Social Permaculture with Jonathan Bates, Javiera Benavente and Abrah Dresdale again with the intention of making pemaculture more accessible and relevant to different communities.
She is a regular instructor at RUST with Scott Kellogg and with Andrew Faust and the Center for Bioregional Living.
In addition to the advanced Permaculture courses she developed at communities Lisa has developed courses in:
- A PDC for members of the Menominee Nation
- A week long Urban Permaculture course in Alaska
- A week long women’s teacher training with Pandora Thomas
- An online permaculture course for the University of Massachusetts
- Semester long courses in Intro to Permaculture, Permaculture Design and Practice, Food Forests and Social Permaculture