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Permaculture CAD* specialist Daniel Halsey takes you through a step-by-step journey to create professional-standard digital designs, and learn the United Designers process.

*Computer Assisted Design



United Designers International

As technology and digital tools advance in helping us design, pencils have turned to cursors. From homestead design to largescale ecological 

restoration, the United Designers design process and digital tools have made the design progression seamless, adaptive, and comprehensive.

For most designers, the transition to digital can be overwhelming. Plus the professional standards expected by clients may seem unattainable as the standards are rising with the complexity of our designs. United Designers is here to help you advance to the next levels of professional design.

There is no reason to feel overwhelmed when you have the tools and proven process to build your career, but the mileage needed to build the skills and expertise can be daunting.

That is why Daniel Halsey, Co-founder of United Designers International,

developed this ecological design platform. In his own design work, he found all designs should be a team effort and he needed a team.  

With the help of United Designer teams, Daniel developed an advanced Ecological and Permaculture Design course in a format that follows the design process at each step. By the end of the course, you will be creating ecologically supported designs increasing your expertise with each new project. Your designs will display professional standards bringing you to the forefront of respected designers in the field. 






The developed design process is a step by step progression, building knowledge and understanding of the site in each phase.  Daniel Halsey used his experience of 20 years in design to map out the best strategy to assess, strategize, and plan without project fatigue. Each new project is an exploration of possibilities guided by comprehensive observation and inquiry.


Replacing the struggle to master software with a journey into the amazing world of ecological design using the software to integrate the data at each step. While building a base map, you will travel the site in-depth as assessment documents hold the ecological data for reference. The mapped resources of the project site appear before your eye as you build from patterns to details. All in scale, all easily seen, with an infinitely editable and scalable platform. 1/4 acre, 200 hectares, backyard or village, the process is seamless.

A phased approach and orderly process allow faster and increased expertise with each new project. 



Designs are accurate and set to a common scale. The vector design canvas is limitless in detail; from a few inches to more than 160 acres.

As we stack the information into our base maps, you can turn the layers on or off as you need them in making design decisions. Soil maps, contours, and more can be hidden or made transparent behind other features

Drag and Drop 
An extensive symbol library of plants allows for drag and drop placement. This helps to create complex polycultures and forest layers. Create your own library of common plants ready to be expanded each time you work.


Each design element can be magnified for adding important detail and notes. Small perennials can be placed next to giant oaks in real time simply by zooming in.  

Collaborate with Teams
Files can be shared for team design.  Our common design platform and templates are supported by a vast community of designers. Work anywhere in the world.


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Daniel is the Co-founder of United Designers International. He is the Managing Director of United Designers International Foundation, a USA non-profit organization, and the Principal Partner of The Natural Capital Plant Database. 

Daniel is also a certified Permaculture and professional agro-ecosystems designer. He 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, broad-acre agriculture, and ecological restoration projects. He teaches in Haiti, Lebanon [Beirut]. Costa Rica, Canada, South Africa, Nepal, Senegal, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and all across the United States.


Let a master of ecological design take you through the design process that took two decades to develop and perfect. This is a lifelong benefit and your entry point to a vital career in ecological design. The world needs us now more than ever.


Struggling on your own to learn the complex process of ecological design in a digital platform will only delay your important role in solving the world's food and climate problems.

Learn with us and grow with us as we build our community of experts. Experts in all fields. We need specialists too. Learn the process and then take it where you want to go with the support of your colleagues and the growing design assets of UDI.


Q & A's:

  • Does the technical, map building part of this package use Adobe Illustrator? 

    • Yes, the common platform UD uses for all design is Adobe Illustrator®  (you can use other software if you want) but also other supporting software like Google Earth®, ​Microsoft Office®, Photoshop®, Acrobat®, Dropbox, and many online (free) resources.

  •  How do I go about scheduling 1 on 1 design support with Daniel?

    • By direct messaging to set up a private Zoom session.​

  •  Is the WhatsApp group active and ongoing?

    • 24 hours a day you can message a question and Daniel or another designer will answer. We are all online most of the time.

  •  When are the weekly Zoom meetings?

    • Daniel and the team meet during weekly group Zoom sessions (Thursdays at 9 AM CST). 

  • When can I start? 

    • The course is open 24 hours a day and you can start as soon as you are registered and work at your own pace on your schedule.​

  • How long do I have access?

    • Depending on the subscription, 6 months for Basic and Professional Levels or Expert Level for life.

  • How do I join the UD team? 

    • Depending on your skills, you hire us or we hire you. Some designers use a real project to pay for and learn the course. Daniel often partners with student designers on their projects to create the income stream and also pay for the course. The UD team is here for you with a broad selection of skill sets. Expert skills are always needed in speciality areas, plus urban, rural, and remote locations.




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Module 1: Design Theory Ecological Design, Data Mining. Good Practices. A series of ecological design lectures for sustainable and ecologically supported solutions. 

Module 2: Smart Design: Following a process and the patterns to detail philosophy helps bring information needed to make good design solutions 

Module 3: Basic tools, layers, and software operation: The structure and features of Al and how we use them in design Assignment: Practice symbols and graphic styles. Gather ecological data for the Data Table. 

Module 4: Using Tools, Workspace, and the Digital Base Map: Tools, Using Google Earth for aerials. Making Landscape Symbols, lmporting your resource files and base map to the title block. 

Module 5: Building the Base Map & Soil Map: In putting all the existing structures, utility lines, existing vegetation, topography, other elements, creating soil maps and placing art 

Module 6: Supervised Work Session for Designs. The Key, Plant Lists, Call Outs, Output and Narratives: Style Demo, Practice and Exercise Session Assignment - Complete draft design Demonstration Calculating spaces and materials with Acrobat. 

Module 7: Plants, Symbols, and Design: Delving into the plant database, plant mechanisms, and lists. Ecological Functions & Human Uses. Using symbols and making other artwork 

Module 8: The Final Draft Design: Following the functional spaces of the bubble/concept map, we refine and fill the spaces with the appropriate elements Confirm width, type, and surface for the access paths, road, gates, and clearance. Add plant symbols to the design and create common groups 

Module 9: The Final Deliverable Design and Report: Counting the plants and calculating materials Labelling the design elements and creating other graphics to show relationships and resources 





$ 595.00



This self-study, entry-level option provides you with full access to the course videos and step-by-step guides to get you using the UD method

•  Full Course Access [for 3 Months]

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$ 1250.00


This supported-learning option provides you with the full designer's toolbox & expert feedback from Daniel to launch or upgrade your design career. 

•  Full Course Access [for 6 Months) 
•  Direct feedback from Daniel on all

    course assignments 
•  1-year access to Natural Capital Plant 

    Database [designer tier] 
• 1-year access United Designer planning

    tools, plant symbols & template libraries 
•  1-year access to United Designers 

    Assessment Data Tables & Checklists 
•  1-year access to the Digital Design

    Student Group with Monthly Training

    from the UD team and P2P Feedback. 


$ 1750.00



This lifetime membership package provides you with access to all live & future digital design modules. One-on-one mentorship from Daniel, plus business support & access to the UD Pro Partners group. 

Everything the Professional Package has access to [value $ 1250.00)

  • Lifetime access to all live and future digital design modules [participating as a mentor to new students) 

  • 1-on-1 design support from Daniel Halsey upon request 

  • Access to the UD Partner Designer Group with personalized training from Daniel and the UD team. 

  • 24/7 WhatsApp group chat and weekly zoom sessions for all students and designers.




/!\ Please note that only students with the 'Expert Package'

have free access to the live courses.

Course Options


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Dan's design course has been a total game-changer for doing professional permaculture design. After starting our permaculture business. we searched for tools and procedures to help clearly communicate our designs to clients and stakeholders. I was delighted to find that Dan had developed a platform to guide us during our design process and produce a stunning digital design 
Following Dan's instruction, I was able to quickly learn the software and workflow to start rendering my concepts and designs in an elegant and digestible way The design process coupled with the Natural Capital Plant Database gives you everything you need to confidently carry out ecological design for any circumstance The course has introduced me to a network of designers from across the world and I've learned a skill set that will serve me on every project going forward. 
This course is an invaluable contribution to the field of professional permaculture and ecological design 

Biodesic Strategies, Fayetteville, Arkansas  

I highly recommend this class. I had done design work on paper via technical drawing and took this class to make it easier to communicate with clients, give my work a more professional look, and make design changes easier during the process. This class far surpassed my expectations. The functionality of using Illustrator as a design communication tool is worth the cost of the class alone. The look of the finished product from this class is cleaner, clearer, and more professional-looking than what I have seen from design work from other companies. When I have had to adjust the design work based on client feedback, the process with illustrator is so much quicker and easier than what I've done in the past as well. While that was why I took the class and any one of those points would be worth the cost, I also learned a good deal about improving the design process, the designs themselves, and client communication. This is after having taken several PDCs and advanced PDCs This class is well worth it, and I definitely recommend it for anyone wishing to take their design work to a higher level. Dan is engaging, enjoyable to learn from, and very knowledgeable. 


Eastern Ecosystems LLC 

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Dan's design course is invaluable. I had very little experience in Illustrator and was trying to hack my way into a professional-looking design. I knew what I wanted to design in my head, but my digital expression of it was elementary

His course is easy to follow and comprehensive, teaching you all skills and tricks you need to know to create outstanding professional designs, setting you apart from other designers. His course gave me the confidence to sell my designs knowing I was delivering a quality product to my clients 


Grand Junction, Colorado 

Here in Germany, we don't have any Permaculture courses regarding computer-assisted design. I always found it difficult to draw communicative plans since I never learned how to draw.  However, I've always had an affinity towards working with software and the course seemed like a way to integrate digital design methods, tools, data as well as traditional methods and data assessment into one whole. For me personally, the course was worth every penny I am quite a self-paced learner and therefore worked with the provided videos in the beginning and then attended the live sessions which put all the video content into the context of Dan's actual design work. There's always the possibility to ask questions and learn from the more advanced students and designers. Buying the 'Advanced Pro Package'·was not just buying a part of my education but becoming part of a community of people who support each other in making the most of their designs, improving their quality, and most of all having a lot of fun while doing it. I am proud and happy to someday become a part of that international community of designers and practitioners 


Permakultur-Gestalter [Basisjahr Permakultur-Design PKA] Germany 

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Finished your PDC and looking for the next step? Do yourself a favor and take Dan's digital design course!

Before I took the course, my hand-drawing skills were holding me back from effectively communicating my ideas and creating professional designs. Learning how to create designs digitally unlocked a world of possibilities for me. Dan shares the entire system and resources he developed for his own professional design career. By seeing this whole process, I now feel confident in launching a design career of my own. The online portion let me go at my own pace, but the weekly in-person meetings kept me connected and allowed for feedback and camaraderie. I feel so grateful to have taken this course and to have acquired to tools needed to unlock my potential as a digital designer. 


Kelly Bull Gardens, Arizona, USA 

Daniel Halsey, together with United Designers is setting new standards when it comes to visualizing Permaculture and Regenerative Designs. This course not only shows you how to do professional designs to an industry standard for your clients with Adobe Illustrator but is packed with loads of expert information on Permaculture, different processes, and software tools. Daniel shares his extensive experience freely and you will get first-hand information on how to become a professional Permaculture Designer. I haven't ·seen any similar courses yet, especially when it comes to making highly professional and visually appealing maps Very much recommended"


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