BP200 - Design Solutions for Regenerative Settlements

Blueprint200 design session in Malvern, UK
Grace Foundation
integrated systems
Various, biogas, water retention landscape design, shelter design, biochar filtration
01.05.17 to 23.12.18


A method for designing resilient and regenerative human settlements which are also modular and scalable. That is our vision; a design methodology which would provide safety, shelter and purpose to 200 people in emergency displacement while caring for the land on which the settlement is established. As a core project of Blueprint Alliance, it emcompasses the skills of all our members ensuring as much of our whole systems thinking as possible is imbued in this visionary framework.

We will initially look both inwardly to the alliance and outwardly to capture knowledge from camp designers, permaculturists, activists, social workers, humanitarian aid consultants, and more, to inform our framework. We will then demonstrate the potential of such a framework by completing a demonstration site in Tamera, Portugal, and at one other location to be later defined.


We embark on a year long project with a dedicated team of 11 and the full support of the wider Blueprint Alliance as well as the community of Tamera. We will complete a focused research phase of 6 months before transitioning to a hands on phase for implementation, monitoring and evaluation. More project updates will come as we move through our milestones.

In the meantime, read below to discover how we came to this project launch.


The project emerged during our spring 2016 alliance meeting in Tamera, Portugal. We felt confronted by the urgent call for support of refugees and a patient desire for systemic change. We agreed that we needed to find a strategy to respond to the refugee crisis that is aligned to the values of Blueprint (integration / demonstration centres / capacity building). And asked ourselves - What is an intelligent answer to this crisis? We decided to look at showcasing our integrative systems while demonstrating their replicability across climates and adaptability to emergency settlement needs.

In the weeks that followed, a Blueprint200 project meeting was held in Malvern, UK, with alliance members and collaborators; Chris Evans, Jay Abrahams, Ruth Andrade, Michael Howlett, Peter Mellett, Julia Wright, Mark Constantine, Marcus Dittrich, Christoph Ulbig, Dror Zohar and Carolyn Gomez. We focused on existing refugee and emergency camp situations and design standards as well as regenerative possibilities all while skills sharing. Truly diving into our breadth of experience and knowledge to feel into the scope of our vision.

First Blueprint200 design meeting in Malvern, UK First Blueprint200 design meeting in Malvern, UK

(left: Michael & Dror  / right: Chris, Marcus & Christoph - collaborating on a table top settlement deisgn)

For the following months a team came together to design the practicalities of such a project; who would do what, what are the financial needs, how will funding be secured. Presenting a project proposal to Blueprint Alliance in September 2016.


During our September meeting, 2016, a project proposal was brought forwards with the role; Design Lead identified as vacant. We found ourselves with several designers as part of Blueprint Alliance, yet all already commissioned for work and unable to hold the strings as Design Lead, yet able to contribute. However, Brecht Deriemaeker from Surplus Permaculture Design (Surplus) had been invited to the meeting as a collaborator and immediately identified the Surplus team as being willing and able to fill the role. This would mean that every position was filled. The following roles were identified with the named members: Project coordination (Carolyn), Design Lead (Surplus Permaculture Design), implementation coordinator  (Marcus), funding coordinator (Christoph), Documentation co-ordinator (Ethan), documentation team (Dominik & Pete).

Blueprint Alliance meeting September 2016 Blueprint Alliance and Tamera Technology_solar mirror

(left: Brecht, Ruth, Christoph, Marcus, Dror, Janos, Bori, Carolyn, Eynat, Doerthe & Bernd - during the review of the roles for Blueprint200)

(right: Brecht, Bee, Ruth, Dror, Tom, Marcus, Douglas - Solar Mirror presentation at the workshop in Tamera, Portugal)


After meeting Brecht and having the Surplus team on board, it was time for us to meet and finalise our project proposal. Gregory, Nick and Brecht from Surplus travelled to Tamera in November 2016 for an intensive series of 5 days of collaboration. An opportunity for Marcus, Christoph and myself to get to know the Surplus team and an opportunity for Surplus to get a feeling for Tamera, the qualities of the land and the Blueprint200 vision. We came together and our proposal was born; detailed milestones, deliverables, corresponding budget and project timeline. All that was left was to share this with Blueprint Alliance for full support.

1 of 3 Blueprint200 meeting November 2016 - Nick, Greg and Brecht from Surplus Permaculture Design with Christoph Ulbig in Tamera, Portugal Blueprint200 meeting November 2016 - Nick, Greg and Brecht from Surplus Permaculture Design with Christoph Ulbig in Tamera, Portugal

(Greg, Nick and Brecht from Surplus with Christoph looking at water harvesting and small scale food gardens in the Solar Village in Tamera, Portugal)


Aligned with the values held by The Grace Foundation, it was a natural fit for the foundation to share our project vision with investors. Within a few weeks, investors who felt that our vision was timely, invested and we have been able to pursue the project preparation and are now launching the first phase of the project. Our full financial needs have been met and we have received €74,000 of support from The Grace Foundation. Further funding efforts will be made as the project progresses to secure the remainder of the funds necessary to complete the implementation, monitoring and evaluation.

The Grace Foundation logo



All project updates and published documentation will be shared in our News section. Thank you for following us in our steps.

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