About Us


John Button & Dr. Agr. Francesca Simonetti

Via Progno 25a, 28843 Montescheno (VB), ITALIA

 Mobile: John: +39 340 9384932

    Francesca: +39 335 6814718

Email: johnnaturedesigns@yahoo.com


Web:     http://www.naturedesignsjohnfranci.com


“Permaculture is a Marriage between People and Place”

Why come to us for your design?

We offer you the opportunity of a design which reflects your specific needs and tastes,
instead of the ‘landscaping’ work which is repeated in most gardens and sites.

The design is tailored to harmonize with the ‘needs’ of the landscape to create a low- maintenance, beautiful living situation. Where it is also important, I help you to achieve high productivity with the lowest input, and a reducing outlay of energy and cost over time.

We design not only gardens, but complete homesite layouts and apartment ‘greening’, as well as commercial and public sites with diverse requirements.


John Button: I’m a designer, educator and consultant, with over 30 years experience in

Australia, South and South East Asia, Africa, South America and Europe, through broadly diverse climatic, social and economic conditions, working with individuals, institutions, commercial enterprises and on my own behalf.

Originally studying under the founder of Permaculture, Bill Mollison in 1980, and later with Lea Harrison and internationally renowned community designer Max Lindegger, I have since worked as consultant, teacher and project coordinator through south and south east Asia, Australia and Europe. Mollison asked me to present Permaculture to Plan International and I subsequently worked with them throughout South East Asia over a period of two years, teaching courses and consulting on their community development programmes. In India I was working on projects funded by various sources, including WWF, MS Swaminathan Foundation, AusAID. I created the original Permaculture design for Green School, Bali.

Published (with Jonathan Halpern): Tibetan Sustainable Living Project, a working manual for received by HH, the Dalai Lama, 2003.


Francesca Simonetti: I am an agronomist and counsellor, with more than 15 years of professional experience. I have worked for public administrations, public and private clients, in various sectors, such as: landscape design, phytopathology and valuation of existing trees (VTA Visual Trees Assessment), environmental assessment, montoring of forest and agricultural plants, environmental education and creative workshops for children.

Together we create a rich team, integrated and stimulating, that unites professionalism, passion and broad experience, to serve for a present and future more conscious and sensitive.

Our method of design is based on the principles of Permaculture, adapted specifically for each situation, including climate and culture. The specific quality of each landscape and the people associated with it, necessitate individual consideration and response.

Our attitude to design:

“Permaculture is a Marriage between People and Place”

See About Permaculture
While the theory of Permaculture can be described in a list of principles, the application of these principles is infinitely diverse. Permaculture recognises the relationship between people and the land, and consciously seeks to assimilate the natural and actual characteristics of all elements in a design subject (whether broad landscape or farm or house block or apartment, etc) into a practical expression: the design.

Each situation is different, and requires specific response to achieve harmonious design. This includes the individual characteristics – physical, social, psychological – of the person or people who are occupying or using the land. We all have different priorities which direct our lives, and these same priorities exert a significant influence on the space which we use, whether it is a large rural holding, or an apartment in a high-rise building.

What makes a design ‘good’? What are the particular qualities of a garden, or a house, or a landscape, that make it ‘beautiful’, or ‘comfortable’, or ‘inspiring’, or ‘peaceful’?

Just as life is a dynamic and constantly changing process of complex interrelationships, so design is a reflection of nature’s diversity and dynamism. By identifying the distinctive characteristics of each site and the people associated with it, I believe that I can develop a site that will be both functionally efficient and productive, and also a source of constant inspiration and regeneration to whoever is living or working on it. Beauty ? productivity ? energy-efficiency ? satisfaction.

The same basic principles apply to designing gardens, buildings, landscapes or apartments, although the results are as individual as the people and situations. The Case Studies show examples of my designs and implementations.

Work undertaken

See Projects Undertaken

Design and Implementation: (including peripherals: ponds, gazebos, barbecues, entertainment areas, et al.), apartments, homesites, farms, parks, gardens.
Consultancy: problems, land modification
Courses and Workshops: Permaculture, specific environmental themes as required.          See Corsi/Courses
Garden Installation

Permaculture is a design approach for harmonising the individual characteristics of landscape (landform, soil, water, vegetation, animals) with the needs of the people utilising it, in order to create a system that is both productive and sustainable in the long term.

Permaculture is derived not only from ‘permanent’ and ‘agriculture’ as is often interpreted, but equally, from permanent and ‘culture’. Without an intimate connection with the local culture, including the culture of the individual, a design is unlikely to be implemented, and even less likely to be sustainable over a longer time. A busy professional person might emphasise the need for low maintenance and high beauty as priorities for his or her lifestyle, while another person needs high and diverse productivity to fulfil the desire for independence and self-sufficiency. Each design must be different.

It is a conscious self-empowerment tool through which we can exercise a far greater degree of control over our lives, by taking decisions based on a wholistic understanding of the situation at hand. At a time when so much of life is influenced by fewer and fewer powerful corporate entities, the potential to take personal decisions which achieve more independence is increasingly important and relevant.

One important facet of Permaculture design is to recognise limits, identify their characteristics, then seek to stretch those limits; to minimise the negative, and maximise the positive. If we succeed in this, then the design has achieved a more sustainable outcome, less constrained by extremes, more productive through greater flexibility, and hence more liveable.

While Permaculture follows principles of sustainable design, it is primarily concerned with attitude. Through recognition of the existing and potential relationships between the differerent elements in a landscape (landform, climate, animals, structures and people), we are able to achieve design that is beautiful, harmonious, productive and inspirational.


Any Italian translation has been done by me. Francesca is not responsible for the mistakes in the Italiano section. These will be corrected when time permits.

Ogni traduzione italiana è stata fatta da me. Francesca non è responsabile per gli errori nella sezione Italiano. Questi saranno corretti quando il tempo lo permette.



2 thoughts on “About Us

  1. Hallo John, schön etwas von Dir zu lesen. Ich hiffe es geht Dir gut. Ich denke sehr gerne an die Zeit in Tiru zurück. Viele Grüsse von Angelika aus Schwennigen. Erinnerst Du Dich?

    • What a total delight to hear from you. Nach so viel Zeit.Ich habe gehoert dass das Leben geht’s sehr gut mit dir. Das freut mich sehr.Auch fuer uns, nach ein reisiger Abenteur mit transplantierte Leber und so viel am sonst. Wow, das Leben ist so toll, und bin ich dankbar fuer jeden Tag, noch mehr als niemals.
      So, alles gut fuer euch, und vielen dank vom Herz fuer dein Kontact.

      With love, John

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