Permaculture is an approach to land management and settlement design that adopts arrangements observed in flourishing natural ecosystems. First formulated in 1978, it particularly stands in opposition against industrial agriculture. Permacomputing is based on the idea of applying permacultural ideas to computing (and "high" technology in general).

In particular, permaculture inspires permacomputing to:

  • Recognizing the effects of computing to the biosphere, and trying to find ways to make these effects positive and regenerative.
  • Turning waste into resources and constraints into possibilities.
  • Explorative, imaginative and positive attitudes towards sustainable design, as opposed to "returning to the past" or "having to tolerate lesser resources".
  • Opposition to the mainstream technological industry while offering a tangible alternative.

Permacomputing isn't the first attempt to bridge permaculture and computing. Earlier examples include: